A veteran of the famous Actors Studio in New York.
Appears to have died of natural causes. A maid found him lying on the floor near his bed in the upscale Residenza Di Ripetta while he was vacationing in Italy.
Born in The Bronx in New York City to Jewish parents Albert Balsam, a manufacturer of ladies sportswear, and Lillian (née Weinstein). He was the eldest of three children.
Broadway columnist Earl Wilson dubbed him "The Bronx Barrymore".
Continued to return to the Actors Studio periodically in later years.
Father of a son, Adam Balsam and a daughter, Zoe Balsam, from his marriage to Irene Miller.
Former father-in-law of George Clooney.
Graduated DeWitt Clinton High School in New York. 
He was the first to record the voice of HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but was passed over in favor of Douglas Rain.
He would express frustration when fans asking for autographs would only seem to remember him falling backwards down the stairway in Psycho (1960). He felt there were so many other challenging roles he would rather be remembered for. Always charming, he simply smiled and provided the signature, just the same.
Made his film debut in the Actors Studio-dominated film On the Waterfront (1954).
Part of the drama club at DeWitt Clinton High School, he studied dramatics at The New School in New York City and then served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Played Carroll O'Connor's Jewish business partner for a couple of seasons on "Archie Bunker's Place" (1979). Previously they had performed together in the The Sacco-Vanzetti Story on "Sunday Showcase" (1959).
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.
Studied Monkey Kung Fu as a hobby.
Won Broadway's 1968 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running."