|Subject: ARCHIVE: November 4, 1919 ~Veteran Academy Award-winning actor MARTIN BALSAM, renowned for his prolific film role performances in both comedy and dramas like "A Thousand Clowns" (Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Psycho", "12 Angry Men" (forman), "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three", "Murder on the Orient Express", was born a century ago today! ~Happy 100th! ...
Bio & PHOTOS ~In 1996, Balsam, 76, died suddenly of a stroke in his hotel room while vacationing.
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Date Posted: Monday, November 04, 02:17:30pm
In reply to:
's message, "Nov. 4th~Happy 100th Birthday! Artist Helen LaFrance, Actor Manifred Schuster is 100, Suregeon Friedrich Stelzner is 98, Politician Reider Sue is 97," on Sunday, November 03, 09:04:00pm
[ Martin Henry Balsam ]
(November 4, 1919 February 13, 1996)
American character actor was best known for a number of renowned film roles, including ill-fated detective Milton Arbogast in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns (1965) (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Juror #1 in 12 Angry Men (1957), and sole heist survivor Mr. Green in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). ...
Martin Henry Balsam was born in the Bronx borough of New York City, to Russian-Jewish parents, Lillian (née Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, who was a manufacturer of women's 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 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.
During World War II, he served as a sergeant radio operator in a B-24 in the China-Burma-India theater of operations.
...In early 1948, he was selected by Elia Kazan to be a member in the recently formed Actors Studio. Balsam went 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 notable films as 12 Angry Men (as Juror #1), On the Waterfront, 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 best-remembered roles as Detective Arbogast in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Along with
Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, Balsam appeared in both the original Cape Fear (1962), and the 1991 Martin Scorsese remake.
...He earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns (1965) and, in 1968, 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 also performed the original voice of the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. After his lines were recorded, director Stanley Kubrick decided "Marty just sounded a little bit too colloquially American," and hired Douglas Rain to perform the role for the released film.
Balsam played Dr. Rudy Wells when the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg was adapted as a TV-movie pilot for The Six Million Dollar Man (1973), though he did not reprise the role for the subsequent series. In 1975, he appeared as James Arthur Cummins in the Joe Don Baker police drama Mitchell, a film that was eventually featured in a highly popular episode of the comedy film-riffing series Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993. He appeared as a spokesman/hostage in the TV movie Raid on Entebbe (1976) and as a detective in the TVM Contract on Cherry Street (1977). He also appeared on an episode of Quincy ME. Balsam is also fondly remembered for his role as 'Murray Klein' in the television sitcom Archie Bunker's Place (19791983), the spin-off Archie Bunker's Place for two seasons (197981) and returned for a guest appearance in the show's fourth and final season.
In 1951, Balsam married his first wife, actress Pearl Somner. They divorced three years later. His second wife was actress
Joyce Van Patten (now 85). This marriage lasted for four years (from 1958 until 1962) and produced one daughter, Talia Balsam (now 60),
who later married and divorce [1989-1993] actor George Clooney, and now married to actor John Slattery, for 20 years.
He married his third wife Irene Miller in 1963, the union producing two children, Adam and Zoe Balsam, before their divorce in 1987.
On February 13, 1996, Balsam died suddenly of a stroke in his hotel room while vacationing in Rome, Italy.
He was 76 years old. He is interred in the Mausoleum at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey.
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