Martin Balsam

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Martin Balsam
Martin-balsam-trailer.jpg
Martin Balsam in trailer for "The Carpetbaggers" (1964)
BornMartin Henry Balsam
(1919-11-04)November 4, 1919
Bronx, New York City,
New York, USA
DiedFebruary 13, 1996(1996-02-13) (aged 76)
Rome, Italy
Resting place
Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, New Jersey
Alma materDeWitt Clinton High School
OccupationActor
Years active1947–1995
Spouse(s)Pearl Somner (1952–1954)
Joyce Van Patten (1957–1962; 1 child)
Irene Miller (1963–1987; 2 children)
ChildrenTalia Balsam, born 1959
Adam Balsam
Zoe Balsam
 
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Martin Balsam
Martin-balsam-trailer.jpg
Martin Balsam in trailer for "The Carpetbaggers" (1964)
BornMartin Henry Balsam
(1919-11-04)November 4, 1919
Bronx, New York City,
New York, USA
DiedFebruary 13, 1996(1996-02-13) (aged 76)
Rome, Italy
Resting place
Cedar Park Cemetery in Emerson, New Jersey
Alma materDeWitt Clinton High School
OccupationActor
Years active1947–1995
Spouse(s)Pearl Somner (1952–1954)
Joyce Van Patten (1957–1962; 1 child)
Irene Miller (1963–1987; 2 children)
ChildrenTalia Balsam, born 1959
Adam Balsam
Zoe Balsam

Martin Henry Balsam (November 4, 1919 – February 13, 1996)[1] 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.

Early life[edit]

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.[2][3] He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where he participated in the drama club.[2] 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.

Career[edit]

Martin Balsam (r) on the set of Unknown Soldier, 1995

Martin Balsam made his professional debut in August 1941 in a production of The Play's the Thing in Locust Valley.[4] In early 1948, he was selected by Elia Kazan to be a member in the recently formed Actors Studio.[5] 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 1960, he appeared in one of his most famous roles as Detective Arbogast in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho.

Along with Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, Martin Balsam appeared in both the original Cape Fear (1962), and the 1991 Martin Scorsese remake.

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.[6] 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.

Filmography[edit]

YearFilmRoleNotes
1954On the WaterfrontGilletteuncredited
195712 Angry MenJuror #1
Time LimitSergeant Baker
1958Marjorie MorningstarDr. David Harris
1959Al CaponeMac Keeley, reporter
Middle of the NightJack
1960PsychoDetective Milton Arbogast
Everybody Go HomeSergente Quintino Fornaciari
1961AdaSteve Jackson
Breakfast at Tiffany'sO.J. Berman
1962Cape FearPolice Chief Mark Dutton
Conquered CityJoseph Feinberg
1963Who's Been Sleeping in My BedSanford Kaufman
1964Seven Days in MayPaul Girard
The CarpetbaggersBernard B. NormanNational Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Youngblood Hawkecameouncredited
1965HarlowEverett Redman
The Bedford IncidentLt. Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D.
A Thousand ClownsArnoldAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Laurel Award for Top Male Supporting Performance
1966After the FoxHarry Granoff
1967HombreMendez
1969Me, NatalieUncle Harold
The Good Guys and the Bad GuysMayor Wilker
TrilogyIvor Bellisegment: Among the Paths to Eden
1970Catch-22Colonel Cathcart
Tora! Tora! Tora!Admiral Husband E. Kimmel
Little Big ManMr. Merriweather
1971Confessions of a Police CaptainCommissario Bonavia
The Anderson TapesTommy Haskins
1972Chronicle of a HomicideGiudice Aldo Sola
The Hassled HookerDistrict Attorney Turrisi
The ManJim Talley
1973The Stone KillerAl Vescari
Counselor at CrimeDon Antonio Macaluso
Summer Wishes, Winter DreamsHarry WaldenNominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1974The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeHarold Longman (AKA: Green)Nominated-BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Murder on the Orient ExpressBianchi
1975Smiling ManiacsCarlo Goja
Cipolla ColtPetrus Lamb
MitchellJames Arthur Cummings
Il tempo degli assassiniCommissioner Katroni
1976All the President's MenHoward SimonsNominated-BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Meet Him and DieGiulianelli
Death RageCommissario
Two-Minute WarningSam McKeever
1977The SentinelProfessor Ruzinsky
1978Eyes Behind the StarsIra Davidoff
Silver BearsJoe Flore
1979GardeniaSalluzzo
CubaGeneral Bello
1980There Goes the BrideElmer Babcock
The WarningQuestore Martorana
1981The SalamanderCaptain Steffanelli
1984The Goodbye PeopleMax Silverman
1985St. Elmo's FireMr. Beamish
Death Wish 3Bennett
1986The Delta ForceBen Kaplan
Whatever It TakesHap Perchicksky
1987P.I. Private InvestigationsCliff Dowling
Brothers in BloodMajor Briggs
1988The Brother from SpaceFather Howard
1990The Last MatchLawyer
1991Cape FearJudge
1994The Silence of the HamsDetective Martin Balsam
1996Unknown Soldier original Italian title Soldato IgnotoMilitary Priest
1997Legend of the Spirit DogGramps

Personal life[edit]

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.[2]

Death[edit]

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.[7] He was survived by his three children and Renee Landau, his companion.[2]

Awards[edit]

National Board of Review

Academy Awards

Tony Awards

Golden Globe Awards

BAFTA Awards

Primetime Emmy Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b c d The New York Times, February 14, 1996: "Martin Balsam Is Dead at 76; Ubiquitous Character Actor" Retrieved 2012-06-15
  3. ^ Great Character Actors
  4. ^ Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "BALSAM, Martin". Who's Who in the Theatre 1. Gale Research Company. pp. 39–40. ISSN 0083-9833. 
  5. ^ 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." 
  6. ^ All the President's Men (1976)
  7. ^ "Sometimes the Grave Is a Fine and Public Place". New York Times. March 28, 2004. 

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