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Martin Balsam Overview:

Character actor, Martin Balsam, was born Martin Henry Balsam on Nov 4, 1919 in The Bronx, NY. Balsam appeared in over 170 film and television roles. His best known films include A Thousand Clowns, 12 Angry Men, Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Cape Fear (1962 and 1991), and Tora Tora Tora. Balsam died at the age of 76 on Feb 13, 1996 in Rome, Italy and was laid to rest in Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, Bergen County, NJ.

MINI BIO:

The versatile Martin Balsam was originally of The Method school. Although vividly remembered as the doomed detective in Psycho and in brilliant form opposite Joanne Woodward in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, this native New Yorker, switched easily from character roles to leads and back, but never quite realized his full potential in the cinema. But he did win an Oscar in 1965 for A Thousand Clowns.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Martin Balsam was nominated for one Academy Award, winning for Best Supporting Actor for A Thousand Clowns (as Arnold Burns) in 1965.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1965Best Supporting ActorA Thousand Clowns (1965)Arnold BurnsWon
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BlogHub Articles:

Day 27:

By Jill Blake on Aug 27, 2013 From Sittin' on a Backyard Fence

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s tribute to Jeanne Crain. Please make sure to check out all the wonderful contributions.? For the next 24 hours, we honor one of the all-time greats: ?. He is way more than “the guy who falls backwards down the stairs in Psyc... Read full article


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Martin Balsam Quotes:

Arnold Burns: Murray, you've got a rotten reputation. Even these guys weren't easy to grab. Why do you have to build your own personal blacklist? Why can't you just get blacklisted as a Communist like everybody else?


Paul Girard: Admiral, I understand you're not much of a betting man.
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: It depends on the game.
Paul Girard: Hmm. What is your pleasure... poker... roulette... what?
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: No, those are house games. I don't much care for the odds.
Paul Girard: What about horse racing?
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: On occasion... it depends on the race... sometimes the weather... and the horse does make the difference.
Paul Girard: Hmm. That's true, that's true. What about the Preakness? Have you got anything good going there?
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: [Adm. Barnswell senses that Girard knows about the takeover plot] I only bet on sure things.
Paul Girard: Admiral, you're a very lucky sailor. That's exactly what I've got for you: a sure thing.
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: What is the bet, Mr. Girard?
Paul Girard: The bet is that there are members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who are involved in treason. We know who they are, we know the essence of the plan. Now from you, Admiral, I want a signed statement indicating at what moment you first heard of this operation and your complicity in this entire matter.
Vice-Adm. Farley C. Barnswell: Frankly, I wish I had more time.
Paul Girard: [sarcastically] I wish you did too, Admiral.
[tosses him a pen to write the statement]
Paul Girard: Unfortunately, you don't.


[Russell has just fatally shot the Mexican bandit]
Mexican Bandit: I would like at least to know his name.
Henry Mendez: He was called John Russell.


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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1965





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Martin Balsam Facts
Father of actress Talia Balsam, from his marriage to Joyce Van Patten.

Won Broadway's 1968 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running."

Played a psychiatrist in Rod Sterling's Time Element, which dealt with a patient who kept dreaming that he was back in the time just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), he played Admiral Kimmel the naval commander of Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack.

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