Bob Balaban - Details


Bob BalabanActor-director Balaban has most recently starred in such films as Jakob The Liar, with Robin Williams and Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry, starring Judy Davis, Billy Crystal, Mariel Hemingway and Allen. He will appear next year in The Mexican starring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, Ghost World, with Steve Buscemi and Thora Birch and Plan B, starring Diane Keaton.

Balaban's interest in filmmaking began at an early age. His father was the youngest of the seven brothers who owned the Balaban & and Katz chain of theaters. His uncle, Barney Balaban, was President of Paramount Pictures and Sam Katz, his grandfather, was head of production at MGM for many years.

During studies at Colgate University and NYU, Balaban won the original role of Linus, in the Off-Broadway hit, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. He later appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Plaza Suite and David Mamet's Speed The Plough and won a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of the 95-year-old servant in The Inspector General.

Balaban made his motion picture debut in Midnight Cowboy, as the young man who propositions Jon Voight in a 42nd Street movie theater. He left NYU as a senior to take a role in Mike Nichols 1970 film Catch-22.

Among his numerous film credits are Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, (as Francois Truffaut's interpreter) Altered States, Prince Of The City, Absence Of Malice, Whose Life Is It Anyway, 2010 and Clockwatchers.

Television audiences came to know Balaban as the NBC executive who was relentlessly pitched by Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander on Seinfeld. He also starred in the Emmy-nominated HBO film The Late Shift, as NBC Chief Warren Littlefield.

Balaban made the move to directing with the witty short called SPFX 1140, which was in the New Director Series at the Lincoln Center/Museum of Modern Art. He followed this with the pilot episode for the long-running television series Tales From The Darkside. He has since directed the black comedy, Parents and the acclaimed The Last Good Time, starring Armin Mueller-Stahl and Olivia d'Abo, which subsequently won Best Film and Best Director awards at the Hamptons Film Festival.


  • 16th August 1945 - Birth