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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Immigrant Of The Day: Edward G. Robinson of Romania

by Kevin R. Johnson

Edward G. Robinson (Romania)

Littc2
Edward G. Robinson
(born Emanuel Goldenberg;18931973) is a Hollywood legend who was born in Romania. Although he has played a wide range of characters, he is best remembered for his roles as a gangster, most notably in the film Little Caesar (1931).

Robinson's family immigrated to New York City in 1903. A star in scores of movies, he is best for his portrayal of gangster Rico Bandello, the crime lord in Little Caesar.  After the success of Little Caesar, Robinson joined James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart in Warner Brothers' crop of gangster movies in the 1930s and 1940s.

Despite his work on behalf of the United States -- he was a multi-lingual radio presenter of Allied news in Europe, Robisnon, like many actors of his generation, was investigated as a communist by Senator Joe McCarthy in the early 1950s. Although Robinson was exonerated, it hurt his career. 

Robinson's appearance in the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments marked the beginning of his role as a revered screen legend and character actor. His later movies include The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Mackenna's Gold (1969) and Soylent Green (1973). Robinson never won an Oscar, but two months after he died he was given a special award for his life's work.

Robinson's last movie scene was a euthanasia sequence in the science fiction cult film Soylent Green (1973) in which he dies in a euthanasia clinic while watching nature films on a wall-sized screen. Robinson was never nominated for an Academy Award, but in 1973 he was awarded an honorary Oscar in recognition that he had "achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts, and a dedicated citizen ... in sum, a Renaissance man".

December 6, 2009 | Permalink


About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.


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