Bob Balaban

Actor, Director, Producer
As a screen actor, Bob Balaban was often seen in character roles as buttoned up and usually bespectacled brains, with his deadpan performances in Christopher Guest films like "Waiting for Guffman" (1996) and "Best in ... Read more »
Born: 08/16/1945 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (79)

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 2015 (Tv Show)

Himself

Show Me a Hero 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Fading Gigolo 2014 (Movie)

Sol (Actor)

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014 (Movie)

M. Martin (Actor)

The Monuments Men 2014 (Movie)

Preston Savitz (Actor)

Girl Most Likely 2013 (Movie)

Maxwell (Actor)

Moonrise Kingdom 2012 (Movie)

(Narrator)

The 84th Annual Academy Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

Thin Ice 2012 (Movie)

Leonard Dahl (Actor)

A Monster in Paris 2011 (Movie)

(Voice)

Hopeless Pictures 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Voice

Legend 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

Now and Again 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

Howl 2010 (Movie)

Judge Clayton Horn (Actor)

Rage 2009 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Windmill Movie 2009 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Dedication 2007 (Movie)

Arthur Planck (Actor)

No Reservations 2007 (Movie)

Therapist (Actor)

For Your Consideration 2006 (Movie)

Philip Koontz (Actor)

Lady in the Water 2006 (Movie)

Harry Farber (Actor)

Capote 2005 (Movie)

William Shawn (Actor)

Celebrity Charades 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

A Mighty Wind 2003 (Movie)

Jonathan Steinbloom (Actor)

Marie and Bruce 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)

Anatomy of a Scene: Gosford Park 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Plan B 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ghost World 2001 (Movie)

Enid's Dad (Actor)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

Morris Weissman (Actor)

The Majestic 2001 (Movie)

Majority Counsel Elvin Clyde (Actor)

The Mexican 2001 (Movie)

Bernie Nayman (Actor)

Best in Show 2000 (Movie)

Dr Theodore W Millbank III (Actor)

The West Wing 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Cradle Will Rock 1999 (Movie)

Harry Hopkins (Actor)

Jakob the Liar 1999 (Movie)

Kowalsky (Actor)

Three to Tango 1999 (Movie)

Decker (Actor)

Clockwatchers 1998 (Movie)

Milton Lasky (Actor)

The Definite Maybe 1998 (Movie)

Wolfe Rollins (Actor)

Deconstructing Harry 1997 (Movie)

Richard (Actor)

Waiting for Guffman 1997 (Movie)

Lloyd Miller (Actor)

Pie in the Sky 1996 (Movie)

Mr Entamen (Actor)

Conversation With a Beast 1995 (Movie)

Arnold Webster (Actor)

City Slickers II: the Legend of Curly's Gold 1994 (Movie)

(uncredited) Radio Shrink (Actor)

Greedy 1994 (Movie)

Ed (Actor)

Amos and Andrew 1993 (Movie)

Doctor R A (Roy) Fink (Actor)

For Love Or Money 1993 (Movie)

Mr Drinkwater (Actor)

Bob Roberts 1992 (Movie)

Producer Michael Janes "Cutting Edge Live" (Actor)

Little Man Tate 1991 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) Odyssey of the Mind Questioner (Actor)

Alice 1990 (Movie)

Sid Moscowitz (Actor)

Dead Bang 1989 (Movie)

Elliot Webly (Actor)

Funny 1989 (Movie)

Actor/Director (Actor)

End of the Line 1987 (Movie)

Warren Gerber (Actor)

2010 1984 (Movie)

Dr R Chandra (Actor)

In Our Hands 1983 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Absence of Malice 1981 (Movie)

Rosen (Actor)

Prince of the City 1981 (Movie)

Santimassino (Actor)

Whose Life Is It Anyway? 1981 (Movie)

Carter Hill (Actor)

Altered States 1980 (Movie)

Arthur Rosenberg (Actor)

First Love 1978 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Girlfriends 1978 (Movie)

Martin (Actor)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 (Movie)

David Laughlin (Actor)

Report to the Commissioner 1975 (Movie)

Joey Egan (Actor)

Bank Shot 1973 (Movie)

Victor Karp (Actor)

Making It 1971 (Movie)

Wilkie (Actor)

Catch-22 1970 (Movie)

Captain Orr (Actor)

The Strawberry Statement 1970 (Movie)

Elliot (Actor)

Me, Natalie 1969 (Movie)

Morris (Actor)

Midnight Cowboy 1969 (Movie)

The Young Student (Actor)

Broad City (Tv Show)

Actor

Giving Up the Ghost (TV Show)

Actor

Marriage: Year One (TV Show)

Actor

Recount (TV Show)

Actor

Swing Vote (TV Show)

Actor

The Face of Fear (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Shift (TV Show)

Actor

Unnatural Pursuits (TV Show)

Actor
Director (18)

Dead Last 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

Deadline 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

Lateline 1998 - 2001, 2006 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

Strangers With Candy 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman 1994 - 1995, 1998 - 2001, 2005 - 2007, 2010 - 2011 (Tv Show)

Director

Georgia O'Keeffe 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Director

The Twilight Zone 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Director

Oz 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Subway Stories: Tales From the Underground 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

The Last Good Time 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

My Boyfriend's Back 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Parents 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Penn & Teller's Invisible Thread 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Director

SPFX: 1140 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

Alpha House (Tv Show)

Director

Bernard and Doris (TV Show)

Director

Tales From the Darkside (TV Show)

Director

The Exonerated (TV Show)

Director
Producer (3)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Definite Maybe 1998 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Last Good Time 1995 (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (2)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

(Idea) (Story By)

The Last Good Time 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Music (1)

Deconstructing Harry 1997 (Movie)

("When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along") (Song Performer)
Other (1)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

from idea (Other)

Biography

As a screen actor, Bob Balaban was often seen in character roles as buttoned up and usually bespectacled brains, with his deadpan performances in Christopher Guest films like "Waiting for Guffman" (1996) and "Best in Show" (2000) earning him a following with indie comedy fans. Many of those same fans, as well as ones who enjoyed his recurring role as the network executive who greenlights and then cancels Jerry and George's sitcom project on "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998), may not have known that Balaban also enjoyed a steady career behind the camera as a director of dark comedies for film and television. A foray into producing, alongside film great Robert Altman, resulted in the pair's Oscar-nominated best picture "Gosford Park" (2001), a period whodunit in which Balaban starred as a 1930s filmmaker. In 2008, his well-rounded career earned him widespread praise and award consideration for his acting in HBO's political drama "Recount" (2008) and for his directing "Bernard and Doris" (2008), the network's biopic about tobacco millionaire Doris Duke. Further accolades followed with his biopic "Georgia O'Keeffe" (Lifetime, 2010), proving that his creativity in front of and behind the camera knew no limits.

Relationships

Barney Balaban

Uncle
President of Paramount Pictures for nearly 30 years from 1936-1964

Elmer Balaban

Father
Co-founded the H & E Balaban Corporation in Chicago, which operated their own movie palaces including the Esquire Theatre later owned a powerful group of television stations and cable television franchises

Eleanor Balaban

Mother

Hazel Balaban

Daughter
Born February 25, 1987 mother, Lynn Grossman

Mariah Balaban

Daughter
Born c. 1977 mother, Lynn Grossman

Harry Balaban

Uncle
Co-founded (with Bob's father) the H & E Balaban Corporation in Chicago

Burt Balaban

Cousin

Lynn Grossman

Wife
Married April 1, 1977

Sam Katz

Grandfather
Vice president at MGM beginning in 1936 also served as President of the Publix theatre division of Paramount Pictures

Namcy Magidson

Sister
Operated Balaban's Fine Food in Chicago

EDUCATION

Studied acting with Uta Hagen and Viola Spolin

Colgate University

Hamilton , New York

New York University

New York , New York

Milestones

2012

Narrated Wes Anderson's romantic adventure "Moonrise Kingdom"

2011

Re-teamed with "Dedication" co-star Billy Crudup and Greg Kinnear in the crime drama "Thin Ice"

2010

Directed Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in the Lifetime biopic "Georgia O'Keeffe"; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

2008

Directed the HBO film "Bernard and Doris," about tobacco millionairess Doris Duke (Susan Sarandon) and her relationship with her gay butler (Ralph Fiennes); earned an Emmy nomination for Directing a Miniseries or TV-Movie

2008

Portrayed Ben Ginsberg, the national counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in the HBO film "Recount"; earned an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV-Movie

2007

Co-starred in Justin Theroux's directing debut "Dedication"

2006

Played a screenwriter in the Christopher Guest ensemble "For Your Consideration"

2006

Co-starred in M. Night Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water" opposite Bryce Dallas Howard and Paul Giamatti

2005

Appeared in the critically acclaimed "Capote," starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

2003

Once again collaborated with director Christopher Guest for the ensemble "A Mighty Wind"

2001

Played the hapless father of Thora Birch's alienated teen in "Ghost World"

2001

Played a featured role in the Robert Altman-directed ensemble piece "Gosford Park"; also produced and contributed to the story; received Best Picture Academy Award nomination

2000

Appeared in Christopher Guest's ensemble comedy "Best in Show"

1999

Directed the play "Vick's Boy"; produced in NYC by Rattlestick Productions

1999

Staged the off-Broadway production of Arthur Kopit's play "Y2K"

1999

Acted in the off-Broadway production of David Mamet's one-person show "Mr. Happiness" (produced at the Atlantic Theatre Company)

1999

Re-teamed with Mueller-Stahl to play a suicidal barber in "Jakob the Liar"; also starred Robin Williams and Alan Arkin

1998

Directed an episode of the HBO prison drama "Oz"

1998

Re-teamed with director Claudia Weill to play Bob Shadyac in Lifetime's "Giving Up the Ghost"

1997

Appeared in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry"

1997

Helmed "5:24" segment of HBO's "Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground"

1996

Featured in Armin Mueller-Stahl's directorial debut "Conversations With a Beast"

1996

Portrayed NBC executive Warren Littlefield in the HBO movie "The Late Shift"

1995

Directed episodes of the UPN series "Legend"; also played the part of Harry Parver on the series

1994

Wrote, directed and produced the feature "The Last Good Time"

1993

Sophomore directing effort, "My Boyfriend's Back"

1992

Played the recurring role of a TV executive modeled after Warren Littlefield on the NBC sitcom "Seinfeld"

1992

Appeared in Tim Robbins' feature directing debut "Bob Roberts"

1991

Directed episodes of the short-lived NBC sitcom "Eerie, Indiana"

1990

First association with Woody Allen, appearing in the director's film "Alice"

1989

Feature directorial debut, "Parents"

1987

Helmed the Showtime comedy special "Penn & Teller's Invisible Thread"

1985

Directed episodes of the Spielberg-produced series "Amazing Stories" (NBC)

1984

Appeared in Peter Hyams' "2010"

1983

Made TV directorial debut with "Trick or Treat," the pilot for the syndicated "Tales From the Darkside"

1982

Filmed the short "SPFX 1140," starring Mandy Patinkin

1981

Played a supporting role in Sydney Pollack's "Absence of Malice"

1980

Made stage directorial debut with "Girls, Girls, Girls"

1979

Portrayed the 95-year-old servant of Khlestakov in "The Inspector General"; earned a Tony nomination for Featured Actor in a Play

1977

Played the interpreter David Laughlin in Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

1977

First collaboration with director Claudia Weill, "Girlfriends"

1975

Appeared in Milton Katselas' "Report to the Commisioner" (credited as Rob Balaban)

1974

Featured opposite George C. Scott in Gower Champion's "Bank Shot" (credited as Rob Balaban)

1972

TV debut on an episode of the ABC series "The Mod Squad"

1970

Played the title role in the NY Shakespeare Festival presentation of "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel"

1969

Portrayed Captain Orr in "Catch 22"

1968

Film acting debut in "Midnight Cowboy"

1968

Broadway debut (while a student at NYU) as bellhop in Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"

1967

Off-Broadway debut, as Linus in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"

Began performing with the Second City troupe in Chicago while still in high school

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