German character actor Sig Ruman brought his imposing size and strong accent to numerous roles in American films from the '30s into the '60s, often playing arrogant officials and threatening Nazis. Born Siegfried Albon Rumann, he studied electrical engineering and served in the German army during World War I before immigrating to the United States in 1924. A friend of renowned playwright George S. Kaufman, he became a regular on Broadway by the end of the decade and began appearing in films. Cast for his Germanic presence, he earned regular spots in Marx Brothers pictures including "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races" and the famed comedies of legendary director Ernst Lubtisch such as "Ninotchka" and "To Be or Not to Be". With the advent of World War II, he saw many Nazi roles come his way, including perhaps his most memorable performance as a POW guard in Billy Wilder's acclaimed drama "Stalag 17", while simultaneously shortening his name to appear slightly less German to critical American wartime audiences. Though his health failed in his later years, he persisted through the '50s and into the 1960s as a frequent guest star in television series including such hits as "Maverick" and "The Addams Family".