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Fred Melamed received his theatrical training at Hampshire College and the Yale School of Drama. His voice became a familiar presence on television, serving as the sound of the Olympics, Mercedes Benz, CBS Sports, USA Network, the Superbowl, and numerous commercials and television programs. He became known within the industry as a voice actor, appearing in the "Grand Theft Auto" series, and dubbing several actors' entire performances in films. But it was for his portrayal of "sensitive" villain Sy Ableman, in Joel and Ethan Coen's 2009 film, "A Serious Man," which was nominated for Best Picture, at the 2010 Academy Awards, that he became most widely known. About that character, "Film Confessional" said, "Sy Ableman is as great a contemporary movie villain as The Joker, Hans Landa, or Anton Chigurh...The character Fred Melamed contrives is the year's most brilliant force of destruction." For his performance in "A Serious Man," Melamed, along with the Coen Brothers, the film's Ensemble and Casting Directors, won Film Independent's "Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award." "New York Magazine" listed Melamed's work as among the Best Performances of 2009, and Empire called Sy Ableman "One of The Best Alternative Coen Characters of All Time". Michael Philips of The Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert said his performance was worthy of Academy Award nomination. On television, he plays Larry David's smug psychiatrist, "Dr. Arthur Thurgood," on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and tough-guy jurist "Judge Alan Karpman," on "The Good Wife." Currently he can be seen in the new release, "Fred Won't Move Out," co-starring Elliott Gould.
A SERIOUS MAN
Fred Melamed, currently co-starring in Ethan And Joel Coen's critically acclaimed movie, "A Serious Man," has had an acting career that has encompassed everything from leading roles to character turns to an extensive catalog of voice work.
Among his feature films are Peter Yates’ "Suspect;" Leonard Nimoy’s "The Good Mother;" Marshall Brickman’s "Lovesick" and "The Manhattan Project;" and a long list of Woody Allen titles, including "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Radio Days," "Another Woman," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Shadows and Fog," "Husbands and Wives," and "Hollywood Ending."
Mr. Melamed earned his BA from Hampshire College; and his MFA from the Yale School of Drama, which he attended with frequent Coen Brothers collaborators Frances McDormand, John Turturro, and Katherine Borowitz (who also appears in "A Serious Man"). At Yale, he starred in productions of "God’s Smoke," "Doctor Faustus," and "Benten Kozo," among others. He has since acted with Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre Company and the Kennedy Center’s Shakespeare & Company, and appeared on Broadway in "Amadeus," directed by Sir Peter Hall.
As a voice actor, he has recorded literally thousands of television programs, documentaries, commercials, promos, and audio books. He has been the voice of Mercedes-Benz, The Olympics, National Geographic, CBS Sports, USA Network, and Disney’s syndicated series Gargoyles, to name but a few.
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