was born on August 16, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. He was one of the producers nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for Gosford Park (2001), in which he also appeared. Balaban's other films roles include the drama Midnight Cowboy (1969), science fiction films Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Altered States (1980), the Christopher Guest comedies Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006), the dark fantasy film Lady in the Water (2006), and the Wes Anderson films Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). As a director, Babalan has directed three feature films, in addition to numerous television episodes and films. He is also an author of children's novels.
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