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:
Pelicula The Silence of the Hams 1994-03-11
Known For
Poster of Más allá de los límites de la realidad
Poster of La centinela
Poster of Pelham 1, 2, 3
Poster of Valiant Lady
Pelicula The Silence of the Hams Det. Martin Balsam 1994-03-11
Pelicula El cabo del miedo Judge 1991-11-15
Pelicula Los ojos del diablo Mr. Pym 1990-01-25
Pelicula The Last Match Lawyer 1990-02-01
Series Oceano Don Matias Quintero 1989-08-20
Pelicula Hermano del espacio Frather Howard 1988-01-01
Pelicula P.I. Private Investigations Cliff Dowling 1987-06-05
Pelicula Brothers in Blood 1987-10-01
Pelicula Delta Force Ben Kaplan 1986-02-14
Pelicula Segundo servicio Dr. Beck 1986-01-01
Pelicula The Goodbye People 1986-01-31
Pelicula Space Sen. Glancey 1985-04-13
Pelicula St. Elmo, punto de encuentro Mr. Beamish 1985-06-20
Pelicula Murder in Space Alexander Rostov 1985-01-01
Series Más allá de los límites de la realidad Unknown 1985-09-27
Pelicula Grown Ups Jack 1985-11-25
Pelicula El justiciero de la noche Bennett Cross 1985-11-01
Pelicula Innocent Prey Sheriff Virgil Baker 1984-01-01
Series Se ha escrito un crimen Unknown 1984-09-30
Series La Piovra Unknown 1984-03-11
Series Hotel Unknown 1983-09-21
Series Little Gloria... Happy at Last Nathan Burkan 1982-10-24
Pelicula The People vs. Jean Harris Joel Aurnou 1981-05-07
Pelicula La salamandra roja Captain Steffanelli 1981-01-01
Pelicula There Goes The Bride Elmer Babcock 1980-07-07
Pelicula The Warning Questore Martorana 1980-08-15
Pelicula Gardenia Salluzzo 1979-05-05
Pelicula The House on Garibaldi Street Isser Harel 1979-05-28
Series Archie Bunker's Place Unknown 1979-09-23
Pelicula Cuba Gen. Bello 1979-12-21
Pelicula Aunt Mary Harry Strasberg 1979-12-05
Pelicula Siege Henry Fancher 1978-04-26
Pelicula Eyes Behind the Stars Inspector Jim Grant 1978-02-21
Pelicula Gigantes de plata Joe Fiore 1978-07-21
Pelicula Rainbow Louis B. Mayer 1978-11-06
Pelicula La centinela Prof. Ruzinsky 1977-01-07
Pelicula Blood and Diamonds Rizzo 1977-01-01
Pelicula Contract on Cherry Street Capt. Ernie Weinberg 1977-11-19
Pelicula The Storyteller Ira Davidoff 1977-12-05
Pelicula The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Edward J. Reilly 1976-02-26
Pelicula Todos los hombres del presidente Howard Simons 1976-04-04
Series Quincy, M.E. Unknown 1976-10-03
Pelicula Pánico en el estadio Sam McKeever 1976-11-12
Pelicula Death Rage Commissario 1976-10-22
Pelicula Meet Him And Die Giulianelli 1976-10-08
Pelicula Smiling Maniacs Carlo Goja 1975-01-16
Pelicula Los locos del oro negro Petrus Lamb 1975-08-25
Pelicula Miles to Go Before I Sleep Ben Montgomery 1975-01-08
Pelicula Mitchell James Arthur Cummings 1975-09-10
Pelicula Season For Assassins Commissioner Katroni 1975-12-27
Series El hombre de los seis millones de dólares Dr. Rudy Wells 1974-01-18
Pelicula Pelham 1, 2, 3 Mr. Green - Harold Longman 1974-10-02
Pelicula Trapped Beneath the Sea T.C. Hollister 1974-10-22
Pelicula Asesinato en el Orient Express Signor Bianchi 1974-11-24
Pelicula América violenta Al Vescari 1973-08-08
Pelicula A Brand New Life Jim Douglas 1973-02-20
Pelicula Counselor at Crime Don Antonio Macaluso 1973-08-30
Pelicula The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Rudy Wells 1973-03-07
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-09-25
Series Kojak Unknown 1973-10-24
Pelicula Deseos de verano, sueños de invierno Harry Walden 1973-10-21
Pelicula Chronicle of a Homicide Giudice Aldo Sola 1972-02-04
Pelicula The Hassled Hooker District Attorney Turrisi 1972-04-07
Pelicula Night of Terror Capt. Caleb Sark 1972-10-10
Pelicula The Man Jim Talley 1972-07-19
Pelicula Confesiones de un comisario Commissario Bonavia 1971-03-26
Pelicula Supergolpe en Manhattan Haskins 1971-06-17
Pelicula Tora! Tora! Tora! Admiral Husband E. Kimmel 1970-01-26
Pelicula Hunters Are for Killing Wade Hamilton 1970-03-12
Pelicula Trampa 22 Colonel Cathcart (CO, 256th Squadron) 1970-06-24
Pelicula Pequeño Gran Hombre Mr. Merriweather 1970-12-14
Pelicula The Old Man Who Cried Wolf Stanley Pulska 1970-10-13
Pelicula Trilogy Ivor Belli 1969-06-08
Pelicula Me, Natalie Uncle Harold 1969-07-13
Pelicula Un hombre impone la ley Mayor Wilker 1969-11-19
Series The Name of the Game Unknown 1968-09-20
Pelicula Un hombre Henry Mendez 1967-03-21
Series CBS Playhouse Unknown 1966-12-08
Pelicula Tras la pista del zorro Harry 1966-01-01
Pelicula Estado de alarma Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N. 1965-10-11
Pelicula Harlow, la rubia platino Richard Manley 1965-06-23
Pelicula El payaso de la ciudad Arnold Burns 1965-12-13
Pelicula Siete días de mayo Paul Girard 1964-02-12
Pelicula Los insaciables Bernard B. Norman 1964-04-08
Series Arrest and Trial Unknown 1963-09-15
Series El fugitivo Unknown 1963-09-17
Pelicula Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Sanford Kaufman 1963-12-25
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Pelicula El cabo del terror Police Chief Mark Dutton 1962-04-12
Pelicula Conquered City Joseph Feinberg 1962-12-05
Series The Eleventh Hour Unknown 1962-10-03
Series Cain's Hundred Unknown 1961-09-19
Pelicula El tercer hombre era mujer Steve Jackson 1961-08-25
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Series Target: The Corruptors! Unknown 1961-09-29
Pelicula Desayuno con diamantes O.J. Berman 1961-10-05
Series The New Breed Unknown 1961-10-03
Pelicula Psicosis Det. Milton Arbogast 1960-06-16
Pelicula Todos a casa Sergente Quintino Fornaciari 1960-10-27
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Pelicula Al Capone Mac Keeley, reporter 1959-01-01
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Pelicula Middle of the Night Jack 1959-06-17
Series La dimensión desconocida Danny Weiss 1959-10-02
Pelicula Marjorie Morningstar Dr. David Harris 1958-04-24
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series Naked City Unknown 1958-09-30
Pelicula 12 hombres sin piedad Juror 1 1957-03-25
Series Have Gun – Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Decoy Unknown 1957-10-14
Pelicula Labios sellados Sgt. Baker 1957-10-23
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Alfred Hitchcock presenta Unknown 1955-10-02
Series Inner Sanctum Unknown 1954-01-09
Pelicula La ley del silencio Gillette (uncredited) 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