Wonderfully talented German-born actor, capable of tremendous comedic and dramatic performances, usually as some type of pompous bureaucrat or similarly arrogant individual. Ruman was born on October 11, 1884, in Hamburg, Germany, and actually studied electrotechnology in college before making the switch to acting. He served with the Imperial German Forces in World War I before coming to the United States in 1924. He became friendly with playwright George S. Kaufman and critic Alexander Woollcott and was regularly appearing in high-quality stage productions on Broadway.
With the advent of talkies, he was kept very busy in the cinema and became a favorite of the Marx Brothers, appearing as stiff-shirted NYC opera owner Herman Gottlieb in the comedy classic A Night at the Opera (1935). He played a know-it-all surgeon crossing swords with Groucho Marx over what exactly was wrong with hypochondriac Margaret Dumont in A Day at the Races (1937). and a dual role in A Night in Casablanca… read more