"Well, first of all, I don't think of myself as famous. I've spent time around people that are dealing with what I would call real fame, you know, sort of uncut, undiluted fame, and that's a whole other animal. What I have dealt with in varying degrees is a level of recognizability from being on television. That has had peaks and valleys for me. I guess, in a weird way, I grew up around my father's notoriety and was sort of used to the idea that it doesn't really mean anything about who you are. It's really a byproduct of something. But I'm thankful that with whatever objectivity I can muster, I don't feel like I bought into all of that too much." Adam Arkin
Award-winning television, film, and stage actor and director Adam Arkin, the oldest son of veteran actor Alan Arkin, was first noticed by TV viewers as the eccentric chef Adam on the popular CBS series “Northern Exposure” (1990-1995) before gaining fame as neurosurgeon Aaron Shutt on the critically acclaimed CBS medical drama series “Chicago Hope” (1994-2000). He also appeared in the miniseries and drama series "A Year in the Life," "Knots Landing," "China Beach," "Big Wave Dave's," "Baby Bob," "The West Wing," "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter," and "Boston Legal." He now plays Ted Earley, the housemate and financial advisor of Damian Lewis' character, on the detective television series on NBC, "Life,” and won an Emmy Award for directing “My Louisiana Sky” (2001), an acclaimed Showtime film starring Juliette Lewis and Kelsey Keel.
On the big screen, this dark, intense character actor has acted in the films "Full Moon High" (1981), "The Doctor" (1991), "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" (1998), "With Friends Like These..." (1998), "Lake Placid" (1999), "Hanging Up" (2000), "Hitch" (2005), "Kids in America" (2005), and "Graduation" (2007). He will star in the upcoming films "Just Peck," "A Serious Man," and "Summer Eleven."
“What I had to say was, in general, I'm not really a fan of any one genre of any kind of film.” Adam Arkin
Arkin is also a Broadway and off-Broadway performer. He received a Tony nomination for Best Actor (Featured Role – Play) and won a Theatre World award for his performance of Gary Peter Lefkowitz in "I Hate Hamlet" in 1991. He was last seen in the Broadway production of Donald Margulies' "Brooklyn Boy."
“I find the charge I get when I'm doing something that feels grounded in quality is always exciting, regardless of the medium. All things considered, I guess I like returning to whatever it is that I've been away from the longest,” Adam Arkin (on whether he prefers stage or screen)
This 6' 1½" actor has been married twice and has one son and one daughter.
Childhood and Family:
The oldest of three sons of Broadway star/director/writer Alan Arkin (born on March 26, 1934) and his wife Jeremy Yaffe, a nurse who operates a family clinic in San Luis Obispo, California, Adam Arkin was born on August 19, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents married in 1955 while they were in college. Adam has three younger brothers, Matthew Arkin, Jake Wakefield, and Anthony Arkin (half-brother; mother Barbara Dana). Adam is the stepson of Suzanne Newlander Arkin.
Adam grew up in Chappaqua, New York, and began his studies at the famed Herbert Berghof Studio, in New York, New York, at the young age of ten.
Adam was once married to Linda Arkin, an actress and yoga instructor. They have one daughter, Molly (born in 1987). He married his present wife, Phyllis Anne Lyons, on August 21, 1999, and they have one son together.
Adam enjoys amateur photography and loves to cook in his spare time.
My Louisiana Sky
“When I was a kid, I knew I wanted to act from when I was five and I started studying seriously when I was six and seven. Not with anybody else, but I used to watch the world as if it was a performance and I would realize that certain things that people did moved me and certain things didn't move me, and I tried to analyze, even at that age, six and seven and eight, why I was moved by certain things they did.” Adam Arkin
Knowing he wanted to become an actor, Adam often accompanied his father, Alan Arkin, to movie sets. He began taking acting classes at age ten and appeared in his first film at the age of 13 in an Academy Award-nominated 12-minute short film called “People Soup” (1969), which was written and directed by his father and costarred his 10-year-old brother Matthew.
At the age of 14, Arkin was seen in the film "Made for Each Other" (1971), a comedy directed by Robert B. Bean and featuring Renée Taylor, Joseph Bologna, Paul Sorvino, and Olympia Dukakis. That same year, at age 15, Arkin also made his feature debut as a co-screenwriter in "Improper Channels," a Canadian film starring his father as a man falsely accused of child abuse. The film earned him a Genie Award nomination for Best Screenplay, Original, which he shared with Morrie Ruvinsky and Ian Sutherland.
In 1972, Arkin appeared in the Off Broadway production of Clifford Odets' 1935 play “Waiting for Lefty” at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Two years later, he made a TV appearance in an unsold CBS sitcom pilot called “Mo and Jo” (1974). He made his TV movie debut in the comedy “It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy” (1974; starring Paul Sorvino).
Arkin received his first starring role in a TV series with the short-lived CBS sitcom “Busting Loose” (1977), playing the lead role of Lenny Markowitz. He then made his TV miniseries debut in the war drama “Pearl” (1978; with Angie Dickinson, Dennis Weaver, Robert Wagner, and Lesley Ann Warren).
In the early 1980s, Arkin appeared in a supporting role in “Chu Chu and the Philly Flash” (1981), a comedy written by his stepmother Barbara Dana and starring his father Alan. Also that year, he starred as a teenager who becomes a werewolf in “Full Moon High” (1981), a comedy from Larry Cohen in which Alan Arkin also appeared in a supporting role.
In 1982, Arkin was cast in the regular role of Michael Dreyfuss in the short-lived NBC high school sitcom “Teachers Only,” starring Lynn Redgrave. The series was later revamped and briefly tried again the following season, but Arkin was no longer in the cast.
Four years later, he appeared as Danny Polchek on the short-lived CBS cop sitcom “Tough Cookies” (1986), and costarred as Jim Eisenberg in the acclaimed NBC three part miniseries “A Year in the Life” (1986 ), which marked his first time working for executive producing/writing team Joshua Brand and John Falsey. He would later costar with Sarah Jessica Parker and Wendy Phillips in “A Year in the Life” (1987-1988), a one hour dramatic series that continued the miniseries. He also played the recurring role of Mark Baylor (1989-1990) on the CBS primetime television soap opera “Knots Landing.”
From 1990 to 1995, Arkin joined the cast of the popular CBS series “Northern Exposure,” playing the recurring character of Adam. His work in the show won a Viewers for Quality Television Award for Specialty Player in 1992 and earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 1993 (for episode "The Big Feast").
1991 saw Arkin make his Broadway debut as Gary Peter Lefkowitz in “I Hate Hamlet” at the Walter Kerr Theatre. He received a Tony nomination for Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) and won a Theatre World award for his performance. Meanwhile, he also appeared in a reoccurring role on the ABC dramatic television series “China Beach” (1991). Off-Broadway, Arkin appeared as Jonathan Waxman in “Sight Unseen” (1992) at the Manhattan Theatre Club and as Jess in the stage production of “The Extra Man” (1992) at the Manhattan Theatre Club Stage 1. He also returned to Broadway as Nathan Detroit in the stage production of “Guys and Dolls” (1992), which was produced at the Martin Beck Theatre.
After starring as Marshall Fisher in “Big Wave Dave's” (1993), a very short-lived CBS sitcom, Arkin began playing the lead role of Dr. Aaron Shutt on the critically acclaimed CBS medical drama series “Chicago Hope.” He played the character until 2000 and earned an Emmy nomination in 1997 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations (1997 and 1998) for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. During his “Chicago Hope” tenure, Arkin also provided a voice for Ken Burns's ambitious documentary “Baseball” (1994), appeared as Bradley in “Four Dogs and a Bone” (1994, at the Lucille Lortel Theater), and directed the stage production “The Interview” (1994) at the McCarter Theatre (Off Broadway). He also directed the stage production “The Nanjing Race” (1994) at the McCarter Theatre, in Princeton, New Jersey, and starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween: H20” (1998), which earned him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Actor – Horror.
Following the demise of the show “Chicago Hope,” Arkin played Dr. Stanley Keyworth (2000-2002) on the NBC political drama series "The West Wing." About his role on the show, he said, “I've known a few therapists socially and I've been in therapy myself. I was trying to model that doctor's bedside manner around those experiences. I owe a huge amount to, first and foremost, how beautifully written that episode was. It was the road map of how to approach that material. I got to work almost exclusively with Brad, so it was kind of a win-win situation. I would have been hard pressed to blow it.”
Meanwhile, Arkin also directed the made-for-cable Showtime movie “My Louisiana Sky” (2001; starring Kelsey Keel, Shirley Knight, and Juliette Lewis), which was produced by Anthony Edwards. The movie, which was adapted from a 1998 children's novel by Kimberly Willis Holt, garnered rave reviews and won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special and a Children's Jury Award at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival for North American Feature Film or Video – Live-Action. It was also nominated for a Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs.
In 2002, Arkin was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance of Tom in the episode "The Two Hundredth" on the NBC sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer, "Frasier." That same year, he also received the lead role of Walter Spencer in the CBS sitcom “Baby Bob” (2002).
Arkin, who has worked in many voice-over and narrative roles, including “TV Land Moguls,” “Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip,” and “Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery,” did a voice-over for a TV commercial for Canon (2003). He also guest starred on three 2004 episodes of the ABC comedy “8 Simple Rules.”
Returning to Broadway, Arkin portrayed Eric Weiss in the stage production of Donald Margulies' “Brooklyn Boy” at the South Coast Rep (Costa Mesa, CA) in 2004 and in 2005, at the Biltmore Theatre in New York City. He received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Lead Actor for his role. He also appeared on TV spots for Emory University Hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia.
Arkin next appeared in the films "Hitch" (2005), "Kids in America" (2005), and "Graduation" (2007). He was also spotted as a guest in "Law & Order," "Commander in Chief," and "Boston Legal."
About the episode of "Boston Legal" that he directed, Arkin explained, “Directing that show doesn't involve a lot of telling people what to do. It's really more like getting a sense of what people's instincts are. They know the characters so well on that show that it's more a question of trying to untangle exactly what the style of a scene is and trying to make sure everybody is on the same page. You're not going to go into a situation like that telling William Shatner how to play his character. The directing on that ended up being incredibly satisfying. It took a little time to earn people's trust on the show, but once I did, it was really exciting. I had a good time and I hope I can do more of it.”
Currently, Arkin plays Ted Earley, the housemate and financial advisor of Damian Lewis' character, on the television series on NBC, "Life."
Arkin will soon complete filming "Just Peck," a comedy directed by Michael A. Nickles and costarring Brie Larson and Marcia Cross, and "A Serious Man," a dark comedy set in 1967 helmed by the Coen brothers in which Arkin stars opposite Richard Kind. He is now working on writer/director Joseph Kell's poignant, coming of age drama film "Summer Eleven."
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special, "My Louisiana Sky," 2002
Chicago International Children's Film Festival: Children's Jury Award - North American Feature Film or Video - Live-Action, "My Louisiana Sky," 2001
Viewers for Quality Television: Q Award - Specialty Player, "Northern Exposure," 1992
Theatre World: “I Hate Hamlet,” 1991