Image of Martin Balsam

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.

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Nov 4, 1919 In Bronx, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series The Philco Television Playhouse 1948-10-03
Latest Project:
Movie Legend of the Spirit Dog 1997-08-19
Known For
Poster of Aunt Mary
Poster of The Carpetbaggers
Poster of Psycho
Poster of The Greatest Gift
Movie Legend of the Spirit Dog Gramps 1997-08-19
Movie O. Henry's Christmas 1996-06-03
Movie The Silence of the Hams Det. Martin Balsam 1994-03-11
Movie La Classe américaine Callaghan (archive footage) 1993-12-31
Movie Cape Fear Judge 1991-11-15
Movie Two Evil Eyes Mr. Pym 1990-01-25
Movie The Last Match Lawyer 1990-02-01
Series Oceano Don Matias Quintero 1989-08-20
Movie The Brother from Space Frather Howard 1988-01-01
Movie Kids Like These Grandpa 1987-11-08
Movie Queenie Marty 1987-05-10
Movie Brothers in Blood 1987-05-12
Movie P.I. Private Investigations Cliff Dowling 1987-06-05
Movie Second Serve Dr. Beck 1986-01-01
Movie The Delta Force Ben Kaplan 1986-02-14
Movie The Goodbye People Max Silverman 1986-01-31
Movie Murder in Space Alexander Rostov 1985-01-01
Movie St. Elmo's Fire Mr. Beamish 1985-06-20
Movie Death Wish 3 Bennett Cross 1985-11-01
Series The Twilight Zone Unknown 1985-09-27
Series The Octopus Unknown 1984-03-11
Movie Innocent Prey Sheriff Virgil Baker 1984-06-14
Series Murder, She Wrote Unknown 1984-09-30
Movie I Want to Live Jack Brady 1983-05-09
Movie Night of 100 Stars 1982-03-08
Series Hotel Unknown 1982-08-21
Series Little Gloria... Happy at Last Nathan Burkan 1982-10-24
Movie The Salamander Captain Steffanelli 1981-01-01
Movie The People vs. Jean Harris Joel Aurnou 1981-05-07
Movie There Goes The Bride Elmer Babcock 1980-07-07
Movie The Warning Questore Martorana 1980-08-15
Movie Gardenia Salluzzo 1979-05-05
Movie The House on Garibaldi Street Isser Harel 1979-05-28
Movie Cuba Gen. Bello 1979-12-21
Series Archie Bunker's Place Unknown 1979-09-23
Movie Aunt Mary Harry Strasberg 1979-12-05
Movie Eyes Behind the Stars Inspector Jim Grant 1978-02-21
Movie Siege Henry Fancher 1978-04-26
Movie Rainbow Louis B. Mayer 1978-11-06
Movie Blood and Diamonds Rizzo 1977-01-01
Movie The Sentinel Prof. Ruzinsky 1977-01-07
Movie Contract on Cherry Street Ernie Weinberg 1977-11-19
Movie Silver Bears Joe Fiore 1977-06-03
Movie The Storyteller Ira Davidoff 1977-12-05
Movie All the President's Men Howard Simons 1976-04-04
Movie The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Edward J. Reilly 1976-02-26
Movie Meet Him And Die Giulianelli 1976-10-08
Series Quincy, M.E. Unknown 1976-10-03
Movie Death Rage Commissario 1976-10-22
Movie Raid on Entebbe Daniel Cooper 1976-12-26
Movie Two-Minute Warning Sam McKeever 1976-11-12
Movie Smiling Maniacs Carlo Goja 1975-01-16
Movie Cry, Onion! Petrus Lamb 1975-08-25
Movie Miles to Go Before I Sleep Ben Montgomery 1975-01-08
Movie Mitchell James Arthur Cummings 1975-09-10
Movie Season For Assassins Commissioner Katroni 1975-12-27
Series The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Rudy Wells 1974-01-18
Movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Mr. Green 1974-10-02
Movie Trapped Beneath the Sea T.C. Hollister 1974-10-22
Movie Murder on the Orient Express Signor Bianchi 1974-11-22
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-03-20
Movie A Brand New Life Jim Douglas 1973-02-20
Movie The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Rudy Wells 1973-03-07
Movie The Stone Killer Al Vescari 1973-08-08
Movie Counselor at Crime Don Antonio Macaluso 1973-08-30
Series Kojak Unknown 1973-10-24
Movie Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams Harry Walden 1973-10-21
Movie The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War Dr. Rudy Wells (uncredited) (archive footage) 1973-10-20
Movie Chronicle of a Homicide Giudice Aldo Sola 1972-02-04
Movie The Hassled Hooker District Attorney Turrisi 1972-04-07
Movie La colonna infame 1972-01-01
Movie The Man Jim Talley 1972-07-19
Movie Night of Terror Capt. Caleb Sark 1972-10-10
Movie Confessions of a Police Captain Commissario Bonavia 1971-03-26
Movie The Anderson Tapes Haskins 1971-06-17
Movie Tora! Tora! Tora! Admiral Husband E. Kimmel 1970-01-26
Movie Hunters Are for Killing Wade Hamilton 1970-03-12
Movie Little Big Man Mr. Merriweather 1970-12-14
Movie Catch-22 Col. Cathcart 1970-06-24
Movie The Old Man Who Cried Wolf Stanley Pulska 1970-10-13
Movie Trilogy Ivor Belli 1969-06-08
Movie The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Mayor Wilker 1969-11-19
Movie Me, Natalie Uncle Harold 1969-07-13
Series The Name of the Game Unknown 1968-09-20
Movie Hombre Henry Mendez 1967-03-21
Series CBS Playhouse Unknown 1966-12-08
Movie After the Fox Harry 1966-01-01
Movie The Bedford Incident Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N. 1965-10-11
Movie Harlow Richard Manley 1965-06-23
Movie A Thousand Clowns Arnold 1965-12-13
Movie Seven Days in May Paul Girard 1964-02-12
Movie The Carpetbaggers Bernard B. Norman 1964-04-08
Series Arrest and Trial Unknown 1963-09-15
Series The Fugitive Unknown 1963-09-17
Movie Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Sanford Kaufman 1963-12-25
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Movie Cape Fear Police Chief Mark Dutton 1962-04-12
Movie Conquered City Joseph Feinberg 1962-12-05
Series The Eleventh Hour Unknown 1962-10-03
Series Cain's Hundred Unknown 1961-09-19
Movie Ada Steve Jackson 1961-08-25
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Series Target: The Corruptors! Unknown 1961-09-29
Movie Breakfast at Tiffany's O.J. Berman 1961-10-06
Series The New Breed Unknown 1961-10-03
Movie Psycho Det. Milton Arbogast 1960-06-22
Movie Everybody Go Home! Sergente Quintino Fornaciari 1960-10-27
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Movie Al Capone Mac Keeley, reporter 1959-03-25
Movie Middle of the Night Jack 1959-05-20
Series The Twilight Zone Danny Weiss 1959-10-02
Movie Bomber's Moon Captain Mantell 1958-05-22
Movie Marjorie Morningstar Dr. David Harris 1958-04-24
Series Naked City Unknown 1958-09-30
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Movie 12 Angry Men Juror 1 1957-04-10
Series Have Gun, Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Decoy Unknown 1957-10-14
Movie Time Limit Sgt. Baker 1957-10-23
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Series Inner Sanctum Unknown 1954-01-09
Movie On the Waterfront Gillette 1954-06-22
Series The Greatest Gift 1954-08-30
Series Valiant Lady 1953-10-12
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Series The Philco Television Playhouse Unknown 1948-10-03
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07