Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMarch 24, 1984, Beverly Hills, California, United States
SpouseBettye Ackerman, Lillian Taiz
MarkOften played very smart but eccentric characters
FactHis cousin Alma's grandson is NYC amateur comedian Jeremy Jacobs.

Sam Jaffe was born in New York City on March 10, 1891. His parents were both immigrants from Russia. His father was a tailor and his mother was a homemaker. He had two brothers and two sisters. He attended public schools in New York City and graduated from high school in 1909. He then attended the City College of New York, where he studied engineering. He graduated from CCNY in 1913 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

After graduation, Jaffe worked for a few years as an engineer for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company. He then began working in the film industry as an assistant director and editor. He eventually began directing films himself. Some of the films he directed include The Jazz Singer (1927), The Three Musketeers (1933), and Gunga Din (1939).

During his career, Jaffe won two Academy Awards. The first was for Best Director for The Jazz Singer (1927). The second was for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Jaffe retired from filmmaking in the early 1940s. He then became a successful real estate investor. At the time of his death in 1984, he was worth an estimated $20 million.

Jaffe never married or had any children.

General Info

Full NameSam Jaffe
DiedMarch 24, 1984, Beverly Hills, California, United States
ProfessionMusician, Actor, Teacher, Engineer
EducationColumbia University, City College of New York


SpouseBettye Ackerman, Lillian Taiz
ParentsAda Jaffe, Barnett Jaffe
SiblingsSophie Jaffe, Abraham Jaffe, Annie Jaffe


AwardsVolpi Cup for Best Actor
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance In A Supporting Role By An Actor
MoviesBen-Hur, The Asphalt Jungle, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Gunga Din, Lost Horizon, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Scarlet Empress, Gentleman's Agreement, The Barbarian and the Geisha, Battle Beyond the Stars, Nothing Lasts Forever, Guns for San Sebastian, The Dunwich Horror, 13 Rue Madeleine, I Can...
TV ShowsBen Casey

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Often played very smart but eccentric characters
2His unruly hair


1His nephew by his older brother Abraham Jaffe, was named after him. Both Sam Jaffes worked for ABC in the 1960's. The elder actor on Ben Casey and the younger nephew as ABC News Bureau Chief in Moscow and then Hong Kong. ABC put out a press release about the two Sam Jaffes'. There is an extensive & fascinating biography, Sam Jaffe, An Actor of Character written by his friend Arlene Lorrance. 2013 LP Publications His great niece is the photographer Deborah Jaffe.
2He was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist during the HUAC hearings. Although he had already been signed, 20th Century-Fox wanted to remove him from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Producer Julian Blaustein felt that Jaffe was so crucial for the role of the Albert Einstein-like Prof. Barnhardt that he appealed to studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck. Zanuck approved Jaffe for the role, but it was his last Hollywood film until the late 1950s.
3His cousin Alma's grandson is NYC amateur comedian Jeremy Jacobs.




Flying High1978TV SeriesDr. Alsdorf
Kojak1977TV SeriesPapa
The Bionic Woman1976TV SeriesAdmiral Richter
The Sad and Lonely Sundays1976TV MovieDr. Sweeny
Medical Story1975TV SeriesDr. Gershowitz
Harry O1975TV SeriesDr. Howard Cambridge
Columbo1975TV SeriesDr. Henry Willis
S.W.A.T.1975TV SeriesDr. Brunner
The Best of Times1974TV Movie
The Streets of San Francisco1974TV SeriesAlex Zubatuk
QB VII1974TV Mini-SeriesDr. Tessler
The Snoop Sisters1973TV SeriesIssac Waldersack
Saga of Sonora1973TV MovieOld Sam
Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law1972TV SeriesHenry Noll
Love, American Style1972TV SeriesMr. Palvecko (segment "Love and the Wishing Star")
Circle of Fear1972TV SeriesDe Witt
Alias Smith and Jones1971-1972TV SeriesSoapy Saunders
The Tell-Tale Heart1971ShortThe Old Man
Enemies1971TV MovieGittelman
Bedknobs and Broomsticks1971Bookman
Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster?1971TV MovieToby
The Old Man Who Cried Wolf1970TV MovieAbe Stillman
Quarantined1970TV MovieMr. Berryman
Nanny and the Professor1970TV SeriesDr. Lazko
The Dunwich Horror1970Old Whateley
Night Gallery1969TV SeriesBleum
The Great Bank Robbery1969Brother Lilac Bailey - Art Forger
Guns for San Sebastian1968Father Joseph
Tarzan1967TV SeriesDr. Singleton
A Guide for the Married Man1967Technical Adviser (Shrink)
Batman1966TV SeriesZoltan Zorba
Bonanza1966TV SeriesJoshua Norton
Daniel Boone1965TV SeriesJed Tolson
Ben Casey1961-1965TV SeriesDr. David Zorba
The Donna Reed Show1964TV Series
The Defenders1962TV SeriesDr. William Graham
Cain's Hundred1961TV SeriesLouis Speckter
The Law and Mr. Jones1960-1961TV SeriesMartin Berger
Naked City1961TV SeriesLazslo Lubasz
The Robert Herridge Theater1961TV SeriesMr. Bates
Alfred Hitchcock Presents1960-1961TV SeriesHal Ballew / The Abbot
The Untouchables1961TV SeriesLuigi Valcone
The Islanders1961TV SeriesPapa Mathews
Shirley Temple's Storybook1961TV SeriesZacharias
The Westerner1960TV SeriesOld Man McKeen
Play of the Week1960TV Series
Playhouse 901959-1960TV SeriesCarpenter / Schiller / Grandy
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse1959TV SeriesYounkers
The Barbarian and the Geisha1958Henry Heusken
Les espions1957Sam Cooper
Main Street to Broadway1953Sam Jaffe- First Nighter (uncredited)
The Day the Earth Stood Still1951Professor Jacob Barnhardt
I Can Get It for You Wholesale1951Sam Cooper
Under the Gun1951Samuel Gower
The Asphalt Jungle1950Doc Erwin Riedenschneider
The Big Story1949TV SeriesHal Studer
Rope of Sand1949Dr. Francis Hunter
The Accused1949Dr. Romley
Gentleman's Agreement1947Professor Fred Lieberman
13 Rue Madeleine1946Mayor Galimard
Stage Door Canteen1943Sam Jaffe
Gunga Din1939Gunga Din
Lost Horizon1937High Lama
We Live Again1934Gregory Simonson
The Scarlet Empress1934Grand Duke Peter
A Cheap Vacation1916Short
On the Line1984/IEl Gabacho
Nothing Lasts Forever1984Father Knickerbocker
The Love Boat1983TV SeriesProfessor Roscoe Weber
Foul Play1981TV SeriesBarbary Bob Norwood
Battle Beyond the Stars1980Dr. Hephaestus
Gideon's Trumpet1980TV Movie1st Supreme Court Justice
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century1980TV SeriesThe Keeper


George Burns Celebrates 80 Years in Show Business1983TV MovieHimself (uncredited)
The Moviemakers1983TV Series
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Huston1983TV SpecialHimself
Hollywood Greats1977-1979TV Series documentaryHimself
Mooch Goes to Hollywood1971TV MovieHimself - Party guest (uncredited)
The Andy Williams Show1970TV SeriesHimself
The Joey Bishop Show1968TV SeriesHimself
Here's Hollywood1962TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s and Us2005TV Movie documentaryProfessor Jacob Barnhardt (uncredited)
The Making of 'Lost Horizon'1999Video documentary shortHigh Lama (uncredited)
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryGrand Duke Peter, 'The Scarlet Empress' (uncredited)
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey1984DocumentaryHimself
The Horror Show1979TV Movie documentary
Tarzan's Jungle Rebellion1967Singleton
Hollywood Without Make-Up1963DocumentaryHimself


Won Awards

1950International AwardVenice Film FestivalBest ActorThe Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Nominated Awards

1962Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an ActorBen Casey (1961)
1951OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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