Martin Balsam - Rotten Tomatoes

Martin Balsam

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Bronx-raised actor Martin Balsam was the oldest of three children of a ladies' sportswear salesman. "Actors are bums" was dad's reaction when Balsam announced his intention of going into show business; still, young Martin took full advantage of lunch breaks from his "real" jobs to rehearse for amateur theatricals. After World War II, Balsam joined New York's Actors Studio, supporting himself by waiting on tables and ushering at Radio City Music Hall. During his formative years he was briefly married to actress Joyce Van Patten; their daughter Talia Balsam would later become a successful film and TV performer. Working steadily if not profitably in nightclubs and TV, Balsam made his first film, the Actors Studio-dominated On the Waterfront, in 1954. Averaging a movie and/or a play a year starting in 1957 (among his best-known film roles were Juror #1 in Twelve Angry Men [1957] and the unfortunate detective Arbogast in Psycho [1960]), Balsam went on to win a Tony for the Broadway play I Know You Can't Hear Me When the Water's Running, an Obie for the off-Broadway production Cold Storage, and an Academy Award for his performance as Jason Robards' older brother in the 1965 film version of A Thousand Clowns. Unfortunately for Balsam, the Oscar was as much a curse as a blessing on his career, and soon he was playing little more than variations on his Thousand Clowns role. In 1979, he was engaged by Norman Lear to play "lovable bigot" Archie Bunker's acerbic Jewish business partner Murray Klein on the CBS sitcom Archie Bunker's Place; he remained with the series until 1981. In 1991, Balsam appeared in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear, the remake of a film in which Balsam had co-starred (in an entirely different role) in 1962.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Warning
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride
  • Actor
2004
0% The Silence of the Hams
  • Balsam
1994
No Score Yet Legend of the Spirit Dog
  • Actor
1994
76% Cape Fear
  • Judge
1991
55% Two Evil Eyes
  • Mr. Bee
1990
No Score Yet P.I. Private Investigations
  • Cliff Dowling
1987
No Score Yet Queenie
  • Marty
1987
No Score Yet Savage Attack
  • Actor
1987
20% The Delta Force
  • Ben Kaplan
1986
No Score Yet Second Serve
  • Dr. Beck
1986
6% Death Wish 3
  • Bennett
1985
45% St. Elmo's Fire
  • Beamish
1985
No Score Yet Murder in Space
  • Alexander Rostov
1985
No Score Yet Little Gloria...Happy at Last
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Innocent Prey
  • Sheriff Virgil Baker
1984
No Score Yet The Salamander
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet I Want to Live!
  • Jack Brady
1983
No Score Yet The Goodbye People
  • Max Silverman
1983
No Score Yet Little Gloria: Happy at Last
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet The Salamander
  • Navy Capt. Steffanelli
1981
No Score Yet The People vs. Jean Harris
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet There Goes the Bride
  • Elmer Babcock
1980
50% Cuba
  • General Bello
1979
No Score Yet The House on Garibaldi Street
  • Isser Harel
1979
No Score Yet Silver Bears
  • Joe Fiore
1978
No Score Yet Eyes Behind the Stars
  • Inspector Jim Grant
1978
No Score Yet Death Rage
  • Commissario
1977
No Score Yet Raid on Entebbe
  • Daniel Cooper
1977
58% The Sentinel
  • Professor Ruzinsky
1977
No Score Yet One God
  • Actor
1977
93% All the President's Men
  • Howard Simons
1976
No Score Yet The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case
  • Reilly
1976
30% Two Minute Warning
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Mitchell
  • James Arthur Cummins
1975
95% Murder on the Orient Express
  • Bianchi
1974
100% The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
  • Green
1974
No Score Yet Miles to Go Before I Sleep
  • Actor
1974
No Score Yet Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
  • Harry Walden
1973
No Score Yet The Stone Killer
  • Al Vescari
1973
No Score Yet The Six Million Dollar Man
  • Dr. Rudy Wells
1973
No Score Yet A Brand New Life
  • Jim Douglas
1973
No Score Yet Il Consigliori (Counselor at Crime) (The Counsellor)
  • Antonio Macaluso
1973
No Score Yet The Man
  • Jim Talley
1972
No Score Yet Confessione di un commissario di polizia al procuratore della repubblica (Confessions of a Police Captain)
  • Actor
1971
82% The Anderson Tapes
  • Tommy Haskins
1971
96% Little Big Man
  • Merriweather
1970
57% Tora! Tora! Tora!
  • Adm. Husband E. Kimmel
1970
85% Catch-22
  • Col. Cathcart
1970
No Score Yet Hunters Are for Killing
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet Good Guys and the Bad Guys
  • Mayor Wilker
1969
No Score Yet Me, Natalie
  • Uncle Harold
1969
No Score Yet Trilogy
  • Actor
1968
100% Hombre
  • Mendez
1967
71% After the Fox (Caccia alla volpe)
  • Harry
1966
69% A Thousand Clowns
  • Arnold Burns
1965
86% The Bedford Incident
  • Lieut. Cmdr. Chester Potter, M.D., U.S.N.
1965
33% The Carpetbaggers
  • Bernard B. Norman
1964
100% Seven Days in May
  • Paul Girard
1964
No Score Yet Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?
  • Sanford Kaufman
1963
95% Cape Fear
  • Police Chief Mark Dutton
1962
No Score Yet Everybody Go Home!
  • Cpl. Fornaciari
1962
88% Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Berman
1961
No Score Yet Ada
  • Actor
1961
97% Psycho
  • Arbogast
1960
No Score Yet Middle of the Night
  • Jack
1959
No Score Yet Marjorie Morningstar
  • Dr. David Harris
1958
No Score Yet Time Limit
  • Sgt. Baker
1957
100% 12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men)
  • Juror No. 1
1957
No Score Yet Defender
  • Actor
1957
98% On the Waterfront
  • Gillette
1954

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
  • Knowles
  • 1987
  • 1986
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Danny Weiss Martin Lombard Senescu
  • 1963
  • 1959

Quotes from Martin Balsam's Characters