J. Edward Bromberg

Active - 1936 - 1950  |   Born - Dec 25, 1903   |   Died - Dec 6, 1951   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Born in Hungary, actor J. Edward Bromberg moved with his family to the US while still an infant. Bromberg was certain from an early age that he would pursue an acting career, taking several odd jobs (silk salesman, candy maker, laundry worker) to finance his training. He studied with the Moscow Art Theatre, then made his American stage bow at age 23 at the Greenwich Village Playhouse. The corpulent Bromberg conveyed a perpetual air of ulcerated, middle-aged tension, allowing him to play characters much older than himself. He worked extensively with the Theatre Guild, coming to Hollywood's attention for his work in the 1934 Pulitzer Prize winning play Men in White. With 1936's Under Two Flags, Bromberg began his long association with 20th Century-Fox, playing a vast array of foreign villains, blustering buffoons and the occasional gentle philosopher. He made a triumphant return to Broadway in 1948 as a Louis Mayer-like movie mogul in Clifford Odets' The Big Knife, but the euphoria would not last. Accused of being a Communist sympathizer, Bromberg was blacklisted from Hollywood and forced to seek work in England. Though only 47 when he fled the country, Bromberg looked twenty years older due to the strain of withstanding the accusations of the witchhunters. J. Edward Bromberg died in London in 1951, at age 48; the reason given was "natural causes," since a broken heart is not officially regarded as a fatal condition.

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