Robert Strauss Overview:

Character actor, Robert Strauss, was born on Nov 8, 1913 in New York City, NY. Strauss died at the age of 61 on Feb 20, 1975 in New York City, NY and was cremated and his ashes given to family or friend.


The gloweringly and round-faced American actor, Robert Strauss, was near the top of the character tree following his stage and film performances as Animal in Stalag 17, for the latter of which he was nominated for an Academy Award. But he slid steadily down the cast tree after that, revealing a certain monotony of performance, and ended up in some fairly bizarre exploitation films before his early death from complications following a stroke. 

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Strauss was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1953Best Supporting ActorStalag 17 (1953)Stosh/'AnimalNominated

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Robert Strauss Quotes:

[Henry is complaing about how hard it is to get a cab in New York]
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: You're just like my wife, mister. You don't understand the economics of the situation.
Henry Tyroon: Then teach me. I'm interested in the economics of about every situation.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: Well, there are 11,000 cabs in the city - and no new permits for the next twenty-five years. Now suppose you wanna buy a cab and start hackin'... you gotta get a new permit, too. Now the tab on a new permit is eighteen thousand five hundred on the open market.
Henry Tyroon: And how much did your cab cost, Mister
[looks at driver's ID]
Henry Tyroon: Feinberg?
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: Thirty-three hundred... new.
Henry Tyroon: Mm-hmm. Then that makes your investment, uh, with the permit, come to about $22,000.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: Yeah. But don't tell my wife... she'll think I'm rich.
Henry Tyroon: Mm-hmm. Mr. Feinberg, I'll give you $24,000 for your cab and permit.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: You wanna buy the cab?
Henry Tyroon: Right. But you come along with it. I'll need your services for a week, maybe two.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: No, look, mister, I can't sell the cab. I need it.
Henry Tyroon: Well, I figured that. So, when I leave I'll sell it back to you for... $22,000.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: You wanna lose two grand just to keep your feet dry when it starts to rain?
Henry Tyroon: I don't lose, Mr. Feinberg. See, I borrow the money and then I get a deduction on the loan interest and another on the depreciation and another on the loss when I sell it back to you. And you make a nice profit.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: You win and I win. Uh-uh, there's gotta be a loser somewhere.
Henry Tyroon: Taxman loses. He usually does on a Henry Tyroon deal.
Feinberg, Taxi Driver: Mister, you've just got yourself a taxi.

Melvin Jones: Excuse me, handsome.
CPO Lardoski: Where do you get that handsome stuff?
Melvin Jones: Didn't I hear that man call you a pretty officer?
CPO Lardoski: [Growling] He said, "Petty officer."
[Melvin sticks his tongue out at him behind his back]

Perky: The kid needs a mother. Every kid needs a mother. Somebody to take his troubles to, or somebody to hear his prayers.
Peewee: Well, he could always bring his troubles to me. I'd be glad to hear his prayers. I like prayers.
Sammy Boy: You can't be no mother, Peewee. Mothers is female!

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1953

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Robert Strauss Facts
Three children from his first marriage. Deborah who on an exchange student program in High school changed her name to Deja, Deena and David! The three Ds as they were referred to due to the short-lived hype of Three-D movies. Deja is married with two daughters and three sons and she and her husband live in Maryland. Deena and her daughter and husband reside in Arizona and his son David lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Three children were named Deena, David, and Deja.

A seemingly ubiquitous presence in films of the 1950s, this beefy character actor drifted from one menial job to another before turning to dramatics. He worked on the stage for several years before breaking into movies in 1952. Typically played gruff characters -- sometimes comic, sometimes menacing -- and essayed quite a few gangster roles as well. He won an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Animal in Stalag 17 (1953), a role he had originated on Broadway. He also appeared in Sailor Beware (1952), Jumping Jacks (1952), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Attack (1956), Li'l Abner (1959) (as Romeo Scragg), The George Raft Story (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), The Thrill of It All (1963), The Family Jewels (1965), Harlow (1965/II), Frankie and Johnny (1966), and Fort Utah (1967), to name a few, in addition to many TV shows in the 1960s and 1970s. He was incapacitated during the final years of his life, from a paralytic stroke.

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