Robert Elmer Balaban, Born: August 16, 1945, Chicago, Illinois, U.S (Height: 5' 5" [1.65 m]). is an American actor, author, comedian, director, and producer. He is best known for his appearances in the Christopher Guest mockumentary comedies Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006), as well as his roles in the films Midnight Cowboy (1969), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Altered States (1980), 2010 (1984), Deconstructing Harry (1997), and Capote (2005). Balaban has also directed three feature films, in addition to numerous television episodes and films. He is also an author of children's novels. Balaban began his career in the 1960s, appearing in small roles in films and television shows. He made his breakthrough role in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy, playing a young hustler who befriends an aging rodeo cowboy. In the 1970s, Balaban appeared in a number of popular films, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Altered States (1980), and 2010 (1984). He also continued to work in television, appearing in recurring roles on the shows Lou Grant and Designing Women. In the 1990s, Balaban began a long and fruitful collaboration with filmmaker Christopher Guest. He appeared in all of Guest's mockumentary comedies, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006). Balaban's performances in these films were widely praised, and he earned a reputation as one of the most reliable comedic actors in Hollywood. In addition to his work in film and television, Balaban has also directed three feature films: The Last Shot (1999), Bernie (2011), and A Little Help (2010). He is also a successful author of children's novels, and he has won several awards for his writing. Balaban is a respected and versatile actor who has enjoyed a long and successful career in the entertainment industry. He is known for his sharp wit, his impeccable comedic timing, and his ability to create memorable characters. He is a true Renaissance man, and he is sure to continue to entertain audiences for many years to come. Balaban has been nominated for numerous awards throughout his career. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards, for his work on the television shows Lou Grant and Designing Women. He has also been nominated for two Tony Awards, for his performances in the Broadway plays The Norman Conquests and The Plough and the Stars. Balaban is a recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Balaban is married to Lynn Grossman, and they have two children together. He is a resident of New York City.