Robert Elmer Balaban was born on 16 August 1945, in Chicago, Illinois USA, of Jewish, German, Russian and Romanian descent. Bob is a director, actor, producer and author, best known for being the producer of the Academy Award nominated film “Gosford Park”. He also made an appearance in that film, but all of his efforts have helped put his net worth to where it is today.
How rich is Bob Balaban? As of mid-2017, sources estimate a net worth that is at $4 million, mostly earned through success in the film industry. He’s also made numerous television appearances and has directed episodes of various television shows. He’s also written several books, and all of these achievements ensured the position of his wealth.
Bob Balaban Net Worth $4 million
Bob grew up interested in films thanks to his father who owned several movie theatres. His uncles would found the Balaban and Katz Theatre circuit in Chicago, which would eventually expand to include more movie areas around the city. This later lead to a group of television stations and television franchises. He attended Colgate University and later transferred to New York University.
One of Balaban’s first opportunities was in the film “Midnight Cowboy”; he also made an appearance in the original off-Broadway play “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”. He would continue to get more opportunities in the 1970s leading him to increase his net worth. He was part of the iconic film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” which was released in 1977. Two years later, he was cast in the play “The Inspector General” which would earn him a Tony Award nomination. In the 1980s, he appeared in films such as “2010”, “Altered States” and “Absence of Malice”. After making a short appearance in “Miami Vice”, he then had a recurring role in the fourth season of “Seinfeld”, in which he played the fictional president of NBC, Russell Dalrymple. In 1999, he became a guest star in the popular series “Friends”.
Bob then worked on “Gosford Park”, producing the Academy Award nominated film for Best Picture. Afterwards, he made a guest appearance in “Entourage” before directing the film “Bernard and Doris”. In 2009, he worked on directing “Georgia O’Keeffe” which stars Jeremy Irons, which led him to direct episodes of “Nurse Jackie”. Thanks to his continued work, his net worth continued to build.
Afterwards, Bob ventured into writing, working on children’s novels featuring the bionic dog McGrowl. In 2011, he was cast in the play “8”, playing Judge Vaughn Walker – the play was done to raise money for charity. One of his latest projects is the short play “Milton Bradley” which played in 2016, also in support of a nonprofit organization.
For his personal life, it is known that Balaban married Lynn Grossman in 1977 and they have two children. His uncle Barney Balaban was the former president of Paramount Pictures. He was also related to Sam Katz, the former vice president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Made his Broadway debut in Neil Simons "Plaza Suite" in support of George C. Scott and Maureen Stapleton.
For his part in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Balaban auditioned in French.
As of 2014, has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Midnight Cowboy (1969), Gosford Park (2001) - which he produced and he was nominated himself - and Capote (2005). Midnight Cowboy (1969) won in the category.
His paternal grandparents were immigrant Russian Jewish grocery-store owners in Chicago, while his mother's family were Jewish immigrants from Germany, Russia, and Romania.
He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
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), he failed to receive a nomination however.
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".
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'Inc. Sam Katz forced co-founder Adolph Zukor 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' 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 The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), which cost $20 million (approximately $115 million in 2003 dollars), Balaban was eased out of Paramount.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1979 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for "The Inspector General."
His first cousin, Judith Balaban Quine, is author of "The Bridemaids", a book about her friend, Grace Kelly.
His mother, Elenore (Pottasch), acted under the surname Barry. His father, Elmer Balaban (1909-2001), was the last surviving of seven Balaban brothers, who dominated the theater business in Chicago and in much of the Midwest. The Balaban boys built city's first "supercolossal" theaters, the 700-seat Circle and the 2,000-seat Central Park. Bob's uncle, Barney Balaban, 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.
[describing his Chicago youth] I was one of those kids who'd put on neighborhood puppet shows. I was a puppet fanatic. I was always putting on plays and enlisting my friends to help.
There is an aphorism, well regarded by Freudian analysts and talent agents alike, that all people are half-actors. We can only expand that wisdom a bit and posit the following: all actors are half-directors.
When I felt unsure of my abilities and terrified of the whole enterprise, I said to myself, 'You're an actor, right? So act like a director.'
Yes, I try to do everything I can not to fail hideously.
God, I'd love to do a big commercial movie that made a lot of money and whose plot was interesting, too.