Actor Rod Steiger was the intended recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the Marco Island Film Festival October 18-27, 2002. Steiger died unexpectedly July 9th at the age of 77 in a Los Angeles hospital.
His last film, “A Month of Sundays”, will be screened in this year’s festival and Pat Berry, Executive Director of the Marco Island film Festival, confirms that the actor will be honored posthumously for his enormous contribution to the entertainment industry.
In his own words, “The depth of a talent is measured by its longevity. If you’ve lasted over 20, 30 years, you’ve gotta have something.” As testament, Mr. Steiger appeared in over 120 films, and played such historical figures as Al Capone, Napoleon, Mussolini, W.C. Fields, Rasputin, and Pope John XXIII. Starting in television, Steiger appeared in more than 250 dramas from 1947 to 1953.
His career over the past 50 years began with his portrayal of a butcher in the television show “Marty”. He received Oscar nominations in three films, “On the Waterfront”, “The Pawnbroker”, and “In the Heat of the Night”, which earned a Best Actor Academy Award in 1967. Other films include “Doctor Zhivago”, “The Amityville Horror”, End of Days, “Mars Attacks!”, “Al Capone”, and “Waterloo”.
Mr. Steiger was once asked how he would like to die. He responded, “I don’t want to, but if it’s in front of a camera I wouldn’t mind.” Steiger requested his epitaph read “See you later.”
For more information on the Marco Island Film Festival, visit the official website.