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 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
Movie The Silence of the Hams Det. Martin Balsam 1994-03-11
Movie El cabo del miedo Judge 1991-11-15
Movie The Last Match Lawyer 1990-02-01
Movie Los ojos del diablo Mr. Pym 1990-01-25
Movie Hermano del espacio Frather Howard 1988-01-01
Movie Brothers in Blood 1987-10-01
Movie P.I. Private Investigations Cliff Dowling 1987-06-05
Movie Delta Force Ben Kaplan 1986-02-14
Movie The Goodbye People 1986-01-31
Movie Segundo servicio Dr. Beck 1986-01-01
Movie El justiciero de la noche Bennett Cross 1985-11-01
Series Más allá de los límites de la realidad Unknown 1985-09-27
Movie St. Elmo, punto de encuentro Mr. Beamish 1985-06-20
Movie Space Sen. Glancey 1985-04-13
Movie Murder in Space Alexander Rostov 1985-01-01
Movie Innocent Prey Sheriff Virgil Baker 1984-01-01
Series La Piovra Unknown 1984-03-11
Series Se ha escrito un crimen Unknown 1984-09-30
Series Hotel Unknown 1983-09-21
Series Little Gloria... Happy at Last Nathan Burkan 1982-10-24
Movie The People vs. Jean Harris Joel Aurnou 1981-05-07
Movie La salamandra roja Captain Steffanelli 1981-01-01
Movie L'avvertimento Questore Martorana 1980-08-15
Movie There Goes The Bride Elmer Babcock 1980-07-07
Movie Cuba Gen. Bello 1979-12-21
Movie Aunt Mary Harry Strasberg 1979-12-05
Series Archie Bunker's Place Unknown 1979-09-23
Movie The House on Garibaldi Street Isser Harel 1979-05-28
Movie Gardenia Salluzzo 1979-05-05
Movie Eyes Behind the Stars Inspector Jim Grant 1978-02-21
Movie Siege Henry Fancher 1978-04-26
Movie Gigantes de plata Joe Fiore 1978-07-21
Movie Rainbow Louis B. Mayer 1978-11-06
Movie The Storyteller Ira Davidoff 1977-12-05
Movie Contract on Cherry Street Capt. Ernie Weinberg 1977-11-19
Movie La centinela Prof. Ruzinsky 1977-01-07
Movie Blood and Diamonds Rizzo 1977-01-01
Movie Pánico en el estadio Sam McKeever 1976-11-12
Movie Death Rage Commissario 1976-10-22
Movie Meet Him And Die Giulianelli 1976-10-08
Series Quincy, M.E. Unknown 1976-10-03
Movie Todos los hombres del presidente Howard Simons 1976-04-04
Movie The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Edward J. Reilly 1976-02-26
Movie Miles to Go Before I Sleep Ben Montgomery 1975-01-08
Movie Smiling Maniacs Carlo Goja 1975-01-16
Movie Los locos del oro negro Petrus Lamb 1975-08-25
Movie Mitchell James Arthur Cummings 1975-09-10
Movie Season For Assassins Commissioner Katroni 1975-12-27
Movie Asesinato en el Orient Express Signor Bianchi 1974-11-24
Movie Trapped Beneath the Sea T.C. Hollister 1974-10-22
Movie Pelham 1, 2, 3 Mr. Green - Harold Longman 1974-10-02
Series El hombre de los seis millones de dólares Dr. Rudy Wells 1974-01-18
Series Kojak Unknown 1973-10-24
Movie Deseos de verano, sueños de invierno Harry Walden 1973-10-21
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-09-25
Movie Counselor at Crime Don Antonio Macaluso 1973-08-30
Movie América violenta Al Vescari 1973-08-08
Movie The Six Million Dollar Man Dr. Rudy Wells 1973-03-07
Movie A Brand New Life Jim Douglas 1973-02-20
Movie Chronicle of a Homicide Giudice Aldo Sola 1972-02-04
Movie Night of Terror Capt. Caleb Sark 1972-10-10
Movie The Hassled Hooker District Attorney Turrisi 1972-04-07
Movie The Man Jim Talley 1972-07-19
Movie Supergolpe en Manhattan Haskins 1971-06-17
Movie Confesiones de un comisario Commissario Bonavia 1971-03-26
Movie Pequeño Gran Hombre Mr. Merriweather 1970-12-14
Movie The Old Man Who Cried Wolf Stanley Pulska 1970-10-13
Movie Trampa 22 Colonel Cathcart (CO, 256th Squadron) 1970-06-24
Movie Hunters Are for Killing Wade Hamilton 1970-03-12
Movie Tora! Tora! Tora! Admiral Husband E. Kimmel 1970-01-26
Movie Un hombre impone la ley Mayor Wilker 1969-11-19
Movie Me, Natalie Uncle Harold 1969-07-13
Movie Trilogy Ivor Belli 1969-06-08
Series The Name of the Game Unknown 1968-09-20
Movie Un hombre Henry Mendez 1967-03-21
Movie Tras la pista del zorro Harry 1966-01-01
Series CBS Playhouse Unknown 1966-12-08
Movie El payaso de la ciudad Arnold Burns 1965-12-13
Movie Estado de alarma Lieut Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N. 1965-10-11
Movie Harlow, la rubia platino Richard Manley 1965-06-23
Movie Los insaciables Bernard B. Norman 1964-04-08
Movie Siete días de mayo Paul Girard 1964-02-12
Movie Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Sanford Kaufman 1963-12-25
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series El fugitivo Unknown 1963-09-17
Series Arrest and Trial Unknown 1963-09-15
Movie Conquered City Joseph Feinberg 1962-12-05
Series The Eleventh Hour Unknown 1962-10-03
Movie El cabo del terror Police Chief Mark Dutton 1962-04-12
Series Cain's Hundred Unknown 1961-09-19
Movie El tercer hombre era mujer Steve Jackson 1961-08-25
Movie Desayuno con diamantes O.J. Berman 1961-10-05
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Series The New Breed Unknown 1961-10-03
Series Target: The Corruptors! Unknown 1961-09-29
Movie Todos a casa Sergente Quintino Fornaciari 1960-10-27
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Movie Psicosis Det. Milton Arbogast 1960-06-16
Series La dimensión desconocida Danny Weiss 1959-10-02
Movie Middle of the Night Jack 1959-06-17
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Movie Al Capone Mac Keeley, reporter 1959-01-01
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Series Naked City Unknown 1958-09-30
Movie Marjorie Morningstar Dr. David Harris 1958-04-24
Movie 12 hombres sin piedad Juror 1 1957-03-25
Movie Labios sellados Sgt. Baker 1957-10-23
Series Have Gun – Will Travel Unknown 1957-09-14
Series Decoy Unknown 1957-10-14
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Alfred Hitchcock presenta Unknown 1955-10-02
Series The Greatest Gift 1954-08-30
Movie La ley del silencio Gillette (uncredited) 1954-06-22
Series Inner Sanctum Unknown 1954-01-09
Series Valiant Lady 1953-10-12
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Series The Philco Television Playhouse Unknown 1948-10-03