Early lifeTambor was born July 8, 1944 in San Francisco, California, the son of Eileen (née Salzberg), a housewife, and Bernard Tambor, a flooring contractor. He grew up in a Conservative Jewish family with roots in Hungary and Russia. Tambor is a graduate of San Francisco State University, where he studied acting and then went on to receive a master's degree from Wayne State University.
Early careerTambor first moved to repertory theater, later making his Broadway debut in the comedy Sly Fox (1976), appearing with George C. Scott and directed by Arthur Penn. He appeared in Measure For Measure in the same year. In 1979 he starred in Norman Jewison's ...And Justice For All, as a lawyer friend of the protagonist, Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino). In an early TV job, an ad for Avis rent-a-car, he was seen running (huffing and puffing) through an airport, mocking O.J. Simpson's "Go, O.J., go!" ads for Hertz. He has had a significant career in episodic TV, where he made numerous guest appearances on different shows, including Taxi, Kojak, M*A*S*H, The Golden Girls, and Three's Company. In 1979 Tambor got his first role as a main character in television in the short lived show The Ropers. Throughout the 1980s Tambor had a recurring role on Hill Street Blues. In 1987 and 1988, Tambor appeared as a regular on the prime time ABC series Max Headroom as Murray, Edison's editor. Later, he would have success co-starring in The Larry Sanders Show.
The Larry Sanders Show
Tambor is often remembered as Hank Kingsley, the narcissistic sidekick of fictional talk show host Larry Sanders on The Larry Sanders Show. Tambor received four Emmy nominations for his performance on the show - all of which he would lose to Michael Richards for Seinfeld, David Hyde Pierce for Frasier, and his co-star, Rip Torn. He is also often remembered for his then famous catch phrase "Hey now."
Arrested DevelopmentIn 2003, he starred in the television comedy Arrested Development as George Bluth Sr. and in some episodes his twin Oscar Bluth. In 2004, Tambor was nominated for his fifth Emmy award, but lost to David Hyde Pierce for the final season of the sitcom Frasier. In 2005, Tambor received his sixth Emmy nomination for his work on the show. He lost to Brad Garrett for the final season of Everybody Loves Raymond.
Later workTambor served as the announcer for the game show Hollywood Squares in 2002 and 2003 and also made an appearance as well. He was also the voice of King Neptune in 2004's The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. In the spring of 2005, he starred as George Aaronow in the Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross.
After the cancellation of Arrested Development in April 2006, Tambor signed on to a series with John Lithgow called Twenty Good Years about two men who ponder the last 20 years of their life. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 2006, but was taken off the air after only a few episodes. Also in 2006, he portrayed George Washington on The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd. He also starred as "Uncle" Saul in the CBS comedy Welcome to The Captain until its cancellation in March 2008. He has made several cameo appearances in Entourage as a fictionalized version of himself who regularly annoys his agent, Ari Gold.
For several years, based on his availability, Tambor has also taught a popular class for actors. He was formerly a longtime teaching associate of famed acting coach Milton Katselas.
In 2009, Tambor appeared in the animation film Monsters vs. Aliens and in the comedy The Hangover.
A role Tambor began in 2009 is that of the recurring character Len Drexler in the sardonic comedy Archer, an animated television series on the FX network. In a clever twist, he is a major love interest to Malory Archer played by Jessica Walter -- the two formerly playing husband and wife in Arrested Development.
TVGuide.com has reported that Tambor will star in a new indie comedy, Lucky.
In 2011, he had a minor role in the film Paul with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. He will also co-star in Flypaper, with Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd.
Personal lifeIn 2007, Tambor was reported to be a Scientologist. However, in February 2008, Tambor expressed concern about "internet reports" about his alleged involvement with the religion and stated that he "took some Scientology classes at one time, studied Scientology for a while, but no more. I have nothing against it, but I am no longer a Scientologist."
In 1991, Tambor married Kathryn Mitchell. They divorced in 1999. He married Kasia Ostlun in October 2001. They have four children.
On The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on June 3, 2009, Tambor announced his wife was pregnant with twin boys due in October 2009. The boys, Hugo Bernard and Eli Nicholas, were born on October 4, 2009.
Tambor is often noted for his resemblance to television psychologist Dr. Phil; however, Dr. Phil at 6 foot 4 is several inches taller than the 6'1" Tambor. This is most famously noted when a giant Homer Simpson eats Dr. Phil in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XVII" and says "He tastes just like Jeffrey Tambor."
Awards and nominationsTambor has been nominated for two Emmy Awards on Arrested Development and four for The Larry Sanders Show. He has won a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. He has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Award along with the cast of Arrested Development, for Best Cast in a Comedy Series. He has also been nominated for a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Comedy Series.
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