Birth Date: November 16 1948
Birth Place: N/A
Noted for his compelling, chameleon-like portrayals while possessing the scariest-looking pair of eyes in the business, leathery Steve Railsback mesmerized us with a number of strange, often warped roles both on film and TV. The Dallas-born actor started pursuing his career as a student of Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio, becoming a regular fixture in NY theater in the late 60s and early 70s. While there he caught the attention of Elia Kazan, who offered him his film debut with The Visitors. It was his shockingly vivid TV role as cult leader and mass murderer Charles Manson in Helter Skelter, however, that had audiences riveted to their chairs and finally paying attention to this unreal performer. "Helter Skelter" would be the highest-rated TV movie at the time until "Roots" came along. Eager to avoid the psycho typecast, he complemented this with a memorable, much more humane performance in the mini-series From Here to Eternity tackling the role of Pruitt (formerly played by Montgomery Clift) and making it his own. His next big role as a fugitive who happens upon a film set in the bizarre black comedy The Stunt Man with the equally brilliant Peter O'Toole assured Hollywood that his award-worthy portrayal of Manson was no fluke.
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