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Bob Balaban Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 16 August 1945Chicago, Illinois, USA
Birth NameRobert Elmer Balaban
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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.

Spouse (1)

Lynn Grossman (1 April 1977 - present) (2 children)

Trivia (16)

Cousin of director Burt Balaban and Judy Balaban. Nephew of Barney Balaban.
Played the head of NBC in both Seinfeld (1989) and The Late Shift (1996).
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 Pictures in Hollywood and wanted to pass the torch to Elmer, but he declined. Elmer has been credited with devising an early version of pay-TV, based on a set-top box that would show first-run movies at home by accepting quarters.
Published a diary of his experiences working on the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
His first cousin, Judith Balaban Quine, is author of "The Bridemaids", a book about her friend, Grace Kelly.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1979 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "The Inspector General."
Uncles Barney and A.J. Balaban owned ornate movie theaters with Sam Katz, the Balaban & Katz theater chain. Renamed Publix Theaters in 1925, it was acquired by Paramount Pictures. The theater chain became so important to Paramount'Inc. Sam Katz forced co-founder Adolph Zukor s fortunes that the company name was changed to Paramount-Publix in 1930. Paramount-Publix went bankrupt in 1933, and was reorganized as Paramount Pictures' to resign, but after Barney Balaban became Paramount president in 1936, he appointed Zukor chairman of the board. Barney Balaban was president of Paramount through the tumultuous years following the 1949 Supreme Court-mandated divestiture of movie production companies from their theater chains. President of Paramount for 28 years, Barney coined "Balaban's Law," which held that a film had to gross three times its negative cost to break even. After the failure of Samuel Bronston's The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), which cost $20 million (approximately $115 million in 2003 dollars), Balaban was eased out of Paramount.
Uncle Barney Balaban, president of Paramount Pictures from 1936 to 1964, was one of the movie magnates who attended the Waldorf Conference in 1946, in which the blacklist against communists was implemented. A deeply religious man, when asked by his daughter about his complicity with the blacklist, Balaban told her, "I don't think it's okay. There's something about it that's okay, but there's something about it that's terrible, and I don't quite understand it all yet".
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2007 Razzie Award nominating ballot. He was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actor category for his performance in the film Lady in the Water (2006), he failed to receive a nomination however.
He is described as a "mega-hunk" in The Simpsons: A Star Is Born Again (2003).
Father of Mariah Balaban (born 1977) and Hazel Balaban (born Februay 25, 1987).
He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
His paternal grandparents were immigrant Russian Jewish grocery-store owners in Chicago, while his mother's family were Jewish immigrants from Germany, Russia, and Romania.
As of 2014, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Midnight Cowboy (1969), Gosford Park (2001) - which he produced and he was nominated himself - and Capote (2005). Midnight Cowboy (1969) won in the category.
For his part in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Balaban auditioned in French.
Made his Broadway debut in Neil Simons "Plaza Suite" in support of George C. Scott and Maureen Stapleton.

Personal Quotes (5)

God, I'd love to do a big commercial movie that made a lot of money and whose plot was interesting, too.
Yes, I try to do everything I can not to fail hideously.
When I felt unsure of my abilities and terrified of the whole enterprise, I said to myself, 'You're an actor, right? So act like a director.'
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.
[describing his Chicago youth] I was one of those kids who'd put on neighborhood puppet shows. I was a puppet fanatic. I was always putting on plays and enlisting my friends to help.

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