Bob Balaban Biography |
  • Bob Balaban Biography

    Born: August 16, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

    BOB BALABAN most recently co-starred in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and with Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in the comedy Girl Most Likely. He will next appear in Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel and in John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo.

    Balaban was an Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award nominee as producer of Robert Altman’s Best Picture contender Gosford Park, which brought Altman the Golden Globe Award for Best Director and Julian Fellowes the Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay, based on an idea by Altman and Balaban. He also shared the Screen Actors Guild Award’s top prize for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture. He and his fellow producers won BAFTA’s Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film.

    He directed the telefilm “Georgia O’Keeffe,” starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, which was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and nine Emmy Awards. The movie brought Balaban his second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special. The first came for “Bernard and Doris,” which he also produced. That movie, starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes, received 10 Emmy Award nominations overall, as well as three Golden Globe Award nominations. Balaban also earned Directors Guild of America Award nominations and a Producer’s Guild Award nomination.
    Balaban produced, directed, and co-wrote The Last Good Time, starring Armin Mueller-Stahl and Olivia d’Abo for Samuel Goldwyn, and directed the cult classic Parents, starring Randy Quaid, Sandy Dennis and Mary Beth Hurt. 

    In 2002, Balaban produced and directed the hit Off-Broadway play “The Exonerated” starring Richard Dreyfuss and Jill Clayburgh, which won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the New York Times “Play of the Year.” He produced and directed the show’s touring version with Robin Williams, Stockard Channing, and Mia Farrow among many others. And the television version, which starred Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Aidan Quinn, Delroy Lindo and Brian Dennehy.
    He has appeared in nearly a hundred movies, including such classics as John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, Mike Nichols’ Catch-22, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Sidney Pollack’s “Absence of Malice,” Gore Verbinski’s “The Mexican” and Bennett Miller’s “Capote.” He has starred in his friend Christopher Guest’s films Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. His many other credits as an actor include Woody Allen’s Alice and Deconstructing Harry; Tim Robbins’ Bob Roberts and Cradle Will Rock; Ken Russell’s “Altered States,” and Sidney Lumet’s “Prince of the City.” He wrote a book about his experiences on Close Encounters, titled Spielberg, Truffaut and Me: An Actor’s Diary.
    Balaban has starred on Broadway in such shows as “Plaza Suite,” “Speed-the-Plow” and “The Inspector General,” for which he was a Tony Award nominee. He has starred off-Broadway in a number of plays including the original production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel” and “Marie and Bruce.”
    He wrote a best-selling series of children’s books called McGrowl for Scholastic, and is currently in the middle of a new series called “The Creature from the Seventh Grade” for Viking/Penguin. 
    A Chicago native, his roots are in the entertainment world. His uncle was a longtime president of Paramount Pictures and his grandfather headed production at MGM for many years.

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