Robert Elmer Balaban is an American actor, author, comedian, director and producer. He was one of the producers nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture for Gosford Park (2001), in which he also appeared. Balaban is most known for his appearances in the Christopher Guest comedies Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), and For Your Consideration (2006) and in the Wes Anderson films Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Isle of Dogs (2018) and The French Dispatch (2021). Balaban's other film roles include the drama Midnight Cowboy (1969); the science fiction films Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Altered States (1980), 2010 (1984), the comedy Deconstructing Harry (1997), and the historical drama Capote (2005). Balaban has directed three feature films, in addition to numerous television episodes and films. He is also an author of children's novels.