Alan Arkin

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Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin - 1975.jpg
Arkin in 1975
Born Alan Wolf Arkin
(1934-03-26) March 26, 1934 (age 80)
Brooklyn, New York, US
Occupation Actor, director, musician, singer
Years active 1957–present
Spouse(s) Jeremy Yaffe (1955–1961; divorced; 2 children)
Barbara Dana (1964–199?; divorced; 1 child)
Suzanne Newlander (1996–)

Alan Wolf Arkin (born March 26, 1934) is an American actor, director, musician and singer. He is known for starring in such films as Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Little Miss Sunshine, and Argo. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performances in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Little Miss Sunshine and Argo, winning the award in 2007 for the former. He is the father of actors Adam Arkin, Anthony Arkin, and Matthew Arkin.

Early life[edit]

Arkin was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of David I. Arkin, a painter and writer, and his wife, Beatrice (Wortis), a teacher.[1] He was raised in a Jewish family with "no emphasis on religion". His grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine, Russia, and Germany.[2][3] His parents moved to Los Angeles when Alan was 11,[2] but an eight-month Hollywood strike cost his father his job as a set designer. During the 1950s Red Scare, Arkin's parents were accused of being Communists, and his father was fired when he refused to answer questions about his political ideology. David Arkin challenged the dismissal, but he was only vindicated after his death.[4]

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Arkin in Popi (1969) (trailer on YouTube)

Arkin, who had been taking acting lessons since age 10, became a scholarship student at various drama academies, including one run by the Stanislavsky student Benjamin Zemach, who taught Arkin a psychological approach to acting.[5] Arkin attended Los Angeles City College from 1951 to 1953. He also attended Bennington College. With two friends, he formed the folk music group The Tarriers, in which Arkin sang and played guitar. The band members co-composed the group's 1956 hit "The Banana Boat Song", a reworking, with some new lyrics, of a traditional, Jamaican calypso folk song of the same name, combined with another titled "Hill and Gully Rider".[6] It reached #4 on the Billboard magazine chart the same year as Harry Belafonte's better-known hit version.[7] The group appeared in the 1957 Calypso-exploitation film Calypso Heat Wave, singing "Banana Boat Song" and "Choucoune".[citation needed]

From 1958 to 1968, Arkin performed and recorded with the children's folk group, The Baby Sitters.[8] He also performed the role of Dr. Pangloss in a concert staging of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide, alongside Madeline Kahn's Cunegonde. Arkin was an early member of The Second City comedy troupe in the 1960s.[9] Arkin and his second wife, Barbara Dana, appeared together on the 1970–71 season of Sesame Street as a comical couple named Larry and Phyllis who resolve their conflicts when they remember how to pronounce the word "cooperate." In 1985, he sang two selections by Jones & Schmidt on Ben Bagley's album Contemporary Broadway Revisited.

Acting[edit]

With Shirley Knight in TV special, The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978)

Arkin is one of only six[10] actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance (for The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1966). Two years later, he was again nominated, for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

In 1968, he appeared in the title role of Inspector Clouseau, after Peter Sellers disassociated himself from the role, but the film was not well received by Sellers' fans.

His best known films include his Oscar-nominated Wait Until Dark, as the erudite killer stalking Audrey Hepburn; The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter; Catch-22; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Little Murders; The In-Laws; Glengarry Glen Ross; and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; and Argo. His portrayal of Dr. Oatman, a scared and emotionally conflicted psychiatrist treating John Cusack's hit man character Martin Q. Blank in Grosse Point Blank was also well received.

His role in Little Miss Sunshine, as Grandfather Edwin, who was foul-mouthed and had a taste for heroin, won him the BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. On receiving his Academy Award on February 25, 2007, Arkin said, "More than anything, I'm deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection".[11] At 72 years old, Arkin was the sixth oldest winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

In 2006–07, Arkin was cast in supporting roles in Rendition as a US senator and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause as Bud Newman (Carol's Dad), starring with Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson.

On Broadway, Arkin starred in Enter Laughing, for which he won a Tony Award, and Luv. He also directed The Sunshine Boys, among others.

Directing[edit]

Arkin's directorial debut, in 1969, was a 12-minute children's film, People Soup, starring his sons Adam Arkin and Matthew Arkin. Based on a story of the same name he published in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1958, People Soup is a fantasy about two boys who experiment with various kitchen ingredients until they concoct a magical soup which transforms them into different animals and objects.

Arkin with his wife Suzanne at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

Arkin's most acclaimed directorial effort is Little Murders, released in 1971. Written by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, Little Murders is a black comedy film starring Elliott Gould and Marcia Rodd about a girl, Patsy (Rodd), who brings home her boyfriend, Alfred (Gould), to meet her severely dysfunctional family amidst a series of random shootings, garbage strikes and electrical outages ravaging the neighborhood. The film opened to a lukewarm review by Roger Greenspan,[12] and a more positive one by Vincent Canby[13] in the New York Times. Roger Ebert's review in the Chicago Sun Times was more enthusiastic, saying, "One of the reasons it works, and is indeed a definitive reflection of America's darker moods, is that it breaks audiences down into isolated individuals, vulnerable and uncertain."[14]

Arkin also directed Fire Sale (1977), Samuel Beckett Is Coming Soon (1993) and Arigo (2000).

Writing[edit]

Arkin is the author of many books, including the children's stories Tony's Hard Work Day (illustrated by James Stevenson, 1972), The Lemming Condition (illustrated by Joan Sandin, 1976), Halfway Through the Door: An Actor's Journey Toward Self (1979) and The Clearing (1986 continuation of Lemming). In March 2011, he released his memoir, An Improvised Life.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Arkin has been married three times. He and Jeremy Yaffe (m. 1955-61) have two sons: Adam Arkin, born August 19, 1956, and Matthew Arkin, born March 21, 1959. In 1967, Arkin had son Anthony (Tony) Dana Arkin with actress-screenwriter Barbara Dana (m. 1964-mid 1990s). In 1996, Arkin married psychotherapist, Suzanne Newlander.[4] They live in Carlsbad, California.

Filmography[edit]

Film

Year Title Role Other notes
1957 Calypso Heat Wave Tarriers lead singer (uncredited)
1966 Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, TheThe Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming Lt. Rozanov Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Male Comedy Performance
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
1967 Woman Times Seven Fred segment: The Suicides
Wait Until Dark Roat
Roat Jr.
Roat Sr.
1968 Inspector Clouseau Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, TheThe Heart Is a Lonely Hunter John Singer Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
1969 Popi Abraham Rodriguez Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Monitors, TheThe Monitors Himself (cameo)
1970 Catch-22 Capt. John Yossarian Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
1971 Little Murders Lt. Practice (also directed)
1972 Last of the Red Hot Lovers Barney Cashman
1973 Deadhead Miles Cooper
1974 Freebie and the Bean Bean
1975 Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins Gunny Rafferty (also released as Rafferty and the Highway Hustlers)
Hearts of the West Burt Kessler New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1976 Seven-Per-Cent Solution, TheThe Seven-Per-Cent Solution Dr. Sigmund Freud
1977 Fire Sale Ezra Fikus (also directed)
1979 In-Laws, TheThe In-Laws Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.
Magician of Lublin, TheThe Magician of Lublin Yasha Mazur
1980 Simon Prof. Simon Mendelssohn Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
1981 Full Moon High Dr. Brand
Improper Channels Jeffrey Martley Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
Chu Chu and the Philly Flash Flash
1982 Last Unicorn, TheThe Last Unicorn Schmendrick (voice only)
1983 Return of Captain Invincible, TheThe Return of Captain Invincible Captain Invincible
1985 Joshua Then and Now Reuben Shapiro Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Bad Medicine Dr. Ramón Madera
1986 Big Trouble Leonard Hoffman
1987 Escape from Sobibor Leon Feldhendler
1990 Coupe de Ville Fred Libner
Edward Scissorhands Bill Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Havana Joe Volpi
1991 Rocketeer, TheThe Rocketeer A. "Peevy" Peabody
1992 Glengarry Glen Ross George Aaronow Valladolid International Film Festival Best Actor Award
1993 Indian Summer Unca Lou Handler
So I Married an Axe Murderer Police Captain (uncredited)
Samuel Beckett is Coming Soon The Director (also directed)
1994 North Judge Buckle
1995 Picture Windows Tully segment: Soir Bleu
The Jerky Boys: The Movie Ernie Lazarro
Steal Big Steal Little Lou Perilli
1996 Heck's Way Home Dogcatcher
Mother Night George Kraft
1997 Grosse Pointe Blank Dr. Oatman
Four Days in September Charles Burke Elbrick
Gattaca Det. Hugo
1998 Slums of Beverly Hills Murray Samuel Abromowitz
1999 Jakob the Liar Max Frankfurter
2000 Magicians Milo (direct-to-video)
2001 America's Sweethearts Wellness Guide
Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Gene Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2004 Eros Dr. Pearl
Hal
segment: Equilibrium
Noel Artie Venizelos
2006 Novice, TheThe Novice Father Benkhe
Firewall Arlin Forester
Little Miss Sunshine Edwin Hoover Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Prism Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Bud Newman
Raising Flagg Flagg Purdy
2007 Rendition Senator Hawkins
2008 Sunshine Cleaning Joe
Get Smart The Chief
Marley & Me Arnie Klein
2009 Private Lives of Pippa Lee, TheThe Private Lives of Pippa Lee Herb
City Island Michael Malakov (drama coach)
2011 Thin Ice Gorvy Hauer
Change-Up, TheThe Change-Up Mitch's Dad
Muppets, TheThe Muppets Tour Guide (cameo)
2012 Argo Lester Siegel Hollywood Film Award for Ensemble of the Year
Palm Springs International Film Festival Ensemble Cast Award
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Stand Up Guys Richard Hirsch
2013 The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Rance Holloway
Grudge Match Lightning
In Security Police officer cameo
2014 Million Dollar Arm Ray Poitevint
2015 Wild Oats

Television movies/miniseries

Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Other Side of Hell Frank Dole (TV movie premiering January 17, 1978)
Defection of Simas Kudirka, TheThe Defection of Simas Kudirka Simas Kudirka (TV movie premiering January 23, 1978)
1985 The Fourth Wise Man Orontes (TV movie premiering March 1985)
1986 A Deadly Business Harold Kaufman TV
1987 Escape from Sobibor Leon Feldhendler Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
1988 Necessary Parties Archie Corelli (TV movie)
1993 Cooperstown Harry Willette (TV movie premiering Jan. 1993)
Nominated — Cable ACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
Taking the Heat Tommy Canard (TV movie premiering June 1993)
1994 Doomsday Gun Col. Yossi (TV movie premiering July 23, 1994)
1999 Blood Money Willy "The Hammer" Canzaro (TV movie)
2001 Varian's War Freier (TV movie premiering April 2001)
2003 Pentagon Papers, TheThe Pentagon Papers Harry Rowen (TV movie)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself Sam Drebben (TV movie)
2004 Noel Artie Venzuela (TV movie)

Television appearances

Year Title Role Notes
1964 East Side/West Side Ted Miller episode: The Beatnik and the Politician
1966 ABC Stage 67 Barney Kempinski The Love Song of Barney Kempinski
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama
1970–71 Sesame Street Larry unknown episodes
1979 Carol Burnett & Company Himself episode: Episode #1.2
1980 The Muppet Show Himself Season 4, episode 20
1983 St. Elsewhere Jerry Singleton episode: Ties That Bind
episode: Lust En Veritas
episode: Newheart
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre Bo episode: The Emperor's New Clothes
1987 Harry Harry Porschak 7 episodes
1997 Chicago Hope Zoltan Karpathein episode: The Son Also Rises
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
2001–02 100 Centre Street Joe Rifkind 10 episodes
2005 Will & Grace Marty Adler episode: It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alan Arkin Biography". filmReference.com. Retrieved May 12, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Sierchio, Pat (February 16, 2007). "Alan Arkin—not just another kid From Brooklyn". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Actor brings creative ways to Honolulu for workshops | The Honolulu Advertiser | Hawaii's Newspaper". The Honolulu Advertiser. 2004-01-27. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Alan Arkin biography". Yahoo! Movies. 2008. Archived from the original on December 16, 2006. Retrieved December 9, 2006. 
  5. ^ Farrell, Barry. "Yossarian in Connecticut: Since Catch-22, actor's actor Alan Arkin finally stars as ... Alan Arkin" Life magazine. October 1970.
  6. ^ Lovece, Frank. "Fast Chat: Alan Arkin". New York Newsday. January 7, 2007.
  7. ^ FolkEra.com: The Tarriers. FolkEra.com.
  8. ^ "Alan Arkin Biography". Hollywood.com. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  9. ^ Rabin, Nathan (August 2, 2006). "Interview: Alan Arkin". The Onion AV Club. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  10. ^ Best Actor. FilmSite.org.
  11. ^ "Dreamgirl" Jennifer Hudson Wins Oscar. NewsMax.com, February 26, 2007.
  12. ^ Little Murders Is Back as Film Arkin Directed
  13. ^ Canby, Vincent (February 21, 1971). "What's So Funny? Murders". New York: New York Times. p. D1. Little Murders succeeds, at times triumphantly, and it does everything more or less backwards. 
  14. ^ "Roger Ebert's review". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  15. ^ "Alan Arkin Biography - life, family, children, name, story, school, mother, young, son - Newsmakers Cumulation". Notablebiographies.com. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 

External links[edit]

Videos[edit]