Sig Ruman was a German-American actor known for his portrayals of pompous and often stereotypical Teutonic officials or villains. Ruman made his film debut in Lucky Boy (1929). He became a favorite of the Marx Brothers, appearing in A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, and A Night in Casablanca. His German accent and large stature kept him busy during World War II, playing sinister Nazi characters in a series of wartime thrillers. During this period, he also appeared in several films by director Ernst Lubitsch including Ninotchka and To Be or Not to Be. Ruman continued playing over-the-top German characters later in his career for Billy Wilder in The Emperor Waltz, Stalag 17, and The Fortune Cookie.