Alan Wolf Arkin was born on March 26, 1934, in New York City. While in high school, Alan moved with his family to Los Angeles. He attended Los Angeles State College, but returned to New York after college to begin a career as a singer/songwriter before turning to acting.
At the age of 29, Arkin left New York to join The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, Illinois. He made his Broadway debut in From the Second City in 1961, and then became a star in the comedy Enter Laughing (1963). He won the 1963 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor (Dramatic) for Enter Laughing. In 1973, he was nominated as Best Director (Dramatic) for The Sunshine Boys.
In 1966, he made his film debut in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming. Arkin is one of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance. Two years later, he was again nominated, for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Later films included Wait until Dark (1967), Popi (1969), Catch-22 (1970), and The In-Laws (1980).
Arkin is also a singer and songwriter. He was a member of the folk group, The Tarriers. In 1956, they had their biggest hit with a version of the “Banana Boat Song”(also known as “Day-O”), which reached #4 on the Billboard charts.
Sources: “Alan Arkin (1937 - ).” American Jewish Historical Society, American Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random House, 1999). pg. 434.
Alan Arkin: Wikipedia
Biography for Alan Arkin: Internet Movie Database