Arkin in 1975
Alan Wolf Arkin
March 26, 1934
Brooklyn, New York, US
|Occupation||Actor, director, comedian, musician, singer|
Jeremy Yaffe (1955–1961; divorced; 2 children)
Barbara Dana (1964–199?; divorced; 1 child)
Suzanne Newlander (1996–)
Alan Wolf Arkin (born March 26, 1934) is an American actor, director, comedian, musician and singer. With a film career spanning nearly 60 years, Arkin is known for his performances in Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Little Miss Sunshine, and Argo.
He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor twice for his performances in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. He received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in Argo; he won the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine, which is his only Academy Award win to date.
- Early life 1
- Early work 2.1
- Acting 2.2
- Directing 2.3
- Writing 2.4
- Singing 2.5
- Personal life 3
- Film 4.1
- Television movies/miniseries 4.2
- Television appearances 4.3
- References 5
External links 6
- Videos 6.1
Arkin was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of David I. Arkin, a painter and writer, and his wife, Beatrice (Wortis), a teacher. He was raised in a Jewish family with "no emphasis on religion". His grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine, Russia, and Germany. His parents moved to Los Angeles when Alan was 11, but an eight-month Hollywood strike cost his father his job as a set designer. During the 1950s Red Scare, Arkin's parents were accused of being Communists, and his father was fired when he refused to answer questions about his political ideology. David Arkin challenged the dismissal, but he was vindicated only after his death.
Arkin, who had been taking acting lessons since age 10, became a scholarship student at various drama academies, including one run by the Stanislavsky student Benjamin Zemach, who taught Arkin a psychological approach to acting. Arkin attended Los Angeles City College from 1951 to 1953. He also attended Bennington College. With two friends, he formed the folk music group The Tarriers, in which Arkin sang and played guitar. The band members co-composed the group's 1956 hit "The Banana Boat Song", a reworking, with some new lyrics, of a traditional, Jamaican calypso folk song of the same name, combined with another titled "Hill and Gully Rider". It reached #4 on the Billboard magazine chart the same year as Harry Belafonte's better-known hit version. The group appeared in the 1957 Calypso-exploitation film Calypso Heat Wave, singing "Banana Boat Song" and "Choucoune".
From 1958 to 1968, Arkin performed and recorded with the children's folk group, The Baby Sitters. He also performed the role of Dr. Pangloss in a concert staging of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide, alongside Madeline Kahn's Cunegonde. Arkin was an early member of The Second City comedy troupe in the 1960s.
Arkin is one of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance (for The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming in 1966). Two years later, he was again nominated, for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.
In 1968, he appeared in the title role of Inspector Clouseau, after Peter Sellers disassociated himself from the role, but the film was not well received by Sellers' fans. Arkin and his second wife, Barbara Dana, appeared together on the 1970–71 season of Sesame Street as a comical couple named Larry and Phyllis who resolve their conflicts when they remember how to pronounce the word "cooperate."
His best known films include his Oscar-nominated Wait Until Dark, as the erudite killer stalking Audrey Hepburn; The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter; Catch-22; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Little Murders; The In-Laws; Glengarry Glen Ross; and Little Miss Sunshine, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; and Argo. His portrayal of Dr. Oatman, a scared and emotionally conflicted psychiatrist treating John Cusack's hit man character Martin Q. Blank in Grosse Point Blank was also well received.
His role in Little Miss Sunshine, as Grandfather Edwin, who was foul-mouthed and had a taste for heroin, won him the BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. On receiving his Academy Award on February 25, 2007, Arkin said, "More than anything, I'm deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection". At 72 years old, Arkin was the sixth oldest winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
In 2006–07, Arkin was cast in supporting roles in Rendition as a US senator and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause as Bud Newman (Carol's Dad), starring with Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell, Judge Reinhold and Wendy Crewson.
Arkin's directorial debut, in 1969, was a 12-minute children's film, People Soup, starring his sons Adam Arkin and Matthew Arkin. Based on a story of the same name he published in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1958, People Soup is a fantasy about two boys who experiment with various kitchen ingredients until they concoct a magical soup which transforms them into different animals and objects.
Arkin's most acclaimed directorial effort is Little Murders, released in 1971. Written by cartoonist Jules Feiffer, Little Murders is a black comedy film starring Elliott Gould and Marcia Rodd about a girl, Patsy (Rodd), who brings home her boyfriend, Alfred (Gould), to meet her severely dysfunctional family amidst a series of random shootings, garbage strikes and electrical outages ravaging the neighborhood. The film opened to a lukewarm review by Roger Greenspan, and a more positive one by Vincent Canby in the New York Times. Roger Ebert's review in the Chicago Sun Times was more enthusiastic, saying, "One of the reasons it works, and is indeed a definitive reflection of America's darker moods, is that it breaks audiences down into isolated individuals, vulnerable and uncertain."
Arkin also directed Fire Sale (1977), Samuel Beckett Is Coming Soon (1993) and Arigo (2000).
Arkin is the author of many books, including the children's stories Tony's Hard Work Day (illustrated by James Stevenson, 1972), The Lemming Condition (illustrated by Joan Sandin, 1976), Halfway Through the Door: An Actor's Journey Toward Self (1979) and The Clearing (1986 continuation of Lemming). In March 2011, he released his memoir, An Improvised Life.
Arkin has been married three times. He and Jeremy Yaffe (m. 1955-61) have two sons: Adam Arkin, born August 19, 1956, and Matthew Arkin, born March 21, 1960. He was married to actress-screenwriter Barbara Dana from 1964-mid 1990s. They lived in Chappaqua, New York. In 1967, they had son Anthony (Tony) Dana Arkin. In 1996, Arkin married psychotherapist, Suzanne Newlander. They live in Carlsbad, California.
|1978||The Other Side of Hell||Frank Dole||(TV movie premiering January 17, 1978)|
|Defection of Simas Kudirka, TheThe Defection of Simas Kudirka||Simas Kudirka||(TV movie premiering January 23, 1978)|
|1985||The Fourth Wise Man||Orontes||(TV movie premiering March 1985)|
|1986||A Deadly Business||Harold Kaufman||TV|
|1987||Escape from Sobibor||Leon Feldhendler||
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
|1988||Necessary Parties||Archie Corelli||(TV movie)|
(TV movie premiering Jan. 1993)
Nominated — Cable ACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
|Taking the Heat||Tommy Canard||(TV movie premiering June 1993)|
|1994||Doomsday Gun||Col. Yossi||(TV movie premiering July 23, 1994)|
|1995||Picture Windows||Tully||(TV miniseries- Segment: "Soir Bleu")|
|1999||Blood Money||Willy "The Hammer" Canzaro||(TV movie)|
|2001||Varian's War||Freier||(TV movie premiering April 2001)|
|2003||Pentagon Papers, TheThe Pentagon Papers||Harry Rowen||
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor – Miniseries or a Movie
|And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself||Sam Drebben||(TV movie)|
|2004||Noel||Artie Venzuela||(TV movie)|
|1964||East Side/West Side||Ted Miller||episode: The Beatnik and the Politician|
|1966||ABC Stage 67||Barney Kempinski||
The Love Song of Barney Kempinski
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama
|1970–71||Sesame Street||Larry||unknown episodes|
|1979||Carol Burnett & Company||Himself||episode: Episode #1.2|
|1980||The Muppet Show||Himself||Season 4, episode 20|
|1983||St. Elsewhere||Jerry Singleton||
episode: Ties That Bind
episode: Lust En Veritas
|1985||Faerie Tale Theatre||Bo||episode: The Emperor's New Clothes|
|1987||Harry||Harry Porschak||7 episodes|
|1997||Chicago Hope||Zoltan Karpathein||
episode: The Son Also Rises
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
|2001–02||100 Centre Street||Joe Rifkind||10 episodes|
|2005||Will & Grace||Marty Adler||episode: It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World|
|2015||Bojack Horseman||J.D. Salinger||3 episodes|
- Farrell, Barry. "Yossarian in Connecticut: Since Catch-22, actor's actor Alan Arkin finally stars as ... Alan Arkin" Life magazine. October 1970.
- Lovece, Frank. "Fast Chat: Alan Arkin". New York Newsday. January 7, 2007.
- The TarriersFolkEra.com: . FolkEra.com.
- Best Actor. FilmSite.org.
- "Dreamgirl" Jennifer Hudson Wins Oscar. NewsMax.com, February 26, 2007.
- Is Back as Film Arkin DirectedLittle Murders
- Alan Arkin at AllMovie
- Alan Arkin at the Internet Broadway Database
- Alan Arkin at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Alan Arkin at the Internet Movie Database
- Q&A with Arkin at Time.com
- Folkera Tarriers article
- Stephen Capen Interview on Worldguide, Futurist Radio Hour – October 10, 1995
- "Tribute to Alan Arkin on YouTube photo compilation
- The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Comingtrailer, on YouTube
- The In-Lawstrailer, on YouTube
- Last of the Red Hot Loverstrailer, on YouTube
- National Screen Institute interview, 1985 on YouTube
- CBS interview, 2007 on YouTube