Alan Arkin Celebrity Watchlist

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New York-born but Los Angeles-bred, Alan Arkin got his start in show business as the lead singer of the 1950s folk trio The Tarriers and recorded four albums of children's songs with The Babysitters. But acting was his true calling and in 1959 Arkin joined… (more)

Birth Name: Alan Wolf Arkin

Birth Place: Brooklyn, NY

Birthday: March 26, 1934, Aries

Profession: Actor, Writer, Singer, Composer, Director, Producer

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Biography

New York-born but Los Angeles-bred, Alan Arkin got his start in show business as the lead singer of the 1950s folk trio The Tarriers and recorded four albums of children's songs with The Babysitters. But acting was his true calling and in 1959 Arkin joined a new sketch-comedy troupe called Second City in Chicago. The move to the Windy City jump-started his acting career and led to his Broadway debut in the 1961 revue From the Second City. Two years later, Arkin picked up a Tony for his hilarious performance in Enter Laughing, and in 1966 he earned an Oscar nod for his first major film appearance as a Soviet submariner in the Cold War comedy The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. A second Oscar nomination for his dramatic turn as a deaf mute in 1968's The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter proved he could do more than provoke laughs, as did his chilling portrayal of a killer in the Audrey Hepburn thriller Wait Until Dark. In 1969, Arkin won a Drama Desk Award for helming the black comedy Little Murders off-Broadway and later directed the film version. His next big success was supposed to be the Mike Nichols directed Catch-22, but the movie bombed and stalled Arkin's film career for the first part of the 1970s. But the hard-scrambling actor never lacked work, turning up in so-so pictures such as Freebie and the Bean and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Broadway was more kind. Arkin directed Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys on the Great White Way in 1972 and earned another Tony nod. The late 1970s saw Arkin rebound with winning performances in the Sherlock Holmes caper The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and the uproarious The In-Laws. In the '80s and '90s, Arkin continued to land meaty roles on TV, earning Emmy nods as a concentration-camp prisoner focused on freedom in Escape from Sobibor and a guest spot on his son Adam's series Chicago Hope,and in films, most notably as part of the great ensemble cast of Glengarry Glen Ross. The 2000s brought even more acclaim: an Emmy nomination for The Pentagon Papers and an overdue Oscar for the lauded 2006 indie smash Little Miss Sunshine. Since his Academy Award triumph, Arkin's continued to land solid supporting roles in high-profile projects, both comedic (Get Smart) and dramatic (Rendition).

Fast Facts

  • Was the lead singer for a folk group called the Tarriers in the 1950s that had an international hit with "The Banana Boat Song."
  • Was an original member of the Second City comedy troupe.
  • Won a Tony award for Enter Laughing.
  • Directed the original Broadway production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys.
  • Has written several children's books, including The Lemming Condition and One Present from Flekman's.
  • Has been nominated for three Oscars, winning in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine.

Awards

  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 1967, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Nominee
  • 1987, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 1997, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1988, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 1967, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1969, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1970, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1966, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1963, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Dramatic): Winner
  • 1973, Tony — Director (Dramatic): Nominee
  • 1968, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2006, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1967, Emmy — Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2006, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1966, BAFTA Film Awards — Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2012, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2013, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2012, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1986, Genie Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 2012, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 2012, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1982, Genie Awards — Best Performance by a Foreign Actor: Winner

Relationships

  • Beatrice Wortis — Mother
  • Anthony Arkin — Son
  • Barbara Dana — Ex-wife
  • Jeremy Yaffe — Ex-wife
  • Matthew Arkin — Son
  • Suzanne Arkin — Wife
  • Adam Arkin — Son
  • David I. Arkin — Father

College

  • Attended Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA; attended Los Angeles State College, Los Angeles, CA; attended Bennington College, Bennington, VT