Biography

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.

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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 127

Birthday 1919-11-04

Day of Death 1996-02-13

Place of Birth Bronx, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1997 Legend of the Spirit Dog as Gramps
1996 O. Henry´s Christmas
1994 The Silence of the Hams as Det. Martin Balsam
1991 Cape Fear as Judge
1990 The Last Match as Lawyer
1990 Two Evil Eyes as Mr. Pym
1989 Oceano (1 episode) as Don Matias Quintero
1989 Innocent Prey as Sheriff Virgil Baker
1988 The Brother from Space as Frather Howard
1987 Kids Like These as Grandpa
1987 Brothers in Blood
1987 P.I. Private Investigations as Cliff Dowling
1987 Queenie as Marty
1986 The Delta Force as Ben Kaplan
1986 The Goodbye People
1986 Second Serve as Dr. Beck
1985 Grown Ups as Jack
1985 Death Wish 3 as Bennett Cross
1985 The Twilight Zone (3 episodes)
1985 St. Elmo's Fire as Mr. Beamish
1985 Space as Sen. Glancey
1985 Murder in Space as Alexander Rostov
1984 Murder, She Wrote (2 episodes)
1984 The Octopus (2 episodes)
1982 Little Gloria... Happy at Last (2 episodes) as Nathan Burkan
1982 Hotel (1 episode)
1981 The People vs. Jean Harris as Joel Aurnou
1981 The Salamander as Captain Steffanelli
1980 The Warning as Questore Martorana
1980 There Goes The Bride as Elmer Babcock
1979 Cuba as Gen. Bello
1979 Aunt Mary as Harry Strasberg
1979 Archie Bunker's Place (1 episode)
1979 The House on Garibaldi Street as Isser Harel
1979 Gardenia as Salluzzo
1978 Rainbow as Louis B. Mayer
1978 Siege as Henry Fancher
1978 Eyes Behind the Stars as Inspector Jim Grant
1977 The Storyteller as Ira Davidoff
1977 Contract on Cherry Street as Capt. Ernie Weinberg
1977 Silver Bears as Joe Fiore
1977 The Sentinel as Prof. Ruzinsky
1977 Blood and Diamonds as Rizzo
1976 Two-Minute Warning as Sam McKeever
1976 Death Rage as Commissario
1976 Meet Him And Die as Giulianelli
1976 Quincy, M.E. (1 episode)
1976 All the President's Men as Howard Simons
1976 The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case as Edward J. Reilly
1975 Season For Assassins as Commissioner Katroni
1975 Mitchell as James Arthur Cummings
1975 Cry, Onion! as Petrus Lamb
1975 Smiling Maniacs as Carlo Goja
1975 Miles to Go Before I Sleep as Ben Montgomery
1974 Murder on the Orient Express as Signor Bianchi
1974 Trapped Beneath the Sea as T.C. Hollister
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three as Mr. Green
1974 The Six Million Dollar Man (13 episodes) as Dr. Rudy Wells
1973 Kojak (1 episode)
1973 Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams as Harry Walden
1973 Counselor at Crime as Don Antonio Macaluso
1973 The Stone Killer as Al Vescari
1973 Police Story (1 episode)
1973 The Six Million Dollar Man as Dr. Rudy Wells
1973 A Brand New Life as Jim Douglas
1972 Night of Terror as Capt. Caleb Sark
1972 The Man as Jim Talley
1972 The Hassled Hooker as District Attorney Turrisi
1972 Chronicle of a Homicide as Giudice Aldo Sola
1972 La colonna infame
1971 The Anderson Tapes as Haskins
1971 Confessions of a Police Captain as Commissario Bonavia
1970 Little Big Man as Mr. Merriweather
1970 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf as Stanley Pulska
1970 Catch-22 as Col. Cathcart
1970 Hunters Are for Killing as Wade Hamilton
1970 Tora! Tora! Tora! as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys as Mayor Wilker
1969 Me, Natalie as Uncle Harold
1969 Trilogy as Ivor Belli
1968 The Name of the Game (1 episode)
1967 Hombre as Henry Mendez
1966 CBS Playhouse (1 episode)
1966 After the Fox as Harry
1965 A Thousand Clowns as Arnold Burns
1965 The Bedford Incident as Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.
1965 Harlow as Richard Manley
1964 The Carpetbaggers as Bernard B. Norman
1964 Seven Days in May as Paul Girard
1963 Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? as Sanford Kaufman
1963 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1 episode)
1963 The Fugitive (1 episode)
1963 Arrest and Trial (1 episode)
1962 Conquered City as Joseph Feinberg
1962 The Eleventh Hour (1 episode)
1962 Cape Fear as Police Chief Mark Dutton
1961 Breakfast at Tiffany’s as O.J. Berman
1961 The New Breed (1 episode)
1961 Target: The Corruptors! (1 episode)
1961 Dr. Kildare (7 episodes)
1961 Cain's Hundred (1 episode)
1961 Ada as Steve Jackson
1960 Everybody Go Home as Sergente Quintino Fornaciari
1960 Route 66 (2 episodes)
1960 Psycho as Det. Milton Arbogast
1959 The Twilight Zone (2 episodes) as Danny Weiss
1959 Middle of the Night as Jack
1959 Rawhide (1 episode)
1959 Al Capone as Mac Keeley, reporter
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (2 episodes)
1958 Naked City (4 episodes)
1958 Bomber's Moon as Captain Mantell
1958 Marjorie Morningstar as Dr. David Harris
1957 Time Limit as Sgt. Baker
1957 Decoy (1 episode)
1957 Have Gun – Will Travel (2 episodes)
1957 12 Angry Men as Juror 1
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater (1 episode)
1956 Tony Awards (1 episode) as Nominee
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (2 episodes)
1954 The Greatest Gift (218 episodes)
1954 On the Waterfront as Gillette (uncredited)
1954 Inner Sanctum (3 episodes)
1953 Valiant Lady (272 episodes)
1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame (2 episodes)
1948 Studio One (2 episodes) as Francis Toohey (1 episode) as Ed Coyne
1948 The Philco Television Playhouse (3 episodes)

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