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Robert Ellenstein (1923- )
Robert Ellenstein

Prairie Happy, July 7, 1956 Written by David Victor and Herbert Little, Story by John Meston, Directed by Ted Post, Guest Cast: Robert Ellenstein, Anne Barton

Robert Ellenstein made an excellent and very menacing villain in films. His unforgettable role as a henchman, along with Adam Williams, in Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" illustrated that fact. Yet he was a very versatile actor as witnessed by the roles he played. Tall, slim, and balding with a smirky smile and piercing eyes he was a dependable supporting actor. He was born on June 18, 1923 in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of a dentist, and grew up in Newark, New Jersey where his father became mayor. He began acting in Cleveland, Ohio where he also directed and taught acting in local theatre. He served with the Air Corps during World War II and earned a Purple Heart. After the war he returned to acting and a successful stage career. He entered television in its infancy appearing on such shows as "Robert Montgomery Presents" where he played Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." His film debut came in "Rogue Cop" (1954) as Sidney Y. Meyers. His other films include: "Illegal" (1955) as Joe Knight; "The Garment Jungle" (1957) as Fred Kenner; "3:10 to Yuma" (1957) as Ernie Collins; "Too Much, Too Soon" (1958) as Gerold Frank; "The Young Lions" (1958) uncredited as a Rabbi; "North by Northwest" (1959) with Cary Grant, as Licht, his best role; "King of the Roaring 20s" (1961) as Lenny; "The Legend of Lylah Clare" (1968) as Mike; "Love at First Bite" (1979) with George Hamilton, as VW Man; "Brewster's Millions" (1985) as Mr. Carter and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986) as Federation Council President. He also appeared in the TV movies: "Moonlighting" (1985) and "Run Til You Fall" (1988). He guest starred on numerous TV series including: "Gunsmoke"; "Perry Mason"; "Wanted: Dead or Alive"; "The Rifleman"; "The Rogues"; "The Untouchables"; "Get Smart"; "The Wild, Wild West"; "Bonanza"; "The Big Valley"; "Mission: Impossible"; "It Takes a Thief"; "CHiPs"; "The Rockford Files"; "Murder, She Wrote"; "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "E.R." His most recent appearance was on "E.R." in 1998.

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