Birthday: March 26, 1934 Birth
Place: New York, New York, USA Height: 5' 9"
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Actor, author, singer and composer, educated at LACC and Los Angeles State College. He sang with a folk group (The Tarriers) and joined the Compass Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri and Second City in Chicago. In 1961 he came to New York with the Second City troupe, later appearing in the Broadway plays "Enter Laughing" and "Luv." He joined ASCAP in 1963 and his popular-song compositions include "Cuddle Bug," "That's Me," and "Best Time of the Year."
One of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance (the other five are Orson Welles, James Dean, Paul Muni, Montgomery Clift and Lawrence Tibbett)
Father of Adam Arkin, Matthew Arkin and Anthony Arkin.
Founding member, Second City improv troupe.
Wrote "The Lemming Condition," "Cassie Loves Beethoven" and "One Present for Flekman's."
He was originally slated to play Saul Bloom in Steven Soderbergh's remake of _Ocean's Eleven (2000)_ ; after dropping out of the production, he was replaced by Carl Reiner.
Two of his movies, Popi (1969) and Freebie and the Bean (1974), were later adapted into television series starring Hector Elizondo in the roles Arkin brought to the silver screen. Elizondo also co-starred in the television series "Chicago Hope" (1994) with Alan Arkin's son, Adam Arkin.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 24-25. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
Father-in-law of Phyllis Lyons.
As a founding member of the folk group "The Tarriers," he co-composed the song "The Banana Boat Song" (also known as "Day-o"), which later became a mega-hit by Harry Belafonte.
In the forward for the Second City book, Arkin revealed that he was reluctant to head to Chicago. He credits his first paying job as an actor was in St. Louis, when he ran into a fellow who was starting up the Second City theater troupe in Chicago, and said to Arkin that if he were ever to come to Chicago, that he would hire him. Arkin halfheartedly agreed, thinking that it was just a joke and headed back to New York for another year as a struggling actor. Arkin called the man and asked if a position was still open. The man confirmed it and Arkin headed to Chicago, thinking that his life was over. But when he joined Second City, Arkin said that he realized he was with a group of people that fostered the kind of acting that he was involved in, and protected him from the fear of the world.
Although he usually plays quirky, fatherly types these days, back in the 60s and 70s, Arkin was known as a edgy, intense actor. His darkest role is almost certainly Harry Roat in Wait Until Dark (1967), that character being a viscous, intelligent psychopath who terrifies a seemingly defenseless blind woman (played by Audrey Hepburn).
Was cast in the title role of Inspector Clouseau (1968) after Peter Sellers declined to reprise the role a third time. It was the last Clouseau film until Sellers returned to the role in The Return of the Pink Panther (1975).
Won Broadway's 1963 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "Enter Laughing." In 1973, he was nominated as Best Director (Dramatic) for "The Sunshine Boys."
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