Fast Facts

  • Served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
  • One of the original members of the Actors Studio, he had a steady stream of roles on stage and TV before making his film debut in On the Waterfront (1954).
  • Appeared in both versions of Cape Fear, the 1962 original and the 1991 remake.
  • Divided his time between films and theater; his movies included Psycho (1960) and A Thousand Clowns (1965), and plays included Death of a Salesman and Camino Real.
  • Costarred in the sitcom Archie Bunker's Place from 1979 to '81.
  • A highly respected and successful character actor, he worked steadily in films and television until 1994, just two years before he died of a stroke while vacationing in Rome, Italy.


  • 1965, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1968, Tony — Actor (Dramatic): Winner
  • 1974, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1977, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Special: Nominee
  • 1976, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee


  • Talia Balsam — Daughter
  • Lillian Balsam — Mother
  • Warren Balsam — Brother
  • Adam Balsam — Son
  • Zoe — Daughter
  • Pearl Somner — Ex-wife
  • Joyce Van Patten — Ex-wife
  • Irene Miller — Ex-wife
  • Albert Balsam — Father


  • Attended the Actors Studio, New York, NY


  • Birth Name: Martin Henry Balsam
  • Birth Place: Bronx, NY
  • Died: February 13, 1996
  • Profession: Actor

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