February 15, 1918|
New York City, New York,
|Died||April 19, 2013
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Spouse(s)||Diane Arbus (1941–1969; divorced; 2 children)
Mariclare Costello (1977–2013; his death; 1 child)
Arbus was born in New York City, of Jewish background, the son of stockbroker Harry Arbus and his wife Rose (née Goldberg). He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he first developed an interest in acting while appearing in a student play.
During the 1940s, Arbus became a photographer for the United States Army. In 1946, after completing his military service, he and his first wife, photographer Diane Arbus (née Nemerov, whom he had married in 1941), started a photographic advertising business in Manhattan. Arbus was primarily known for advertising photography that appeared in Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines, as well as the weekly newspaper advertising photography for Russek's, a Fifth Avenue department store owned by Diane's father. Edward Steichen's noted photo exhibition The Family of Man includes a photograph credited to the couple. The Arbuses' professional partnership ended in 1956, when Diane quit the business; the couple formally separated three years later. Allan Arbus continued on for a number of years as a solo photographer, but was out of the business by the time the couple divorced in 1969.
After the breakup of his first marriage and the dissolution of his business, Arbus decided to leave photography behind and pursue a new career in acting. In 1969 he moved to California. His new career took off after he landed the lead role in Robert Downey Sr.'s cult film Greaser's Palace (1972), in which he appears with Robert Downey, Jr. (who would go on to star as Diane Arbus's muse in Fur, a fictional account of the end of the Arbuses' marriage). Arbus also starred opposite Bette Davis in Scream, Pretty Peggy in 1973, and was featured as Gregory LaCava in W.C. Fields and Me in 1976. These roles led to his casting as Maj. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H, although in an early episode, "Radar's Report" (1973), he was called "Milton Freedman".
Arbus's work on M*A*S*H helped his career as a character actor, and he eventually appeared in more than 70 TV shows and movies. He appears briefly in the 1973 film Cinderella Liberty as a drunken sailor; another 1973 film, Coffy (starring Pam Grier), features Arbus as a drug dealer with strange sexual needs; in the 1978 movie Damien: Omen II, he plays Pasarian, one of Damien's many victims in The Omen trilogy.
Arbus is far better known for his television work, which includes over 45 titles and works as recent as Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2000. Among Arbus's non-M*A*S*H TV work are guest and recurring roles in such television series as Law & Order, In the Heat of the Night, L.A. Law, Matlock, Starsky and Hutch, and Judging Amy.
Allan and Diane Arbus had two children, photographer Amy Arbus and writer and art director Doon Arbus. The couple separated in 1959 and divorced in 1969, two years before Diane Arbus's suicide in 1971.
|1977||Raid on Entebbe||Eli Melnick|
|1980||The Last Married Couple in America||Al Squib|
|1982||Quincy, M.E.||Dr. Ellerick||For Love of Joshua|
|M*A*S*H||Major Sidney Freedman & Major Milton Freedman||12 Episodes|
|1984||The World of Don Camillo||Christ||voice|
|1984||The Four Seasons||Boris Elliot||13 episodes|
|1985||Cagney & Lacey||Arthur Stacey||Violation|
|1985||Hardcastle and McCormick||Dr. Friedman||Do Not go Gentle|
|1986||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||Dr. Andreas Hellman||A Fighting Choice|
|1987||From the Hip||Phil Ames|
|1987||Daniel and the Towers||Simon 'Sam' Rodia|
|1987||Ohara||Sol Rostoff||The Intruders|
|1987||Duet||Mr. Coleman||Born, Bred and Buttered in Brooklyn|
|1987||Matlock||Peter Leoni||The Chef|
|1989||L.A. Law||Lawrence Stone||I'm in the Nude for Love|
|1989||The Preppie Murder||Arnold Domenitz|
|1989||Matlock||Aaron Mitchell||The Star|
|1989||When He's Not a Stranger||Judge Thomas J. Gray|
|1990||Hunter||Norman Tate||Unfinished Business|
|1990||Too Much Sun||Vincent|
|1991||Stat||Hesh Cooper||Safe Smuggling &
|Brooklyn Bridge||Dr. Schulman||3 episodes|
|1993||Law & Order||Dominique Keith||Animal Instinct|
|1993||Josh and S.A.M.||Businessman on plane|
|In The Heat of the Night||Dr. Atwill||Discovery
Little Girl Lost
|1994||Mad About You||Albert||The Last Scampi|
|1997||In Dark Places||Dory|
|1998||L.A. Doctors||Mr. Mitski||A Prayer for the living|
|1999||Making Contact||Father Time|
|1999||NYPD Blue||Seymore Epstein||Don't Meth with me|
|1999||Judging Amy||Judge Fowler||3 episodes|
|2000||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Uncle Nathan||The Group|
- "MASH actor Allan Arbus dies at 95". BBC News. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Bloom, Nate (2005-05-05). "Celebrity Jews". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
- Allan Arbus Biography (1918–)
- Boehm, Mike (2000-12-31). "Theater; Lured Back for One Last Great Role; Veteran actor Allan Arbus leaves a fulfilling retirement to take on an Arthur Miller part he found he couldn't resist.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
Arbus says he yearned to be an actor from his early teens, when he had a moment of special clarity while playing in a student production at DeWitt Clinton High School.
- Lubow, Arthur. "Arbus Reconsidered." New York Times, September 14, 2003. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Marshall, Peter. "Diane Arbus: Key Facts". About.com. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
- Trounson, Rebecca (April 23, 2013). "Allan Arbus dies at 95; played psychiatrist on 'MASH'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- "IMDb Filmography for Allan Arbus". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-07-01.