awards & nominations

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Rod Steiger as "Bill Gillespie"

African-American Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is arrested on suspicion of murder by Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), the racist police chief of tiny Sparta, Mississippi. After Tibbs proves not only his own innocence but that of another man, he joins forces with Gillespie to track down the real killer. Their investigation takes them through every social level of the town, with Tibbs making enemies as well as unlikely friends as he hunts for the truth.

Academy Award (1967)WonActor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1967)WonForeign Actor
Golden Globe (1967)WonBest Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

The Pawnbroker (1964)

Rod Steiger as "Sol Nazerman"

Based on the novel by Edward Lewis Wallant, this drama focuses on former professor Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), the survivor of a German concentration camp who now runs a pawn shop in East Harlem. Having witnessed his family's death at the hands of the Nazis, he is embittered toward humanity and pushes away anyone around him, including his young Puerto Rican employee, Jesus (Jaime Sanchez). As Nazerman contends with his internal conflicts, the harsh realities of the city affect his life as well.

British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1966)WonForeign Actor
Academy Award (1965)NominatedActor
Golden Globe (1964)NominatedBest Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

On the Waterfront (1954)

Rod Steiger as "Charley"

Dockworker Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) had been an up-and-coming boxer until powerful local mob boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) persuaded him to throw a fight. When a longshoreman is murdered before he can testify about Friendly's control of the Hoboken waterfront, Terry teams up with the dead man's sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint) and the streetwise priest Father Barry (Karl Malden) to testify himself, against the advice of Friendly's lawyer, Terry's older brother Charley (Rod Steiger).

Academy Award (1954)NominatedActor in a Supporting Role