Lee J. Cobb Movies and Career Information

Lee J. Cobb profile image
Dec 08, 1911
New York City

Lee J. Cobb (December 9, 1911 – February 11, 1976) was an American actor. He is best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men (1957) and his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront (1954). He also held the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway performance of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan. Born Leo Jacob to a Jewish family in New York City, Cobb studied at New York University before making his film debut in The Vanishing Shadow (1934). He joined the Manhattan-based left wing Group Theatre in 1935. His parents were Benjamin Jacob, a compositor for a foreign-language newspaper, and Kate Neilecht. Cobb did summer stock at Pine Brook Country Club located in the countryside of Nichols, Connecticut in the 1930s and early 1940s. Pine Brook was the summer home of the Group Theatre (New York) from 1931 until the 1940s. Cobb entered films in the 1930s, successfully playing middle-aged and even older men while he was still a youth. He was cast as the Kralahome in the 1946 non-musical film Anna and the King of Siam. He also played the sympathetic doctor in The Song of Bernadette, and appeared as James Coburn's supervisor

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