Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJanuary 18, 1954, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseDorothy Marie Ogden
FactSon, John Ogden Greenstreet died March 4, 2004 at age 84.
PaymentsEarned $4,000 /week from Casablanca (1942)

Sydney Greenstreet was born on December 27, 1879, in Sandwich, Kent, England, the son of Ann (née Snell) and John Jarvis Greenstreet, a tanner. His siblings were Richard (born 1876), Ellen (born 1878), and John (born 1881). Greenstreet was educated at Queen’s College, Taunton, from 1890 to 1898. He began his acting career while still a student, appearing in various London productions.

Greenstreet made his film debut in 1915, appearing in The Man Who Was Thursday. He went on to appear in over 50 films, including Casablanca (1942), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and The African Queen (1951).

Greenstreet’s career was cut short by his death from cancer on January 18, 1954, at the age of 74. He was survived by his wife, actress Katherine Emery.

Greenstreet was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Casablanca and Best Actor for The African Queen. His net worth at the time of his death was estimated at $5 million.

General Info

Full NameSydney Greenstreet
DiedJanuary 18, 1954, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height1.75 m


SpouseDorothy Marie Ogden
ChildrenJohn Ogden Greenstreet
ParentsJohn Jack Greenstreet, Ann Greenstreet


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
MoviesCasablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Christmas in Connecticut, The Mask of Dimitrios, Passage to Marseille, Across the Pacific, Three Strangers, Background to Danger, The Verdict, Flamingo Road, The Conspirators, They Died with Their Boots On, The Hucksters, Malaya, Conflict, Ruthless, The Woman in White...

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Casablanca (1942)$4,000 /week


1The lens is the actor's best critic... showing his mind more clearly than on the stage. You can get wonderful cooperation out of the lens if you are true, but God help you if you are not. Pictures are much harder to do than the theater... You're at the mercy of the camera angles and the piecemeal technique.


1Karen Burroughs Hannsberry has a short biography of him in her book "Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir".
2His characters in ''The Maltese Falcon'' and ''Casablanca'' were the inspiration for the Star Wars character Jabba The Hutt.
3While appearing at Bryn Mawr College in '"As You Like it," his girth caused him to crash through the floor. after he emerged in sight of the audience, he delivered his next line without breaking stride.
4Greenstreet had a great theatrical career before making his film debut in "The Maltese Falcon." He is reported to have acted in every major Shakespearean play and committed 12,000 lines of Shakepearean verse to memory.
5Partially inspired the appearance of Jabba the Hut in the "Star Wars" series. When asked what the intergalactic gangster should look like by the designer, George Lucas replied, "A big blob, a huge mass of matter." The designer immediately thought of Greenstreet in Casablanca (1942). At one point during the production, a fez was placed on the final Jabba's head, to make him look like Greenstreet.
6His little-known Cyrus Redblock role was recycled into another same-name character for the series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), episode "The Big Good-Bye". Played fittingly by the late Lawrence Tierney.
7Of the only 23 movies he appeared in, nine were with co-star Peter Lorre.
8Author Tennessee Williams wrote his one-act play "The Last of My Solid Gold Watches" with Sydney Greenstreet in mind, and dedicated it to him.
9His film career lasted a mere eight years and ended more than fifty-five years ago, yet he is one of the best remembered and most recognizable of all film actors.
10Son, John Ogden Greenstreet died March 4, 2004 at age 84.
11Starred as the title character on NBC Radio's "The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe" (1950-1951).
12Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Utility Columbarium area of the Great Mausoleum (not accessible for public viewing).




Malaya1949The Dutchman
It's a Great Feeling1949Sydney Greenstreet (uncredited)
Flamingo Road1949Sheriff Titus Semple
The Velvet Touch1948Captain Danbury
The Woman in White1948Count Fosco
Ruthless1948Buck Mansfield
The Hucksters1947Evan Llewellyn Evans
That Way with Women1947James P. Alden
The Verdict1946Supt. George Edward Grodman
Devotion1946William Makepeace Thackeray
Three Strangers1946Jerome K. Arbutny
Christmas in Connecticut1945Alexander Yardley
Conflict1945Dr. Mark Hamilton
Pillow to Post1945Colonel Michael Otley
Hollywood Canteen1944Sydney Greenstreet
The Conspirators1944Ricardo Quintanilla
The Mask of Dimitrios1944Mr. Peters
Between Two Worlds1944Reverend Tim Thompson
Passage to Marseille1944Maj. Duval
Background to Danger1943Colonel Robinson
Casablanca1942Signor Ferrari
Across the Pacific1942Dr. H.F.G. Lorenz
They Died with Their Boots On1941Lt. General Winfield Scott
The Maltese Falcon1941Kasper Gutman


The Hucksters1947performer: "Over There" - uncredited
That Way with Women1947performer: "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" - uncredited

Archive Footage

Biography1996TV Series documentaryHimself / Various characters
John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick1988DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Hollywood: The Great Stars1963TV Movie documentaryActor 'The Maltese Falcon' (uncredited)


Nominated Awards

1942OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Maltese Falcon (1941)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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