(born February 15
) is an American actor
notable for his role as psychiatrist Dr. Sidney Freedman
on the television
Arbus was born in New York City
background, the son of Rose (née
Goldberg) and Harry Arbus, who was a stock broker. 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 divorced in 1959, and Diane Arbus went on to become one of the most notable American photographers of the late 20th century. Arbus married Irish-American actress Mariclare Costello
in 1977, with whom he has one daughter, 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
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
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.