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General information  

  • Real name : Robert Elmer Balaban
  • Place of birth : Chicago
  • Date of birth : 16/08/1945



  • Balaban Bob


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Bob Balaban (1945)

Robert Elmer Balaban

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Robert Elmer "Bob" Balaban is an American actor, author and director.


 personal life
Balaban was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Eleanor (née Pottasch) and Elmer Balaban, who owned several movie theatres and later was a pioneer in cable television. His family was a dominant force in the theatre business; his uncles founded the Balaban and Katz Theatre circuit in Chicago, a chain which included the Chicago and Uptown theatres . Balaban and Katz operated some of the most beautiful movie palaces in the United States beginning in the 1920s. Bob Balaban's father and his uncle Harry founded the H & E Balaban Corporation in Chicago. H & E Balaban Corporation operated their own movie palaces including the Esquire Theatre in Chicago. They later owned a powerful group of television stations and cable television franchises. His uncle Barney Balaban was president of Paramount Pictures for nearly 30 years from 1936 to 1964. His grandmother's second husband, Sam Katz, was a vice president at MGM beginning in 1936. Sam had early partnered with Bob's uncles Abe, Barney, John and Max to form Balaban and Katz. Sam also served as President of the Publix theatre division of Paramount Pictures.

Balaban is an alumnus of Colgate University and New York University and lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his family. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. He is Jewish, with his paternal grandparents having immigrated from Russia to Chicago.

One of his earliest appearances in film was in 1969's Midnight Cowboy. Prior to that, he filled the role of "Linus" in the original New York off-Broadway production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" in 1967. Among his early roles in the 1970s were those of Orr in Catch-22, and the interpreter David Laughlin in the 1977 Steven Spielberg science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In 1979 he received a Tony Award nomination for his role in The Inspector General. During the 1980s he appeared in films such as Altered States and 2010, and directed the Randy Quaid picture Parents.

Balaban has had supporting roles in films such as Absence of Malice, Bob Roberts, Deconstructing Harry, Ghost World, The Majestic, Lady in the Water and all of Christopher Guest's films: Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.
Balaban appeared in Miami Vice as reporter Ira Stone, a nemesis of G. Gordon Liddy's character. In the 1990s, Balaban had a recurring role on the fourth season of Seinfeld as Russell Dalrymple, the fictional president of NBC and eventually Elaine's love interest. He also played Warren Littlefield, a real-world NBC executive, in The Late Shift, about the battle between Jay Leno and David Letterman for NBC's The Tonight Show. In 1999 Balaban made a guest appearance in the sitcom Friends as Phoebe's father Frank Buffay in "The One With Joey's Bag". In 2010, Balaban appeared as Judge Clayton Horn, the real-life judge who presided over the obscenity trial of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and City Lights Books in the movie Howl.

In 2001 Balaban produced the Robert Altman picture Gosford Park, for which he received a nomination for Best Picture; he also appeared in the movie as Morris Weissman, a Hollywood producer. He recently appeared in an episode of Entourage as a doctor known for writing prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Balaban owns the rights for any future movie adaptations of the BBC sitcom Red Dwarf.

Balaban is the director of Bernard and Doris.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Bob Balaban", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.