Otto Kruger (September 6, 1885 - September 6, 1974) was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.
Early life and education
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Kruger was of German descent. He was the son of Bernard Alben Kruger and Elizabeth Winers Kruger and the grandnephew of South African pioneer and president Paul Kruger.
Otto was musically trained, but switched careers and became an actor after studying engineering at the University of Michigan.
Though he played the hero on occasion, for most of his career, he played the main villain or a charming or corrupt businessman. One of his best known roles was in the Douglas Sirk film Magnificent Obsession (1954). Kruger played the supporting role of Judge Percy Mettrick, who unsuccessfully urges Will Kane to leave town in High Noon (1952). Kruger is also remembered for playing the villain Tobin in Alfred Hitchcock's spy film Saboteur (1942) and mob boss Stevens in the film noir 711 Ocean Drive (1950).
Kruger made four guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason. In his first two appearances, "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather" (1961) and "The Case of the Counterfeit Crank" (1962), he was cast as Mason's client, and in both episodes was the title character. In his final appearance, he played Judge Norris in "The Case of the Missing Button" (1964).
Personal life, later years and honours
On March 20, 1920, Kruger married Broadway actress Susan "Sue" MacManamy. Their daughter, Ottilie Kruger (1926-2005), was also an actress and was the first wife of pioneering cinematographer Gayne Rescher.