Martin Balsam

4 Nov 1919 - 13 Feb 1996

Actor

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.

Photos

No photos.

Filmography (52 titles)

(movie, 1994)
···Il silenzio dei prosciutti
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Det. Martin Balsam)
(movie, 1991)
···Cape Fear
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Judge)
(movie, 1990)
···Due occhi diabolici
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Mr. Pym)
(movie, 1988)
···Fratello dello spazio
Genre: Science Fiction
Role: Actor (as Father Howard)
(movie, 1986)
···The Delta Force
Genre: Action, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Ben Kaplan)
(movie, 1986)
···Second Serve
Genre: Drama, Sport, Biography
Role: Actor (as Dr. Beck)
(movie, 1985)
···Death Wish 3
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Bennett Cross)
(movie, 1985)
···St. Elmo's Fire
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Role: Actor (as Mr. Beamish)
(mini-series, 1985)
···La piovra 2
Genre: Drama, Crime
Role: Actor (as Frank Carrisi)
(movie, 1985)
···Murder in Space
Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Alexander Rostov)
(movie, 1984)
···Innocent Prey
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Sheriff Virgil Baker)
(movie, 1984)
···The Goodbye People
Genre: Comedy
Role: Actor (as Max Silverman)
(movie, 1983)
···I Want to Live
Genre: Drama, Biography
Role: Actor (as Jack Brady)
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Nathan Burkan)
(movie, 1981)
···L'avvertimento
Genre: Crime
Role: Actor (as Questore Martorana)
(movie, 1981)
···The Salamander
Genre: Thriller
Role: Actor (as Captain Steffanelli)
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Isser Harel)
(movie, 1977)
···The Sentinel
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Role: Actor (as Prof. Ruzinsky)
(movie, 1977)
···Contract on Cherry Street
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Capt. Ernie Weinberg)
(movie, 1976)
···All the President's Men
Genre: Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Howard Simons)
(movie, 1976)
···Con la rabbia agli occhi
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Commissario)
(movie, 1976)
···Pronto ad uccidere
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Giulianelli)
(movie, 1975)
···Cipolla Colt
Genre: Comedy, Western
Role: Actor (as Petrus Lamb)
(movie, 1975)
···Il tempo degli assassini
Genre: Action, Drama
Role: Actor (as Commissioner Katroni)
(movie, 1974)
···Murder on the Orient Express
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Role: Actor (as Signor Bianchi)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Mr. Green - Harold Longman)
(movie, 1973)
···Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Harry Walden)
(movie, 1973)
···The Six Million Dollar Man
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction
Role: Actor (as Dr. Rudy Wells)
(movie, 1973)
···The Stone Killer
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Al Vescari)
(movie, 1972)
···Il vero e il falso
Genre: Crime, Drama
Role: Actor (as District Attorney Turrisi)
(movie, 1972)
···The Man
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Jim Talley)
(movie, 1971)
···The Anderson Tapes
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Haskins)
Genre: Crime, Drama
Role: Actor (as Commissario Bonavia)
(movie, 1970)
···Little Big Man
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Western
Role: Actor (as Mr. Merriweather)
(movie, 1970)
···Tora! Tora! Tora!
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, War
Role: Actor (as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel)
(movie, 1970)
···Catch-22
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Role: Actor (as Colonel Cathcart (CO, 256th Squadron))
(movie, 1970)
···The Old Man Who Cried Wolf
Genre: Thriller
Role: Actor (as Stanley Pulska)
(movie, 1970)
···Tora! Tora! Tora!
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, History
Role: Actor (as Adm. Husband E. Kimmel)
(movie, 1969)
···Me, Natalie
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Role: Actor (as Uncle Harold)
Genre: Comedy, Western
Role: Actor (as Mayor Wilker)
(movie, 1967)
···Hombre
Genre: Action, Drama, Western
Role: Actor (as Henry Mendez)
(movie, 1966)
···Caccia alla volpe
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Role: Actor (as Harry Granoff)
(movie, 1965)
···A Thousand Clowns
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Role: Actor (as Arnold)
(movie, 1965)
···The Bedford Incident
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.)
(movie, 1964)
···The Carpetbaggers
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Bernard B. Norman)
Genre: Comedy
Role: Actor (as Sanford Kaufman)
(movie, 1962)
···Cape Fear
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Role: Actor (as Police Chief Mark Dutton)
(movie, 1961)
···Breakfast at Tiffany's
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Role: Actor (as O.J. Berman)
(movie, 1960)
···Psycho
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Role: Actor (as Det. Milton Arbogast)
(movie, 1959)
···Al Capone
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Role: Actor (as Mac Keeley, reporter)
(movie, 1957)
···12 Angry Men
Genre: Drama
Role: Actor (as Juror 1)
(movie, 1954)
···On the Waterfront
Genre: Crime, Drama
Role: Actor (as Gillette (uncredited))