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Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban was born on August 16, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Robert Elmer Balaban. He is an actor and director, known for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). He has been married to Lynn Grossman since April 1, 1977. They have two children. See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Moonrise Kingdom
Moonrise Kingdom The Narrator
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ghost World
Ghost World Enid's Dad


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (111 credits)
 2018 Isle of Dogs (post-production)
King (voice)
 2018 Condor (TV Series) (pre-production)
Reuel Abbott
- Episode #1.1 (2018) ... Reuel Abbott
- Episode #1.2 ... Reuel Abbott
 2016 Graves (TV Series)
Secretary Burns
- Nothing Can Come of Nothing (2016) ... Secretary Burns
 2016 Pitch (TV Series)
Frank Reid
- Beanball (2016) ... Frank Reid
- The Interim (2016) ... Frank Reid
- Pilot (2016) ... Frank Reid
 2016 Mascots
Sol Lumpkin
 2016 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (TV Series)
Crazy Walter
- Auto Lending (2016) ... Crazy Walter
 2015-2016 Broad City (TV Series)
Arthur Wexler
- Burning Bridges (2016) ... Arthur Wexler
- Knockoffs (2015) ... Arthur Wexler
 2013-2015 Girls (TV Series)
Dr. Rice
- Close Up (2015) ... Dr. Rice (uncredited)
- Females Only (2014) ... Dr. Rice (uncredited)
- It's Back (2013) ... Dr. Rice (uncredited)
 2014 Approach the Bench (TV Series)
The Judge / Judge
- Courtroom Chemistry (2014) ... The Judge
- Danny Aiello (2014) ... Judge
 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel
M. Martin
 2013 Fading Gigolo
 2013 Family Tree (TV Series)
Melvin Schmelff / Tumbleweed Tim
- Cowboys (2013) ... Melvin Schmelff / Tumbleweed Tim
 2013 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
Lawyer (uncredited)
 2012 Santa Fe Thursday (Short)
 2012 Moonrise Kingdom
The Narrator
 2011 The Five Stages of Grief (Short)
Daniel's Father (voice)
 2011 A Monster in Paris
Pâté (English version, voice)
 2011 Web Therapy (TV Series)
Ted Mitchell
- Shrink Rap (2011) ... Ted Mitchell
 2011 Thin Ice
Leonard Dahl
 2010 F--K (Short)
 2009/I Rage
Mr. White
 2008 God & Co. (TV Series short) (voice)
 2008 Recount (TV Movie)
Ben Ginsberg
 2007 Entourage (TV Series)
- The Dream Team (2007) ... Doctor
 2007 License to Wed
Jewelry Store Clerk (uncredited)
 2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor (TV Series)
Walt Pickle
- The Layover (2006) ... Walt Pickle (voice)
 2005 Trust the Man
Tobey's Therapist (uncredited)
 2005 Hopeless Pictures (TV Series)
- Dogville (2005) ... Sam (voice)
- Episode #1.2 (2005) ... Sam (voice)
- Cry Clown (2005) ... Sam (voice)
 2004 Scene Stealers
Jonathan Crouch Esq.
 2002 The Burbs (TV Movie)
 2002 The Tuxedo
Winton Chalmers (uncredited)
 2002 The Education of Max Bickford (TV Series)
Dr. Lowell Sherman
- I Never Schlunged My Father (2002) ... Dr. Lowell Sherman
 2002 Gosford Park: Deleted Scenes (Video short)
Morris Weissman
 2001/I Plan B
James Foster
 2001 The Mexican
Bernie Nayman
 2000 Now and Again (TV Series)
Frederick Lizzard
- Lizzard's Tale (2000) ... Frederick Lizzard
 2000 The West Wing (TV Series)
Ted Marcus
- 20 Hours in L.A. (2000) ... Ted Marcus
 1999 Three to Tango
 1999 Swing Vote (TV Movie)
Justice Eli MacCorckle
 1998 Giving Up the Ghost (TV Movie)
 1997 The Definite Maybe
Wolfe Rollins
 1997 Deconstructing Harry
 1997 Clockwatchers
Milton Lasky
 1996 Conversation with the Beast
Mr. Webster
 1996 Pie in the Sky
Paul Entamen
 1995 Legend (TV Series)
Harry Parver
 1995 Late Night with Conan O'Brien (TV Series)
Warren Littlefield
- Episode #2.158 (1995) ... Warren Littlefield (uncredited)
 1994 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold
Dr. Jeffrey Sanborn (uncredited)
 1994 Greedy
 1993 For Love or Money
Ed Drinkwater
 1993 Amos & Andrew
Dr. R.A. 'Roy' Fink
 1992 Unnatural Pursuits (TV Series)
Lou Finkleberg
- I'm the Author (1992) ... Lou Finkleberg
 1992 Bob Roberts
Michael Janes
 1991 Little Man Tate
Quizmaster (uncredited)
 1990 Alice
Sid Moscowitz
 1990 The Face of Fear (TV Movie)
Ira Preduski
 1987 Invisible Thread (TV Movie) (uncredited)
 1987 Amazing Stories (TV Series)
Jo-Jo Gillespie
- Gershwin's Trunk (1987) ... Jo-Jo Gillespie
 1985-1986 Miami Vice (TV Series)
Ira Stone
- Stone's War (1986) ... Ira Stone
 1984 Nothing Lasts Forever
Guy with sunglasses in espresso bar (uncredited)
 1981 Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Carter Hill
 1981 Prince of the City
 1978 Girlfriends
 1976 Maude (TV Series)
Ambrose Riley
- Maude's Ex-Convict (1976) ... Ambrose Riley
 1975 Report to the Commissioner
Joey Egan (as Robert Balaban)
 1974 Bank Shot
Victor Karp
 1971-1972 Mod Squad (TV Series)
Tony / Walter
- A Short Course in War (1971) ... Walter
 1971 Marriage: Year One (TV Movie)
 1971 Making It
 1971 Love, American Style (TV Series)
Nick (segment "Love and the Fuzz")
 1970 The Strawberry Statement
Elliot - Organizer
 1969 Room 222 (TV Series)
Grady Garrett
- Fathers and Sons (1969) ... Grady Garrett
 1969 Midnight Cowboy
The Young Student - New York
 1965 Hank (TV Series)
Harvey Weatly
- Will the Real Harvey Wheatley Please Stand Up? (1965) ... Harvey Weatly (as Robert Balaban)
Show Show Director (30 credits)
Show Show Producer (13 credits)
Show Show Writer (8 credits)
Show Show Miscellaneous Crew (2 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (8 credits)
Show Show Self (57 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (2 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

"8," special benefit original drama; written by Dustin Lance Black; directed by Joe Mantello; with Bob Balaban (portraying Judge Vaughn Walker); Ellen Barkin (portraying Sandy Stier); Matt Bomer (portraying Jeff Zarillo); Campbell Brown (portraying Broadcast Journalist); Anthony Edwards (portraying Dr. Ilan Meyer); Morgan ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

5 Interviews | 3 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Alternate Names:

Robert Balaban


5' 5" (1.65 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

There is an aphorism, well regarded by Freudian analysts and talent agents alike, that all people are half-actors. We can only expand that wisdom a bit and posit the following: all actors are half-directors. See more »


His mother, Elenore (Pottasch), acted under the surname Barry. His father, Elmer Balaban (1909-2001), was the last surviving of seven Balaban brothers, who dominated the theater business in Chicago and in much of the Midwest. The Balaban boys built city's first "supercolossal" theaters, the 700-seat Circle and the 2,000-seat Central Park. Bob's uncle, Barney Balaban, became chairman of Paramount ... See more »

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