Home   >   Movie Stars   >   A   >   Alan Arkin

Alan Arkin

Alan Arkin, long one of the most respected artists of the stage and screen, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 2006 hit Little Miss Sunshine. For his role, Arkin also won an Independent Spirit Award and a BAFTA Award, and shared in a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast, in addition to receiving an individual SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Following Argo, Arkin has a range of films forthcoming, including Stand Up Guys, and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. His latest credits include the family hit The Muppets, the comedy The Change-Up, the heartwarming Marley & Me and the action comedy Get Smart.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Arkin launched his career with Chicago's improvisational revue Second City. This led to his 1963 Broadway bow in the play Enter Laughing, based on Carl Reiner's book, for which Arkin won a Tony Award. The following year, he starred on Broadway in Murray Schisgal's hit LUV.

In 1966, Arkin made his major feature film debut, starring in Norman Jewison's comedy smash The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. For his performance in the comedy, Arkin earned his first Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, and won a Golden Globe Award. He garnered a second Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance in the 1968 drama The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, for which he also won a New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Award and received a Golden Globe nomination. He gained another Golden Globe nomination for the title role in Popi.

With more than 70 films spanning over 45 years, his long list of credits also includes Wait Until Dark; Catch-22; Little Murders, which marked his feature film directorial debut; Hearts of the West, for which he won an NYFCC Award; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; The In-Laws; Edward Scissorhands; Havana; Glengarry Glen Ross; Mother Night; So I Married an Axe Murderer; Grosse Point Blank; Gattaca; Slums of Beverly Hills; Jakob the Liar; America's Sweethearts; Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, receiving another Spirit Award nomination; The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause; Rendition; Thin Ice; City Island; and Sunshine Cleaning. He has also directed several short films, including People Soup, which was Oscar -nominated for Best Live Action Short.

Arkin has also been recognized for his work on television, earning four Emmy Award nominations, the most recent for his performance in the telefilm The Pentagon Papers. He also earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his work in the true-life Holocaust drama Escape from Sobibor. His other Emmy nods came for his guest role on Chicago Hope and the drama ABC Stage 67. Among his many other television credits, Arkin starred in the acclaimed A&E series 100 Centre Street, created, written and directed by Sidney Lumet and also appeared in the Showtime movie Varian's War. In addition, Arkin directed the television adaptation of the Broadway play Twigs, starring Carol Burnett, and two episodes of the PBS series Trying Times.

Arkin began directing for the stage in 1966 with the much-acclaimed Eh?, starring Dustin Hoffman at the Circle in the Square. He then won an Obie for directing Jules Feiffer's Little Murders, followed by Feiffer's The White House Murder Case. He won Drama Desk Awards for his direction of both plays, also presented at Circle in the Square. On Broadway, Arkin directed the Neil Simon hit The Sunshine Boys, for which he was nominated for a Tony for Best Direction of a Play. In 1998, he directed, starred in and co-wrote, with Elaine May, the hit production of Power Plays at the Promenade Theatre. His directing work also includes the Broadway musical Molly; Rubbers and Yanks Three, at The American Place Theater; Joan of Lorraine, at the Hartman in Stamford; The Sorrows of Stephen, at the Burt Reynolds Theatre, starring his son Adam; and Room Service, at the Roundabout in New York.

Arkin has also written several books, including eight children's books, the latest entitled Tony's Hard Work Day. An earlier book, The Lemming Condition, was honored by The Book Sellers of America by being placed in the White House Library. In 2011, Arkin released a memoir entitled An Improvised Life.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Alan Arkin Facts

Birth NameAlan Wolf Arkin
BirthdayMarch 26, 1934 (88)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height5' 9" (1m75)  How tall is Alan Arkin compared to you?
Awards2007 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Little Miss Sunshine)
2007 BAFTA Awards: Actor in a Supporting Role (for Little Miss Sunshine)
1967 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming)

Selected Filmography

Love The Coopers
Sunshine Cleaning
The Change-Up
Jakob The Liar
Edward Scissorhands
Little Miss Sunshine
Get Smart
Continue » Find more details on the Alan Arkin Movies page