All in the Family TV show Wiki
Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
Personal Information
Birthname: Martin Henry Balsam
Born: November 4, 1919
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died: February 13, 1996(1996-02-13) (aged 76)
Deathplace: Rome, Italy
Years active: 1947–1995
Spouse(s): Pearl Somner (1952-1954)
Joyce Van Patten(1959-1962)
Irene Miller (1963-1987)
Character/Series involvement
Series: Archie Bunker's Place as cast regular/guest star
Episodes appeared in: 46 total in seasons 1-4
Character played: Murray Klein
Small flag infobox wordmark

Martin Henry Balsam (November 4, 1919-February 13, 1996)[1] co-starred as Murray Klein on the All in the Family spin-off series Archie Bunker's Place for two seasons a series regular from Seasons 1-3 (1979–1981), where he appeared in the role for 45 of 46 episode appearances, returning as a special guest star in the Season 4 episode "Store Wars" (#20). A gifted veteran actor, Balsam also was widely known for his Academy Award-winning role as Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns and his role as Detective Milton Arbogast in the 1960 film Psycho .

Early life[]

Martin Balsam was born in The Bronx, New York to Jewish parents Lillian (née Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, who was a manufacturer of ladies sportswear.[2][3] He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where he participated in the drama club.[2] He studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator and then served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.


Martin Balsam made his professional debut in August 1941 in a production of The Play's the Thing in Locust Valley.[4] In 1947, he was selected by Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg to be a player in the Actors studio television program. He appeared in many other television drama series, including The Twilight Zone (episodes The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine" and "The New Exhibit"), as a psychologist in the pilot episode, Five Fingers (TV series), Target: The Corruptors!, The Eleventh Hour (1962 TV series), Breaking Point (1963 TV series), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Fugitive, and Mr. Broadway, as a retired U.N.C.L.E. agent in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode, "The Odd Man Affair", and guest starred in the two-part Murder, She Wrote episode, "Death Stalks the Big Top".

Balsam appeared in such films as On the Waterfront, 12 Angry Men (as Juror #1), Time Limit, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Carpetbaggers, Seven Days In May, The Anderson Tapes, Hombre, Catch-22, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Little Big Man, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, All the President's Men, Murder On The Orient Express, The Taking of The Pelham One Two Three, Delta Force, and The Goodbye People.

Along with Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, Martin Balsam appeared in both the original Cape Fear (1962), and the 1991 Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear film.

In 1965, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Arnold Burns in A Thousand Clowns. In 1967, he won a Tony Award for his appearance in the 1967 Broadway theatre production of You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running.

Balsam played Washington Post editor Howard Simons in the 1976 blockbuster All the President's Men.[5] He also appeared in a film that eventually became a highly popular Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, the 1975 Joe Don Baker police drama Mitchell. In 1973, he played Dr. Rudy Wells when the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg was adapted as the TV-movie, The Six Million Dollar Man, though he did not reprise the role for the subsequent weekly series. He appeared as a spokesman/hostage in the 1976 TV movie Raid on Entebbe and as a detective in the 1977 TV movie Contract on Cherry Street. He also appeared on an episode of Quincy ME. He even filled in for Charles Nelson Reilly on Match Game for one question when Reilly was late for a taping.

Personal life[]

In 1952, Balsam married his first wife, actress Pearl Somner. They divorced two years later. His second wife was actress Joyce Van Patten. This marriage lasted for three years (from 1959 until 1962) and had one daughter, Talia Balsam. He married his third wife, Irene Miller, in 1963. They divorced in 1987 and had two children, Adam and Zoe.[2]


Balsam died in Rome, Italy, of a heart attack at the age of 76. He is buried at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey.[6] He was survived by his three children and Renee Landau, his companion.[2]


National Board of Review -

  • (1964) Best Supporting Actor - The Carpetbaggers

Academy Awards -

  • (1966) Best Actor in a Supporting Role - A Thousand Clowns

Golden Globe Awards -

  • (1974) Best Supporting Actor - Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (Nominated)

BAFTA Awards -

  • (1976) Best Supporting Actor - 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Nominated)
  • (1977) Best Supporting Actor - All the President's Men (Nominated)

Primetime Emmy Awards -

  • (1977) Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Raid on Entebbe (Nominated)


  1. Who Was Who in America : with World Notables, v. XI (1993-1996),. Marquis Who's Who (1996). ISBN 0837902258.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The New York Times, February 14, 1996: "Martin Balsam Is Dead at 76; Ubiquitous Character Actor" Retrieved 2012-06-15
  3. Great Character Actors
  4. Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "BALSAM, Martin". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. pp. 39–40. ISSN 0083-9833. 
  5. All the President's Men (1976) film at the Internet Movie Database]
  6. "Sometimes the Grave Is a Fine and Public Place", New York Times, March 28, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-08-21. 

External links[]