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Carroll O'Connor


Alfred Hitchcock


Rod Serling

Martin Balsam Biography


Home > Actors > B > Balsam, Martin > Biography


Birth Name: Martin Balsam
Born: 11/04/1919
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA
Death Place: Italy
Died: 02/13/1996


On TV, Balsam was a constant presence, making numerous guest appearances on series from "Father Knows Best" to "The Untouchables" to "The Six Million Dollar Man". His TV-movies include supporting Frank Sinatra in "Contract on Cherry Street" (NBC, 1977), appearing opposite powerhouse actresses ranging from Jean Stapleton ("Aunt Mary" CBS, 1979) to Ellen Burstyn ("The People vs. Jean Harris" NBC, 1981) to Vanessa Redgrave ("Second Serve" CBS, 1986). On "Archie Bunker's Place" (CBS, 1979-81), he portrayed Bunker's liberal Jewish business partner Murray Klein.

Balsam entered films with Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954) and was particularly memorable as the jury foreman in Sidney Lumet's "Twelve Angry Men" (1957), as the doomed private dick Arbogast in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960), as the police chief in "Cape Fear" (1962) and as the studio chief in Edward Dmytryk's "The Carpetbaggers" (1964). He received the 1965 Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Jason Robards Jr.'s agent brother in "A Thousand Clowns". Additional credits include Mike Nichols' "Catch 22" (1970), Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974) and Alan J Pakula's "All the President's Men" (1976). Balsam appeared as a judge in Martin Scorsese's remake of "Cape Fear" (1991) and made his final screen appearance as a detective in "The Silence of the Hams" (1994). Balsam died from a stroke in Rome, Italy in February 1996.