Saving Private Ryan
First earning notice as a neurotic high school junior in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age film “Dazed and Confused” (1993), American actor and film director Adam Goldberg impressed viewers and critics alike with his portrayal of the cynical Private Mellish in Steven Spielberg's Academy Award winning film “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), where he jointly picked up an Online Film Critics Society Award and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for his performance. He later received his second Screen Actors Guild nomination for his work in Ron Howard's “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), in which he played John Forbes Nash's co-worker Sol. He is also memorable for playing roles in such movies as “The Salton Sea” (2002), “The Hebrew Hammer” (2003), “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (2003), “Stay Alive” (2006), “Deja Vu” (2006) and “Zodiac” (2007). Making his small screen debut in 1990, Goldberg has since played regular roles in “Double Rush” (1995), “Relativity” (1996-1997), “The $treet” (2000), “Head Cases” (2005) and “The Unusuals” (2009) and recurring roles in “Friends” (1996), “Joey” (2005-2006) and “Entourage” (2007). He has also guest starred in popular TV series like “ER,” “NYPD Blue,” “Will & Grace” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Behind the camera, Goldberg is known as the director of “Scotch and Milk” (1998, also a writer, producer and actor) and “I Love Your Work” (2003).
Goldberg has dated several actresses, including Julie Delpy, Daisy Hall (together in 1998), Natasha Lyonne (together 2000 to 2001) and Clea Lewis. He and actress Christina Ricci were engaged in 2005 but later broke up.
Childhood and Family:
The son of Donna, a Roman Catholic of German, Irish and French heritage, and Earl Goldberg, who is Jewish, Adam Charles Goldberg was born on October 25, 1970, in Santa Monica, California. Growing up in Hollywood, he developed an early interest in acting and began performing plays for his parents when he was six years old. By age 14, he had trained professionally under Tracy Roberts in the Tracy Roberts Institute in Los Angeles. He attended The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in West Hollywood when he was 16. Adam left Hollywood to attend Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and acted in a number of productions while there. He later returned to Los Angeles in pursuit of his career.
Adam is a fan of jazz music and enjoys listening to Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, and John Coltrane. He also plays the guitar.
A Beautiful Mind
While attending Sarah Lawrence College, Adam Goldberg got his feet wet with several campus productions, including “The Informer,” “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and “In Search of Justice.” He later returned to Los Angeles to launch an acting career and in 1990, received a guest spot in the CBS comedy series “Designing Women.” The following year, he made his TV movie acting debut as a vendor in the Emmy Award winning film “Babe Ruth,” which starred Stephen Lang. His big screen debut came the next year when he landed the role of younger brother Eugene Gimbel in the box office bomb “Mr. Saturday Night,” which starred and was directed by Billy Crystal.
After an appearance in the movie “Son in Law” (1993), Goldberg gained attention as Mike Newhouse in Richard Linklater's “Dazed and Confused” (1993). He next appeared in John Singleton's “Higher Learning,” Linklater's “Before Sunrise,” which starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and Gregory Widen's “The Prophecy,” which starred Christopher Walken (all 1995). He then did voiceover work in David R. Ellis' family film “Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco” (1996).
Goldberg landed his first series regular role in the CBS sitcom “Double Rush” (1995), where he portrayed a skeptical bike messenger named Leo. He also made a guest appearance in the 1995 episode “Home” of “ER.” but did not gain real notice on television until he played the recurring role of Eddie Menuek in the popular NBC sitcom “Friends” (1996). Later that same year, he costarred as David Conrad's roommate, Doug, in the ABC drama series “Relativity,” Although the show was axed after 17 episodes because of poor ratings, Goldberg did win attention from the network and was subsequently signed to an exclusive series development deal.
Back to film, Goldberg was cast with Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Edward Burns, Jeremy Davies, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Dennis Farina in the critically and commercially successful war film “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), from director Steven Spielberg. Playing Private Stanley Mellish, he won an Online Film Critics Society for Best Ensemble Cast Performance and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. Goldberg discussed what he remembered most about making the film, “I suppose I mostly remember my death scene. Pretty much any time I'm beat up or I beat up somebody or I get killed, it ends up being a fairly memorable experience. That, again, was one of those cathartic things, dealing with an issue I tend to have a lot of problems wrapping my head around, that being mortality. It was definitely a really exciting day, a kind of fulfilling experience. Mainly I just remember being incredibly tired. The lines began to blur between what was real and what wasn't, which I think was certainly part of the idea of sticking us in a boot camp and directly into shooting without a break, but it felt like a very noble experience and you have very few of those. At least I've had very few of those experiences where you feel like you're really doing something important on a much larger scale than to satisfy your own creative needs and pocketbook.”
Also in 1998, Goldberg appeared with Marissa Ribisi, Juliette Lewis and Michael Rapaport in Rory Kelly's “Some Girl” (1998), which won an Audience Award for Best Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film festival. He then provided the voice of Flealick in the George Miller directed adventure film “Babe: Pig in the City.”
Goldberg did not really earn additional notice until he moved behind the cameras to write and direct the drama “Scotch and Milk,” which he also starred in, produced and edited. Premiering at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival on April 17, 1998, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the festival. He closed out the decade with performances in the ABC TV film “True Love,” helmed by Michael Lembeck and the Ron Howard comedy film “Edtv,” which starred Matthew McConaughey.
Entering the new millennium, Goldberg worked with Simon Baker, Jared Leto and Nick Stahl in “Sunset Strip” (2000), which was directed by Adam Collis and scripted by Randall Johnson. He revisited series TV as a regular player in the drama series “The $treet,” which ran on Fox from November 1st to December 13, 2000. Playing Evan Mitchell, he costarred with Christian Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Giancarlo Esposito, Nina Garbiras, and Rick Hoffman.
The next year proved to be a busy year for Goldberg. He was reunited with director/writer Richard Linklater for the animated film “Walking Life,” supported Dan Bucatinsky and Richard Ruccolo in the independent comedy “All Over the Guy,” helmed by Julie Davis, and played Feldy and Jack Weis in “According to Spencer” and “Fast Sofa,” respectively. Most notably, he was cast as Sol, a coworker of John Forbes Nash Jr. (played by Russell Crowe), in the Ron Howard directed biopic “A Beautiful Mind,” which was based on the life of John Forbes Nash and inspired by the Pulitzer Prize nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar. The role brought the actor a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the category of Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture, which he shared with Crowe and costars Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Judd Hirsch and Josh Lucas.
Goldberg went on to offer memorable performances in D.J. Caruso's thriller “The Salton Sea” (2002), Jonathan Kesselman's comedy “The Hebrew Hammer” (2003) and Donald Petrie's romantic comedy “How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days” (2003). He returned to the director's chair for the film “I Love Your Work” (2003), which he co-wrote with Adrian Butchart and starred Giovanni Ribisi, Christina Ricci and Vince Vaughn. The film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 5, 2003, and was released theatrically in the U.S. on November 4, 2005, was not a commercial success. The same year, he also directed, produced and edited the documentary film “Running with the Bulls” (TV).
Back in front of the camera, Goldberg guest starred in such TV shows as “The Practice” (2004), “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2005) and “My Name is Earl” (2006). He also portrayed Detective Michael Sloane in the TV film “Frankenstein” (2004) and costarred with Chris O'Donnell in the short-lived Fox series “Head Cases” (2005). He also landed a nine episode role in the Matt LeBlanc comedy show “Joey” (2005-2006). On the movie front, he appeared with Ben Affleck, Gina Gershon, Rebecca Romijn, John Cleese and Mike Binder in the comedy “Man About Town,” which was written and directed by Binder, had an unaccredited role in Scott Marshall's comedy “Keeping Up with the Steins” and portrayed Miller Banks in William Brent Bell's thriller “Stay Alive” (all 2006). The same year, he also costarred as Dr. Alexander Denny in director Tony Scott's “Deja Vu,” opposite Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Val Kilmer and James Caviezel.
In 2007, Goldberg starred as Jack in the drama film “2 Days in Paris,” which was written and directed by actress Julie Delpy, worked with Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards and Chloe Sevigny in director David Fincher's “Zodiac,” adapted from the nonfiction book of the same name by Robert Graysmith, and played Andy in the film version of “Nancy Drew,” starring Emma Roberts as the teen detective. In addition, he had a recurring role as Nick Rubenstein in the HBO series “Entourage” and guest starred as Bruce Rossiter in the supernatural series “Medium” (both 2007).
Goldberg next had a supporting role in Phedon Papamichael's thriller “From Within,” which won four Grand Jury Awards at the 2008 Solstice Film Festival, appeared in the science fiction film “Christmas on Mars” and starred in the short film “Kate Wakes” (all 2008). From April to June 2009, he costarred with Amber Tamblyn, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Terry Kinney, Joshua Close and Monique Curnen in the ABC series “The Unusuals,” playing Detective Eric Delahoy.
Goldberg will star with Leslie Bibb and Kathy Baker in the comedy film “Miss Nobody” (2009) and in director Jonathan Segal's “Norman” (2009). He is rumored to be costarring with Robin Williams in the upcoming drama “The Prince of Providence,” which is set to be released in 2011.
Online Film Critics Society (OFCS): Best Ensemble Cast Performance, “Saving Private Ryan,” 1999