Best known as an actor, this multitalented man has also enjoyed success as a musician, writer and director, not to mention father of three performers, including Emmy-nominee Adam Arkin. Although the New York-born, Los Angeles-bred Arkin harbored acting ambitions since his youth, he started out as the lead singer of the '50s folk trio The Tarriers. Toward the end of that decade, Arkin was invited to join a new sketch-comedy troupe called Second City in Chicago. Initially hesitant to make the Midwest his home base, he ultimately accepted the gig. It 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 appropriately hilarious performance in Enter Laughing, and in 1966 he earned an Oscar nod for his film debut as a Russian-submariner-out-of-water 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. Although Arkin worked regularly into the '70s as a versatile character player, embodying myriad ethnic characters including Jews (his own background), Russians, the French (Inspector Clouseau) and, strangely but convincingly, Hispanics (Popi, Freebie and the Bean), he also pursued his other interests, including writing and directing. After winning a Drama Desk Award for helming the black comedy Little Murders off-Broadway, he brought it to the screen in 1971 and directed many other projects for the stage and the small screen. In the '80s and '90s, he found meatier 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. While he was relegated to the stereotype of cantankerous old coot in many of his later film appearances, his flamboyant turn as a foulmouthed junkie grandpa in the lauded 2006 indie Little Miss Sunshine earned him an Oscar (in a surprise upset over Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls) and proved that the 72-year-old veteran could still tackle cutting-edge dramedy.