Martin Balsam in trailer for "The Carpetbaggers" (1964)
|Born||Martin Henry Balsam
November 4, 1919
Bronx, New York City,
New York, USA
|Died||February 13, 1996
|Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||DeWitt Clinton High School|
|Spouse(s)||Pearl Somner (1952–1954)
Joyce Van Patten (1957–1962; 1 child)
Irene Miller (1963–1987; 2 children)
|Children||Talia Balsam, born 1959
Martin Henry Balsam (November 4, 1919 – February 13, 1996) was an American actor. He is known for his Oscar-winning role as Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns and his role as private investigator Milton Arbogast in Psycho.
Martin Balsam was born in Bronx borough of New York City to Jewish parents, Lillian (née Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, who was a manufacturer of ladies sportswear. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where he participated in the drama club. He studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator and then served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.
Martin Balsam made his professional debut in August 1941 in a production of The Play's the Thing in Locust Valley. In early 1948, he was selected by Elia Kazan to be a member in the recently formed Actors Studio. Balsam would go on to perform in several episodes of the Studio's dramatic television anthology series, broadcast between September 1948 and 1950. He appeared in many other television drama series, including Decoy with Beverly Garland, The Twilight Zone (episodes "The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine" and "The New Exhibit"), as a psychologist in the pilot episode, Five Fingers, Target: The Corruptors!, The Eleventh Hour, Breaking Point, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Fugitive, and Mr. Broadway, as a retired U.N.C.L.E. agent in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode, "The Odd Man Affair", and guest starred in the two-part Murder, She Wrote episode, "Death Stalks the Big Top". He also appeared in the "Route 66" episode, "Somehow it Gets to be Tomorrow".
Balsam appeared in such films as On the Waterfront, 12 Angry Men (as Juror #1), Time Limit, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Carpetbaggers, Seven Days in May, The Anderson Tapes, Hombre, Catch-22, Tora! Tora! Tora! (as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel), Little Big Man, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, All the President's Men, Murder on the Orient Express,The Delta Force, and The Goodbye People.
In 1965, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns. In 1968, he won a Tony Award for his appearance in the 1967 Broadway production of You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running.
Balsam played Washington Post editor Howard Simons in the 1976 blockbuster All the President's Men. He also appeared in a film that eventually became a highly popular Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, the 1975 Joe Don Baker police drama Mitchell. In 1973, he played Dr. Rudy Wells when the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg was adapted as the TV-movie, The Six Million Dollar Man, though he did not reprise the role for the subsequent weekly series. He appeared as a spokesman/hostage in the 1976 TV movie Raid on Entebbe and as a detective in the 1977 TV movie Contract on Cherry Street. He also appeared on an episode of Quincy ME. Balsam starred as Murray Klein on the All in the Family spin-off Archie Bunker's Place for two seasons (1979–1981). He even filled in for Charles Nelson Reilly on Match Game for one question when Reilly was late for a taping.
|1954||On the Waterfront||Gillette||uncredited|
|1957||12 Angry Men||Juror #1|
|Time Limit||Sergeant Baker|
|1958||Marjorie Morningstar||Dr. David Harris|
|1959||Al Capone||Mac Keeley, reporter|
|Middle of the Night||Jack|
|1960||Psycho||Detective Milton Arbogast|
|Everybody Go Home||Sergente Quintino Fornaciari|
|Breakfast at Tiffany's||O.J. Berman|
|1962||Cape Fear||Police Chief Mark Dutton|
|Conquered City||Joseph Feinberg|
|1963||Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed||Sanford Kaufman|
|1964||Seven Days in May||Paul Girard|
|The Carpetbaggers||Bernard B. Norman||National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|The Bedford Incident||Lt. Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D.|
|A Thousand Clowns||Arnold||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Laurel Award for Top Male Supporting Performance
|1966||After the Fox||Harry Granoff|
|1969||Me, Natalie||Uncle Harold|
|The Good Guys and the Bad Guys||Mayor Wilker|
|Trilogy||Ivor Belli||segment: Among the Paths to Eden|
|Tora! Tora! Tora!||Admiral Husband E. Kimmel|
|Little Big Man||Mr. Merriweather|
|1971||Confessions of a Police Captain||Commissario Bonavia|
|The Anderson Tapes||Tommy Haskins|
|1972||Chronicle of a Homicide||Giudice Aldo Sola|
|The Hassled Hooker||District Attorney Turrisi|
|The Man||Jim Talley|
|1973||The Stone Killer||Al Vescari|
|Counselor at Crime||Don Antonio Macaluso|
|Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams||Harry Walden||Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture|
|1974||The Taking of Pelham One Two Three||Harold Longman (AKA: Green)||Nominated-BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|Murder on the Orient Express||Bianchi|
|1975||Smiling Maniacs||Carlo Goja|
|Cipolla Colt||Petrus Lamb|
|Mitchell||James Arthur Cummings|
|Il tempo degli assassini||Commissioner Katroni|
|1976||All the President's Men||Howard Simons||Nominated-BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|Meet Him and Die||Giulianelli|
|Two-Minute Warning||Sam McKeever|
|1977||The Sentinel||Professor Ruzinsky|
|1978||Eyes Behind the Stars||Ira Davidoff|
|Silver Bears||Joe Flore|
|1980||There Goes the Bride||Elmer Babcock|
|The Warning||Questore Martorana|
|1981||The Salamander||Captain Steffanelli|
|1984||The Goodbye People||Max Silverman|
|1985||St. Elmo's Fire||Mr. Beamish|
|Death Wish 3||Bennett|
|1986||The Delta Force||Ben Kaplan|
|Whatever It Takes||Hap Perchicksky|
|1987||P.I. Private Investigations||Cliff Dowling|
|Brothers in Blood||Major Briggs|
|1988||The Brother from Space||Father Howard|
|1990||The Last Match||Lawyer|
|1994||The Silence of the Hams||Detective Martin Balsam|
|1996||Unknown Soldier original Italian title Soldato Ignoto||Military Priest|
|1997||Legend of the Spirit Dog||Gramps|
In 1951, Balsam married his first wife, actress Pearl Somner. They divorced three years later. His second wife was actress Joyce Van Patten. This marriage lasted for four years (from 1958 until 1962) and had one daughter, Talia Balsam. He married his third wife, Irene Miller, in 1963. They divorced in 1987 and had two children, Adam and Zoe Balsam.
On February 13, 1996, Balsam died of a sudden stroke in his hotel room in Rome, Italy, while on vacation. He was 76. Balsam is interred at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey. He was survived by his three children and Renee Landau, his companion.
- (1964) Best Supporting Actor – The Carpetbaggers (Won)
- (1966) Best Actor in a Supporting Role – A Thousand Clowns (Won)
- (1968) Best Actor in a Play – You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running (Won)
- (1974) Best Supporting Actor – Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (Nominated)
- (1976) Best Supporting Actor – The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Nominated)
- (1977) Best Supporting Actor – All the President's Men (Nominated)
- (1977) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie – Raid on Entebbe (Nominated)
- "Balsam, Martin Henry". Who Was Who in America : with World Notables, v. XI (1993–1996). New Providence, N.J.: Marquis Who's Who. 1996. p. 13. ISBN 0837902258.
- The New York Times, February 14, 1996: "Martin Balsam Is Dead at 76; Ubiquitous Character Actor" Retrieved 2012-06-15
- Great Character Actors
- Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "BALSAM, Martin". Who's Who in the Theatre 1. Gale Research Company. pp. 39–40. ISSN 0083-9833.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Birth of The Actors Studio: 1947–1950". A Player's Place: The Story of the Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. "Others usually considered founding members in Kazan's group were added in the early months of 1948. They include Martin Balsam, Kim Hunter, and Vivian Nathan."
- All the President's Men (1976)
- "Sometimes the Grave Is a Fine and Public Place". New York Times. March 28, 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Martin Balsam.|
- Martin Balsam at the Internet Movie Database
- Martin Balsam at the Internet Broadway Database
- Martin Balsam at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Martin Balsam at AllMovie