About Allan Arbus
Allan Arbus (born February 15, 1918) is an American actor notable for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman on the television series M*A*S*H.
Arbus was born in New York City of Jewish background, the son of Rose (née Goldberg) and Harry Arbus, who was a stock broker. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he first developed an interest in acting while appearing in a student play. His first wife was photographer Diane Arbus (née Nemerov), whom he married in 1941. At one time before he became an actor, he was so taken by Benny Goodman's recordings that he took up playing the clarinet.
Photography career, marriage and divorce
During the 1940s, Arbus became a photographer for the United States Army and afterward set up a photographic advertising business with his wife. Edward Steichen's noted photo exhibition The Family of Man included a photograph credited to the couple. The pair had two children, photographer Amy Arbus and writer and art director Doon Arbus. The couple were separated in 1959 and divorced in 1969, approximately 3 years prior to Diane Arbus' suicide.
In 1977, Allan Arbus married Irish-American actress Mariclare Costello and they subsequently had one daughter together, Arin Arbus.
Acting career, recurring M*A*S*H role
Arbus' acting career took off after he landed the lead role in Robert Downey Sr.'s cult film Greaser's Palace in 1972, starred opposite Bette Davis in Scream, Pretty Peggy in 1973, and was featured as Gregory LaCava in W.C. Fields and Me in 1976. These led to his continuing role as Maj. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H, although in an early episode, titled "Radar's Report" (1973) he was called "Milton Freedman."
This role would lead to other television and film works, which include a brief appearance in the 1973 film Cinderella Liberty as a drunken sailor. Arbus is also seen in the 1973 film Coffy (starring Pam Grier), where he plays a drug-dealer with strange sexual needs. He also played the minor role of Pasarian in the 1978 movie Damien: Omen II, one of Damien's many victims in The Omen trilogy. He also had one appearance on Mad About You in 1994.
Diane and Allan Arbus' studio/living quarters were at one time at 319 East 72nd Street in New York City. Their neighbor and friend was Robert Brown, an actor from the TV show Here Come the Brides.
^ Bloom, Nate (2005-05-05). "Celebrity Jews". The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. Retrieved 2006-12-13. ^ Allan Arbus Biography (1918-) ^ Boehm. "Theater; Lured Back for One Last Great Role; Veteran actor Allan Arbus leaves a fulfilling retirement to take on an Arthur Miller parthe found he couldn't resist.", Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2000. Accessed Septe,ber 14, 2009. "Arbus says he yearned to be an actor from his early teens, when he had a moment of special clarity while playing in a student production at DeWitt Clinton High School." ^ Marshall, Peter. "Diane Arbus: Key Facts". About.com. Retrieved 2006-12-22.