Alan Arkin

Actor, Director, Producer
An extremely versatile character actor who easily oscillated between comedy and drama, Alan Arkin struggled for several years as a theater actor until the early 1960s when he caught his first break by joining the famed ... Read more »
Born: 03/25/1934 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (103)

Love the Coopers 2015 (Movie)

Bucky (Actor)

Armed Response 2014 (Movie)

Officer Riggs (Actor)

Crossroads 2014 (Movie)

Father Benkhe (Actor)

Inside Comedy 2014 (Tv Show)

Actor

Magicians 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Million Dollar Arm 2014 (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

Grudge Match 2013 (Movie)

Louis "Lightning" Conlon (Actor)

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone 2013 (Movie)

Rance Holloway (Actor)

Argo 2012 (Movie)

Lester Siegel (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

Stand Up Guys 2012 (Movie)

Hirsch (Actor)

Thin Ice 2012 (Movie)

Gorvy Hauer (Actor)

The Change-Up 2011 (Movie)

Mitch's Dad (Actor)

The Muppets 2011 (Movie)

Tour Guide (Actor)

City Island 2010 (Movie)

Michael Malakov (Actor)

81st Annual Academy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Sunshine Cleaning 2009 (Movie)

Joe Norkowski (Actor)

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee 2009 (Movie)

Herb Lee (Actor)

Get Smart 2008 (Movie)

The Chief (Actor)

Marley & Me 2008 (Movie)

Arnie Klein (Actor)

The 80th Annual Academy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Raising Flagg 2007 (Movie)

Flagg Purdy (Actor)

Rendition 2007 (Movie)

Senator Hawkins (Actor)

Firewall 2006 (Movie)

Arlin Forester (Actor)

Little Miss Sunshine 2006 (Movie)

Grandpa (Actor)

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause 2006 (Movie)

Bud Newman (Actor)

Eros 2005 (Movie)

Dr. Pearl (Actor)

Will & Grace 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Noel 2004 (Movie)

Artie (Actor)

100 Centre Street 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Chicago Hope 1996 - 1997, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Harry 1968 - 1980, 1986 - 1987, 1996 - 1997, 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Hawaii Five-O 1968 - 1980, 1996 - 1997, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing 2002 (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

America's Sweethearts 2001 (Movie)

Wellness Guide (Actor)

Blood Money 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Jakob the Liar 1999 (Movie)

Frankfurter (Actor)

Four Days in September 1998 (Movie)

Charles Burke Elbrick (Actor)

The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Slums of Beverly Hills 1998 (Movie)

Murray Abramowitz (Actor)

Catch-22 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Gattaca 1997 (Movie)

Detective Hugo (Actor)

Grosse Pointe Blank 1997 (Movie)

Dr Oatman (Actor)

Heck's Way Home 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Mother Night 1996 (Movie)

George Kraft (Actor)

Picture Windows 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Steal Big, Steal Little 1995 (Movie)

Lou Perilli (Actor)

The Jerky Boys 1995 (Movie)

Lazarro (Actor)

North 1994 (Movie)

Judge Buckle (Actor)

Indian Summer 1993 (Movie)

Uncle Lou (Actor)

So I Married An Axe Murderer 1993 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

Glengarry Glen Ross 1992 (Movie)

George Aaronow (Actor)

The Rocketeer 1991 (Movie)

Peevy (Actor)

Coupe de Ville 1990 (Movie)

Fred Libner (Actor)

Edward Scissorhands 1990 (Movie)

Bill (Actor)

Havana 1990 (Movie)

Joe Volpi (Actor)

The Emperor's New Clothes 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Medicine 1985 (Movie)

Dr Ramon Madera (Actor)

Big Trouble 1985 (Movie)

Leonard Hoffman (Actor)

Joshua Then and Now 1985 (Movie)

Reuben Shapiro (Actor)

The Second City 25th Anniversary Special 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Return of Captain Invincible 1983 (Movie)

Captain Invincible (Actor)

Deadhead Miles 1982 (Movie)

Cooper (Actor)

The Last Unicorn 1982 (Movie)

of Schmendrick--Magician (Voice)

Two Guys From Muck 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Chu Chu and the Philly Flash 1981 (Movie)

Flash (Actor)

Full Moon High 1981 (Movie)

Dr Jacob Brand (Actor)

Simon 1980 (Movie)

Simon (Actor)

The In-Laws 1979 (Movie)

Sheldon Kornpett (Actor)

Improper Channels 1978 (Movie)

Jeffrey Martley (Actor)

The Magician of Lublin 1978 (Movie)

Yasha Mazur (Actor)

Fire Sale 1977 (Movie)

Ezra Fikus (Actor)

Love, Life, Liberty & Lunch 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Hearts of the West 1975 (Movie)

Kessler (Actor)

Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins 1975 (Movie)

Rafferty (Actor)

The Seven Per-Cent Solution 1975 (Movie)

Sigmund Freud (Actor)

Freebie and the Bean 1974 (Movie)

Bean (Actor)

The Trouble With People 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Last of the Red Hot Lovers 1972 (Movie)

Barney Cashman (Actor)

Little Murders 1971 (Movie)

Detective (Actor)

Catch-22 1970 (Movie)

Captain Yossarian (Actor)

Popi 1969 (Movie)

Popi (Actor)

Inspector Clouseau 1968 (Movie)

Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Actor)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter 1968 (Movie)

John Singer (Actor)

ABC Stage '67 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Wait Until Dark 1967 (Movie)

Roat (Actor)

Woman Times Seven 1967 (Movie)

Fred (Actor)

A Deadly Business (TV Show)

Actor

A Matter of Principle (TV Show)

Actor

Cooperstown (TV Show)

Actor

Doomsday Gun (TV Show)

Actor

Escape From Sobibor (TV Show)

Actor

Necessary Parties (TV Show)

Actor

Taking the Heat (TV Show)

Actor

The Fourth Wise Man (TV Show)

Actor

The Other Side of Hell (TV Show)

Actor

The Pentagon Papers (TV Show)

Actor

Varian's War (TV Show)

Actor
Director (7)

Fay 1968 - 1980, 1996 - 1997, 2001 - 2002 (Tv Show)

Director

Samuel Beckett Is Coming Soon... 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

The Boss 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Director

The Visit 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Director

Fire Sale 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Twigs 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Director

Little Murders 1971 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (2)

Thin Ice 2012 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The In-Laws 1979 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

An extremely versatile character actor who easily oscillated between comedy and drama, Alan Arkin struggled for several years as a theater actor until the early 1960s when he caught his first break by joining the famed comedy troupe, The Second City. With his career officially started, he made a huge impression with an Oscar-nominated performance in Norman Jewison's raucous Cold War comedy, "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" (1966), a film that put Arkin on the map for good. He did take a step backwards with a leading role in "Catch-22" (1970), thanks to the expected hit becoming a flop. After spending several years making rather forgettable comedies, Arkin finally rebounded with "The In-Laws" (1979), and spent the next decade bouncing around from television to film to stage. Following a notable turn in "Edward Scissorhands" (1990), he delivered a standout performance as a meek salesman in "Glengarry Glen Ross" (1992). Arkin went on to a greater diversity of roles with "Jeryky Boys: The Movie" (1995), "Grosse Point Blank" (1997), "Four Days in September" (1997), "The Slums of Beverly Hills" (1998) and "The Pentagon Papers" (FX, 2003). He received deserved accolades for his hilarious, but touching performance as a drug-addled, foul-mouthed septuagenarian in the surprise hit "Little Miss Sunshine" (2007), a role that finally earned him a long-awaited Academy Award. Whether in broad comedies, indie films or studio blockbusters, Arkin proved himself to be one of Hollywood's more versatile and in-demand actors.

Relationships

Adam Arkin Actor

Son
Born Aug. 19, 1956; mother, Jeremy Yaffe Wrote "Improper Channels" (1981), in which father acted; acted with father in "Chu Chu and the Philly Flash" (1981) and "Full Moon High" (1982); Alan also played Adam's long-lost father on CBS' "Chicago Hope"

David Arkin

Father
Accused during the 1950s Red Scare of being Communist; lost teaching job after refusing to answer questions regarding his political affiliation

Anthony Arkin Actor

Son
Born in 1967; mother, Barbara Dana Had a small role in "Full Moon High" (1981) and played his father's son in the PBS special "A Matter of Principle" (1984)

Beatrice Arkin

Mother
Accused during the 1950s Red Scare of being Communist; lost teaching job after refusing to answer questions regarding her political affiliation

Matthew Arkin Actor

Son
Born March 21, 1960; mother, Jeremy Yaffe Acted with father in Carl Reiner's "North" (1994)

Barbara Dana Actor

Wife
Married June 16, 1964 Wrote "Chu Chu and the Philly Flash" (1981), a film that starred her husband Divorced in 1999

Suzanne Newlander Arkin

Wife
Married in 1996

Jeremy Yaffe

Wife
Bennington College classmate Married while in college on Dec. 14, 1955 Divorced in 1961

EDUCATION

Bennington College

Bennington , Vermont 1953 - 1955
Met first wife; dropped out to join folk group The Tarriers

Los Angeles City College

Los Angeles , California 1951 - 1952

Studied with Benjamin Zemach, who taught Arkin a psychological approach to acting

Franklin High School

Los Angeles , California

Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences

Los Angeles , California 1952 - 1953
College name later changed to California State University, Los Angeles

Milestones

2013

Played an aging magician opposite Jim Carrey and Steve Carell in "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"

2012

Played a veteran Hollywood producer in political thriller "Argo," directed by Ben Affleck

2012

Co-starred with Al Pacino and Christopher Walken as aging con men in crime comedy "Stand Up Guys"

2011

Made cameo in "The Muppets"

2011

Re-teamed with "Little Miss Sunshine" co-star Greg Kinnear in the crime drama "Thin Ice"

2011

Cast as Ryan Reynolds' father in "The Change-Up"

2010

Co-starred in the independent film "City Island"

2009

Played Amy Adams and Emily Blunt's father in the independent feature "Sunshine Cleaning"

2009

Played the much older husband of Robin Wright Penn in "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," written and directed by Rebecca Miller

2008

Played Owen Wilson's boss in the family film "Marley and Me"

2008

Played The Chief in the adaptation of Mel Brooks and Buck Henry's hit 1960s spy parody "Get Smart"

2007

Co-starred with Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon in "Rendition"

2007

Played an elderly handyman in director Neal Miller's character-driven comedy drama "Raising Flagg"

2006

Played a foul-mouthed grandfather with a taste for heroin in the indie comedy "Little Miss Sunshine"; earned a SAG nomination for Best Supporting Actor

2003

Cast in the FX miniseries "The Pentagon Papers"; received a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nomination

2001

Headlined the ensemble cast of the A&E series "100 Centre Street"

1998

Played the family patriarch in "The Slums of Beverly Hills"

1998

Returned to the stage in the off-Broadway play (also co-authored) "Power Plays"; also starred son Anthony, Elaine May and May's daughter Jeannie Berlin

1997

Offered a hysterically funny turn as hitman John Cusack's psychiatrist in "Grosse Point Blank"

1997

Played American ambassador to Brazil in the Oscar-nominated foreign film "Four Days in September"

1996

Played George Kraft in film version of Kurt Vonnegut's "Night Mother"

1995

Appeared in "Jerky Boys: The Movie"

1993

Helmed first feature in 16 years, "Samuel Beckett Is Coming Soon"; also co-starred with son Anthony

1993

Played a bitter ex-ballplayer in TNT's "Cooperstown"

1992

Joined a heavyweight cast for the film version of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross"

1990

Offered a satiric turn as suburbanite in "Edward Scissorhands"

1988

Co-wrote (with wife Barbara Dana from her novel) and co-starred with her in the PBS special "Necessary Parties"

1987

Directed "The Visit," the fifth episode of PBS' first original comedy series "Trying Times"

1987

Delivered an Emmy-nominated turn in CBS movie "Escape from Sobibor"

1987

Co-executive producer and star of short-lived ABC series "Harry"; also starred wife Barbara Dana

1985

Won critical praise as James Woods' colorful dad in "Joshua Then and Now"

1982

Provided the voice of Schmendrick the Magician in the animated feature "The Last Unicorn"

1981

Teamed with Carol Burnett in the film "Chu Chu and the Philly Flash"; scripted by Arkin's then-wife Barbara Dana

1979

Feature producing (executive producer) debut, "The In-Laws"; also acted; second film with director Hiller

1977

Directed and acted in "Fire Sale"

1977

Portrayed Sigmund Freud to Nicol Williamson's Sherlock Holmes in "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution"

1975

Directed episodes of NBC's short-lived series "Fay," starring Lee Grant

1975

Co-directed (with Clark Jones) George Furth's TV adaptation of his play "Twigs" (CBS)

1972

Broadway directorial debut, Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys"

1970

Feature film directing debut, "Little Murders"; also acted

1969

Landed plum role in Mike Nichols' film adaptation of Joseph Heller's antiwar novel "Catch-22"; initial tepid response hurt his career; film has since acquired cult status

1968

Starred in Arthur Hiller's "Popi"; earned a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination

1968

Directed off-Broadway revival of Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders"

1968

Earned second Best Actor Oscar nomination as a deaf mute loner in "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"

1967

Terrorized a helpless and blind Audrey Hepburn in "Wait Until Dark"

1967

Short film directing debut, "T.G.I.F"

1966

Off-Broadway directing debut, "Eh?"; credited as Robert Short

1966

Feature acting debut, "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming"; earned Best Actor Oscar nomination

1963

Screen acting debut in short, "That's Me"

1963

Delivered Tony-winning turn in Carl Reiner's "Enter Laughing"

1961

Broadway debut in the revue, "From the Second City"

1960

Became a member of Chicago's Second City Group

1959

Joined the improvisational group The Compass Players at the Crystal Palace in St. Louis, MO

1958

Off-Broadway debut, "Heloise"

1958

Recorded four albums of songs for children with The Babysitters

1956

With Erik Darling and Bob Carey, co-founded the folk group The Tarriers

Bonus Trivia

.

As a founding member of the folk group The Tarriers, Arkin co-wrote "The Banana Boat Song" in 1956. The song later became a signature hit for Harry Belafonte.

.

"Actually, I don't even think I was funny once before I got to Second City. I don't know why they hired me. It was months before I did anything that was remotely humorous. I found one character that worked, and kept playing him over and over. But on weekends we would work four or five hours a night and play 50, 60 characters, improvising, doing set pieces. And that kind of experience is invaluable." – Arkin in Premiere Magazine, November 1995

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"Alan's never had an identifiable screen personality because he just disappears into his characters. His accents are impeccable, and he's even able to change his look – but oddly enough, this gift has worked against him. He's always been underestimated, partly because he's never been in service of his own success, which is one of the things I love about him. Alan's just so cool!" – Norman Jewison to The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 25, 1998

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"I used to have a lot of philosophies of acting; they all fell apart over the years." – Arkin to Esquire Magazine, January 2007

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