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Martin Balsam

Character Actor | * 11/04/1919 († 76, 02/13/1996) | Bronx, New York, USA
1,156
Martin Henry Balsam (November 4, 1919 – February 13, 1996) was an American actor who had a prolific career in character roles in film, in theatre, and on television. An early member of the Actors Studio, he began his career on the New York stage, winning a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for Robert Anderson’s You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running (1968). His best known film roles include Juror #1 in 12 Angry Men (1957), detective Milton Arbogast in Psycho (1960), Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns (1965) (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Colonel Cathcart in Catch-22 (1970), Mr. Green in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), Signor Bianchi in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), and Howard Simons in ()
Photo of Martin Balsam

He was born Martin Henry Balsam on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, NY. His father was a manufacturer of women's sportswear and he was his first-born child. Martin caught the acting bug in high school where he participated in the drama club. After high school, he continued his interest in acting by attending Manhattan's progressive New School. When World War II broke out, Martin was called to service in his early twenties. After the war, he was lucky to secure a position as an usher at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. By 1947, he was honing his craft at the Actor's Studio, run at that time by Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg. His time at the Actor's Studio in New York City allowed him training in the famous Stanislavsky method. Despite his excellent training, he had to prove himself, just like any up and coming young actor. He began on Broadway in the late 1940s. But, it wasn't until 1951 that he experienced real success. That play was Tennessee Williams "The Rose Tattoo". After his Broadway success, he had a few minor television roles before his big break arrived when he joined the cast of "On the Waterfront" (1954). In the 1950s, Martin had many television roles. He had recurring roles on some of the most popular television series of that time, including "the United States Steel Hour", "The Philco Television Playhouse", "Goodyear Television Playhouse" and "Studio One". In 1957, he was able to prove himself on the big-screen once again, with a prominent role in "12 Angry Men", directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda. All of Martin's TV work in the 1950s did not go to waste. While starring on a episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", Hitchcock was so impressed by his work, that he offered him a key supporting role of Detective Arbogast in "Psycho" (1960). His work with Hitchcock opened him up to a world of other acting opportunities. Many strong movie roles came his way in the 1960's, including parts in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961), "Cape Fear" (1961) and "The Carpetbaggers" (1964). One of the proudest moments in his life was when he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for "A Thousand Clowns" (1965). In was soon after that he began accepting roles in European movies. He soon developed a love for Italy, and lived there most of his remaining years. He acted in over a dozen Italian movies and spent his later life traveling between Hollywood and Europe for his many roles. After a career that spanned more than fifty years, Martin Balsam died of natural causes in his beloved Italy at the age of 76. He passed away of a heart attack at a hotel in Rome called Residenza di Repetta. He was survived by his third wife Irene Miller and three children, Adam, Zoe and Talia.

Most frequent genres for this person: Drama | Crime | Thriller

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for Martin Balsam

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor 2x BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture

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Movies with Martin Balsam as Actor(95)

as Det. Martin Balsam1994 The Silence of the Hams
as Callaghan (archive footage)1993 La Classe américaine
as Judge1991 Cape Fear
as Lawyer1990 The Last Match
as Mr. Pym1990 Two Evil Eyes
as Sheriff Virgil Baker1989 Innocent Prey
as Frather Howard1988 The Brother from Space
as Sidney Rosenberg1988 The Child Saver
as Cliff Dowling1987 P.I. Private Investigations
as Marty1987 Queenie
as Grandpa1987 Kids Like These
as Ben Kaplan1986 The Delta Force
as Dr. Beck1986 Second Serve
as Alexander Rostov1985 Murder in Space
as Mr. Beamish1985 St. Elmo's Fire
as Sen. Glancey1985 Space
as Jack1985 Grown Ups
as Bennett Cross1985 Death Wish 3
as Captain Steffanelli1981 The Salamander
as Joel Aurnou1981 The People vs. Jean Harris
as Questore Martorana1980 The Warning
as Elmer Babcock1980 There Goes The Bride
as Gen. Bello1979 Cuba
as Harry Strasberg1979 Aunt Mary
as Salluzzo1979 Gardenia
as Louis B. Mayer1978 Rainbow
as Henry Fancher1978 Siege
as Inspector Jim Grant1978 Eyes Behind the Stars
as Ernie Weinberg1977 Contract on Cherry Street
as Ira Davidoff1977 The Storyteller
as Joe Fiore1977 Silver Bears
as Rizzo1977 Blood and Diamonds
as Prof. Ruzinsky1977 The Sentinel
as Sam McKeever1976 Two-Minute Warning
as Giulianelli1976 Meet Him And Die
as Edward J. Reilly1976 The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case
as Howard Simons1976 All the President's Men
as Commissario1976 Death Rage
as Daniel Cooper1976 Raid on Entebbe
as Petrus Lamb1975 Cry, Onion!
as James Arthur Cummings1975 Mitchell
as Commissioner Katroni1975 Season For Assassins
as Carlo Goja1975 Smiling Maniacs
as Ben Montgomery1975 Miles to Go Before I Sleep
as Signor Bianchi1974 Murder on the Orient Express
as T.C. Hollister1974 Trapped Beneath the Sea
as Harry Walden1973 Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
as Dr. Rudy Wells1973 The Six Million Dollar Man
as Dr. Rudy Wells (uncredited) (archive footage)1973 The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War
as Al Vescari1973 The Stone Killer
as Don Antonio Macaluso1973 Counselor at Crime
as Jim Douglas1973 A Brand New Life
as Capt. Caleb Sark1972 Night of Terror
as Jim Talley1972 The Man
as Giudice Aldo Sola1972 Chronicle of a Homicide
as District Attorney Turrisi1972 The Hassled Hooker
as Haskins1971 The Anderson Tapes
as Commissario Bonavia1971 Confessions of a Police Captain
as Stanley Pulska1970 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf
as Col. Cathcart1970 Catch-22
as Mr. Merriweather1970 Little Big Man
as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel1970 Tora! Tora! Tora!
as Wade Hamilton1970 Hunters Are for Killing
as Uncle Harold1969 Me, Natalie
as Ivor Belli1969 Trilogy
as Mayor Wilker1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
as Michael Todd (voice)1968 Around the World of Mike Todd
as Henry Mendez1967 Hombre
as Harry1966 After the Fox
as Arnold Burns1965 A Thousand Clowns
as Richard Manley1965 Harlow
as Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.1965 The Bedford Incident
as Bernard B. Norman1964 The Carpetbaggers
as Paul Girard1964 Seven Days in May
as Sanford Kaufman1963 Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?
as Police Chief Mark Dutton1962 Cape Fear
as Joseph Feinberg1962 Conquered City
as O.J. Berman1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's
as Steve Jackson1961 Ada
as Det. Milton Arbogast1960 Psycho
as Sergente Quintino Fornaciari1960 Tutti a casa
as Mac Keeley, reporter1959 Al Capone
as Captain Mantell1958 Bomber's Moon
as Dr. David Harris1958 Marjorie Morningstar
as Sgt. Baker1957 Time Limit
as Juror 11957 12 Angry Men
as Gillette (uncredited)1954 On the Waterfront

TV Shows/Series with Martin Balsam as Actor(34)


Full Name: Martin Balsam
Born: Tuesday, 11/04 1919 (November) in The Bronx
Died: Tuesday, 02/13 1996 (February) in Rome (aged: 76)
Zodiac sign: Scorpio (Chinese zodiac sign: Goat)
Educated at: DeWitt Clinton High School, The New School
Spouses (current/former): Joyce Van Patten
Martin Balsam frequently works together with these people:
Jack Klugman (17x, Actor)
John Larch (16x, Actor)
William Shatner (15x, Actor)
Charles Aidman (15x, Actor)
Leo Penn (15x, Crew)
Ed Asner (14x, Actor)
Murray Hamilton (14x, Actor)
James Gregory (14x, Actor)
Simon Oakland (14x, Actor)
Edward Binns (14x, Actor)
Henry Beckman (14x, Actor)
Michael Winner (7x, Crew)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:663, Added: 03/23/2018, Last updated: 09/29/2020