World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bob Balaban

Article Id: WHEBN0001441764
Reproduction Date:

Title: Bob Balaban  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gosford Park, Bernard and Doris, The Monuments Men, For Your Consideration (film), Dead Bang
Collection: 1945 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Film Directors, American Male Actors, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American People of German-Jewish Descent, American People of Romanian-Jewish Descent, American People of Russian-Jewish Descent, American Television Directors, Colgate University Alumni, Film Directors from Illinois, Jewish American Male Actors, Latin School of Chicago Alumni, Living People, Male Actors from Chicago, Illinois, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award Winners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban
Balaban at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Robert Elmer Balaban
(1945-08-16) August 16, 1945
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor, author, producer, director
Years active 1965–present
Spouse(s) Lynn Grossman (1977–present; 2 children)
Children Mariah Balaban (b. 1977)
Hazel Balaban (b. 1987)

Robert Elmer "Bob" Balaban (born August 16, 1945) is an American actor, author, producer, and director.[1] He was one of the producers nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for Gosford Park (2001), in which he also appeared.


  • Personal life 1
  • Career 2
  • Filmography 3
    • Film 3.1
    • Television 3.2
  • Further reading 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Personal life

Balaban was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Eleanor (née Pottasch) and Elmer Balaban, who owned several movie theatres and later was a pioneer in cable television.[2][3] His mother acted under the name Eleanor Barry.[4] His uncles were dominant forces in the theatre business; they founded the Balaban and Katz Theatre circuit in Chicago, a chain which included the Chicago and Uptown Theatres.[5] Balaban's father and uncle Harry founded the H & E Balaban Corporation in Chicago, which operated its own movie palaces including the Esquire Theatre in Chicago. They later owned a powerful group of television stations and cable television franchises. His uncle Barney Balaban was president of Paramount Pictures for nearly 30 years from 1936 to 1964.[6] His maternal grandmother's second husband, Sam Katz, was a vice president at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer beginning in 1936. Sam had been early partners with Bob's uncles Abe, Barney, John, and Max in forming Balaban and Katz. Sam also served as President of the Publix theatre division of Paramount Pictures.

Balaban began his college career at Colgate University where he joined Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity and then transferred to New York University. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his family. He is Jewish.[7] His paternal grandparents emigrated from Russia to Chicago, while his mother's family was from Germany, Russia, and Romania.[3]


One of his earliest appearances in film was in 1969's Midnight Cowboy. Prior to that, he filled the role of "Linus" in the original off-Broadway production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown in 1967.[8] Among his early roles in the 1970s were those of Orr in Catch-22 and the interpreter David Laughlin in the 1977 Steven Spielberg science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In 1979 he received a Tony Award nomination for his role in The Inspector General. During the 1980s he appeared in films such as Altered States and 2010. He directed the Randy Quaid picture Parents, and the Armin Mueller-Stahl picture The Last Good Time.

Balaban has had supporting roles in films such as Absence of Malice, Bob Roberts, Deconstructing Harry, Ghost World, The Majestic, Lady in the Water and Christopher Guest's Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

Balaban appeared in Miami Vice as reporter Ira Stone, a nemesis of G. Gordon Liddy's character. In the 1990s, Balaban had a recurring role on the fourth season of Seinfeld as Russell Dalrymple, the fictional president of NBC. He also played Warren Littlefield, a real-world NBC executive, in The Late Shift, about the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman for NBC's The Tonight Show. Balaban continued his ties to Littlefield in 2012 with his performance of Littlefield's autobiography, Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV.[9] In 1999, Balaban made a guest appearance in the sitcom Friends as Phoebe Buffay's father Frank in "The One With Joey's Bag". In 2010, Balaban appeared as Judge Clayton Horn, the real-life judge who presided over the obscenity trial of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Bookstore in the movie Howl.

In 2001, Balaban produced the Robert Altman picture Gosford Park, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He also appeared in the movie as Morris Weissman, a Hollywood producer. He appeared in an episode of Entourage as a doctor known for writing prescriptions for medical marijuana.

He directed the film Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons. He has also directed several episodes of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie.[10]

Balaban is the author of a series of six children's novels featuring a bionic dog named McGrowl.[11]

In September 2011, Balaban was featured with John Lithgow in the Broadway debut of the play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Judge Vaughn Walker.[12] The production was held at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[13][14]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Me, Natalie Morris
1969 Midnight Cowboy The Young Student - New York
1970 Catch-22 Capt. Orr
1970 The Strawberry Statement Elliot
1974 Bank Shot Victor Karp credited as Robert Balaban
1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind David Laughlin
1978 Girlfriends Martin
1980 Altered States Arthur Rosenberg
1981 Absence of Malice Rosen
1981 Prince of the City Santimassino
1981 Whose Life Is It Anyway? Carter Hill
1984 2010: The Year We Make Contact Dr. Chandra
1987 End of the Line Warren Gerber
1989 Dead Bang Elliot Webly
1990 Alice Sid Moscowitz
1991 Little Man Tate Quizmaster Uncredited
1992 Bob Roberts Michael Janes
1993 For Love or Money Ed Drinkwater
1993 Amos & Andrew Dr. R.A. 'Roy' Fink
1994 Greedy Ed
1994 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold Dr. Jeffrey Sanborn Uncredited
1996 Waiting for Guffman Lloyd Miller
1996 Pie in the Sky Paul Entamen
1996 Conversation with the Beast Philip Koontz
1997 Clockwatchers Milton Lasky
1997 Deconstructing Harry Richard
1999 Three To Tango Decker
1999 Cradle Will Rock Harry Hopkins
1999 Jacob the Liar Kowalsky
2000 Best in Show Dr. Theodore W. Millbank, III
2001 Ghost World Enid's Father
2001 Gosford Park Morris Weissman Also Writer/Producer
2001 The Majestic Elvin Clyde
2001 The Mexican Bernie Nayman
2002 The Tuxedo Winton Chalmers Uncredited
2003 A Mighty Wind Jonathan Steinbloom
2004 Marie and Bruce Roger
2005 Trust the Man Tobey's Therapist Uncredited
2005 Capote William Shawn
2006 Lady in the Water Harry Farber
2006 For Your Consideration Philip Koontz
2007 No Reservations Therapist
2007 Dedication Arthur Planck
2007 License to Wed Jewelry Store Clerk Uncredited
2009 Rage Mr. White
2010 Howl Judge Clayton Horn
2011 A Monster in Paris Inspector Pâté
2011 Thin Ice Leonard Dahl
2012 Moonrise Kingdom Narrator
2013 Girl Most Likely Imogene's Father
2013 Fading Gigolo Sol
2014 The Monuments Men Pvt. Preston Savitz
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel M. Martin


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Hank Harvey Episode: "Will The Real Harvey Wheatley Please Stand Up?"
1969 Room 222 Grady Garrett Episode: "Father & Sons"
1971 The Mod Squad Walter Episode: "A Short Course in War"
1971 Love, American Style Unknown Episode: "Love and the Fuzz"
1985–1986 Miami Vice Ira Stone 2 episodes
1987 Invisible Thread Director, television movie
1992–1993 Seinfeld Russell Dalrymple 5 episodes
1995 Legend Harry Parver 2 episodes
1996 The Late Shift Warren Littlefield Television movie
1998 Friends Frank Buffay Sr. Episode: "The One With Joey's Bag"
1999 Swing Vote Justice Eli MacCorckle Television movie
2000 The West Wing Ted Marcus Episode: "20 Hours in L.A."
2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor Walt Pickle Episode: "The Layover"
2008 Recount Ben Ginsberg Television movie
2011–2012 The Good Wife Gordon Higgs 2 episodes
2013–2015 Girls Mr. Rice 3 episodes
2014 Alpha House Senator Elliot Robeson 2 episodes
2015 Broad City Arthur Wexler Episode: "Knockoffs"
2015 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Himself (as mascot of the ATF) Episode 37
2015 Show Me a Hero Judge Leonard Burke Sand 4 episodes[15]

Further reading

  • Balaban, David. The Chicago Movie Palaces of Balaban and Katz, Arcadia Publishing, 2006
  • Balaban, Bob. Spielberg, Truffaut & Me: An Actor's Diary, Titan Books, 1978 (revised 2002)


  1. ^ "Bob Balaban - Profile".  
  2. ^ "Bob Balaban (1945-)". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  3. ^ a b P., Ken (3 March 2003). "An Interview with Bob Balaban". IGN. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  4. ^ Bob Balaban. Films in Review 40 ( 
  5. ^ Uptown: Portrait of a Palace, 2006 documentary film
  6. ^ """Bob Balaban Gets "Exonerated.  
  7. ^ Pine, Dan (24 September 2004). "Hooked on ‘Addicted’".  
  8. ^ """Original Cast: "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  9. ^ Littlefield, Warren. Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV. New York: Anchor Books. pp. 220–221.  
  10. ^ "Bob Balaban Credits".  
  11. ^ Bob Balaban (1 August 2002). Beware of Dog (McGrowl #1). Scholastic, Inc.  
  12. ^ """AFER Announces New Additions to All-Star Cast of "8 (Press release).  
  13. ^ : A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality"8".  
  14. ^ Gray, Stephen (1 March 2012). "YouTube to broadcast Proposition 8 play live". Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  15. ^ Tirdad Derakhshani, HBO's 'Show Me a Hero': Intelligent but hardly heroic, Philadelphia Inquirer (August 16, 2015).

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.