Rod Steiger

photo by Pprhotos

Birth Name: Rodney Stephen Steiger

Date of Birth: April 14, 1925

Place of Birth: Westhampton, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: July 9, 2002

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: German, Austrian/Moravian

Rod Steiger was an American actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for In the Heat of the Night (1967).

He was the son of Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, who were vaudevillians. He had German and Austrian/Moravian ancestry. Rod was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He had a daughter, opera singer Anna Steiger, with his former wife, British actress Claire Bloom; and a son with his former wife Paula Ellis.

Rod’s paternal grandfather was Frederick J. Steiger (the son of Jacob Steiger and Freida Gehrbach). Frederick was born in Germany.

Rod’s paternal grandmother was Anna/Annie A. Libschick/Libshik (the daughter of Frank Libschik/Libshik/Lipschik and Maria/Marie/Mary Whisodil/Wisodil/Wissdil/Vychodil/Visogel). Anna was born in Austria, to a mother who was from Olomouc, Moravia, now in the Czech Republic.

Rod’s maternal grandfather was named Frank Driver (possibly Frank Herman Driver).

Rod’s maternal grandmother was named Amelia/Amy Fesler/Titchler.

Rod was sometimes described as having a Jewish father. However, Rod’s father does not appear to have been of Jewish heritage. Rod was also sometimes said to have French and Scottish ancestry. It is not clear if that is accurate.

Sources: Rod Steiger on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Rod’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Rod’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Rod’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Rod’s paternal grandparents, Frederick J. Steiger and Anna/Annie A. Libschick/Libshik, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Immigration record of Rod’s paternal great-grandmother, Maria/Marie/Mary (Whisodil/Wisodil/Wissdil/Vychodil/Visogel) Libschik/Libshik/Lipschik –

Genealogy of Rod Steiger (focusing on his mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. madman says:

    His grandmother Anna was Polish.

  2. andrew says:

    He played Mussolini

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