Bob Balaban

Bob Balaban

Aug. 16th, 1945
Born in
Chicago, Illinois, USA
5' 5"

Bob Balaban's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Legend TV Show
Hopeless Pictures TV Show
Hopeless Pictures

Main Movie Roles

2014 - The Grand Budapest Hotel
2014 - Fading Gigolo
2014 - The Monuments Men
2013 - Girl Most Likely
2012 - Moonrise Kingdom
2010 - Howl
2009 - The Windmill Movie
2007 - No Reservations
2007 - Dedication
2006 - For Your Consideration
2006 - Lady in the Water
2005 - Trust the Man
2005 - Capote
2003 - A Mighty Wind
2002 - The Tuxedo
2001 - The Mexican
2001 - Gosford Park
2001 - Ghost World
2001 - The Majestic
1999 - Three to Tango
1999 - Jakob the Liar
1997 - Deconstructing Harry
1997 - Clockwatchers
1994 - City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold
1994 - Greedy
1993 - For Love or Money
1993 - Amos and Andrew
1992 - Bob Roberts
1991 - Little Man Tate
1990 - Alice
1989 - Dead Bang
1987 - End of the Line
1984 - 2010: The Year We Make Contact
1981 - Prince of the City
1981 - Absence of Malice
1981 - Whose Life Is It Anyway?
1980 - Altered States
1977 - Close Encounters of the Third Kind
1975 - Report to the Commissioner
1970 - Catch-22
1970 - The Strawberry Statement
1969 - Midnight Cowboy
0 - Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Dr. Rice
Senator Elliot Robeson
Ira Stone
Gordon Higgs
Jo-Jo Gillespie
Ted Mitchell
Melvin Schmelff
[Complete List]


  • 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)_ (qv), he failed to receive a nomination however.
  • Was nominated for Broadway's 1979 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "The Inspector General."
  • Played the head of NBC in both _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv) and _The Late Shift (1996) (TV)_ (qv).
  • 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'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, Inc. Sam Katz forced co-founder Adolph Zukor 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 "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."
  • His first cousin, Judith Balaban Quine, is author of "The Bridemaids", a book about her friend, 'Grace Kelly (I)' (qv).
  • Cousin of director 'Burt Balaban' (qv) and nephew of Barney Balaban.
  • Son of Elmer Balaban (1909-2001) who was last surviving of seven Balaban brothers who dominated the theater business in Chicago and much of the Midwest. The Balaban boys, sons of immigrant Jewish grocery-store owners in Chicago, built city's first "supercolossal" theaters, the 700-seat Circle and the 2,000-seat Central Park. Bob's Uncle Barney 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.

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