Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Remembering Martin Balsam

Born Martin Henry Balsam on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, New York where he participated in the drama DeWitt Clinton High School. After graduation he attended the Dramatic Workshop before joining U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. After the war he was selected by director Elia Kazan and Lee Strasburg to become a member of the Actors Studio televsion program. He would appear in many television programs in the '50s and '60s. He also appeared in several films including “On the Waterfront”, “12 Angry Men” “Psycho” “Cape Fear”, “Catch 22”, “Tora! Tora! Tora!”. He won a best supporting Oscar for his performance in 1965's “A Thousand Clowns”. He is the father of actress Talia Balsam from his marriage to second wife Joyce Van Patten. During the 1970s Balsam expanded his acting stage to Europe and appeared in his only Spaghetti Western 1974's “Cipola Colt” (aka “Spaghetti Western”) with Franco Nero as Petrus Lamb the man with the mechanical hand. Balsam died in Rome, Italy of a heart attack on February 13, 1996. We remember him today on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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