Family & Companions
An acerbic, wry Californian who seemed to embody a Jewish New York intellectual vibe, Adam Goldberg broke through as a neurotic high school student in Richard Linklater's classic "Dazed and Confused" (1993). He followed up with roles in John Singleton's "Higher Learning" (1995), "The Prophecy" (1995) with Christopher Walken, and as Chandler Bing's (Matthew Perry) insane roommate in several episodes of "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). On the big screen, he dazzled critics and viewers as a tough, cynical but ultimately doomed Jewish soldier in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning epic "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). Goldberg embraced his career as a journeyman character actor, appearing in projects as varied as Ron Howard's Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) as a physics colleague of John Nash (Russell Crowe), Matthew McConaughey's snarky best friend in the Kate Hudson romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003), and a Jewish superhero in "The Hebrew Hammer" (2003). A writer-director who penned-helmed "Scotch and Milk" (1998) and "I Love Your Work" (2003), Goldberg also essayed brief but memorable turns in "Stay Alive" (2006), "Zodiac" (2007) and on "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011). Although he achieved a more under-the-radar success than was predicted for him at the beginning of his career, Goldberg earned a loyal following for his vivid onscreen intelligence and charisma, always proving a welcome addition to any project.
Born Oct. 25, 1970 in Santa Monica, CA, Adam Charles Goldberg was always interested in becoming an actor. By the time of his first major screen role, a small appearance in the Billy Crystal comedy "Mr. Saturday Night" (1992), Goldberg had already collected a handful of credits on high-profile series, including "Designing Women" (CBS, 1986-1993) and "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998). Intellectually as well as artistically gifted, Goldberg attended the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College and subsequently brought more depth to his craft than some of his more stardom-obsessed peers. His true breakthrough came as Mike Newhouse, a neurotic high school junior whose machismo and intellect are in conflict in the seminal comedy "Dazed and Confused" (1993). A fascinating combination of a prickly, far-reaching intelligence and a cynical comic outlook, Goldberg quickly booked roles in John Singleton's college drama "Higher Learning" (1995), the Christopher Walken horror hit "The Prophecy" (1995), and an uncredited cameo in the Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy romance "Before Sunrise" (1995).
He played a misanthropic bike messenger on the short-lived sitcom "Double Rush" (CBS, 1995) and voiced a tough pooch in Disney's "Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco" (1996), but gave one of his most memorably hilarious performances as Chandler's (Matthew Perry) roommate-from-hell in several episodes of "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004). Poised to become a breakout star on his own, Goldberg was cast on the highly buzzed-about new romantic drama "Relativity" (ABC, 1996-97). When that series fizzled, the network signed him to a development deal. Proving to be a multifaceted talent, Goldberg not only acted in but also wrote and directed the independent neo-noir "Scotch and Milk" (1998).
That same year, he earned his highest profile and most critically acclaimed role to date, playing the acerbic, tough-as-nails Jewish soldier Private Stanley "Fish" Mellish in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning WWII masterpiece "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). With his darkly comic performance and unforgettably wrenching death scene, Goldberg stood out among many of his more established co-stars, including Tom Hanks and Matt Damon. He continued to find success as a journeyman actor, starring on the Wall Street drama "The $treet" (Fox, 2000), appearing in Richard Linklater's dreamy "Waking Life" (2001), and notching supporting turns in the Matthew McConaughey reality show-themed feature "Edtv" (1999) and the indie gay comedy "All Over the Guy" (2001). That same year, a touch of tabloid notoriety reached him when he was riding in a car with then-girlfriend Natasha Lyonne when she was stopped after hitting a road sign.
More visible turns came when Goldberg played one of John Nash's (Russell Crowe) physics colleagues in Ron Howard's Oscar-winning "A Beautiful Mind" (2001), appeared as one of the leads in the well reviewed crime noir "The Salton Sea" (2002) and carved out another bit part in the Kate Hudson-Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003). To the delight of the Jewish community as well as his fans, Goldberg starred as a swaggering superhero in the Semitic-sploitation spoof "The Hebrew Hammer" (2003). Collaborating with longtime friend Giovanni Ribisi, the actor wrote and directed his meditation on self-image and celebrity, "I Love Your Work" (2003), for which he also co-wrote the score along with Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips. Returning to series work, Goldberg landed a leading role alongside Chris O'Donnell in the dramedy "Head Cases" (Fox, 2005). The show, which saw Goldberg playing the eccentric wild card to O'Donnell's straight man, unfortunately lasted just two episodes before its cancellation.
After a thankless turn as a coke-snorting boss murdered by an eerily realistic video game in the horror film "Stay Alive" (2006), he reunited with Chandler Bing's old roommate, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) in a recurring role on the latter's spin-off "Joey" (NBC, 2004-06). Goldberg filmed a small role in David Fincher's dark Jake Gyllenhaal-starring "Zodiac" (2007) and made a goofy cameo as an arrogant director in the Emma Roberts tween mystery "Nancy Drew" (2007). The actor also starred alongside his onetime girlfriend Julie Delpy in "2 Days in Paris" (2007), which she directed and wrote. He then recurred as a cocaine-addicted wannabe producer on "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-2011), starred alongside Marley Shelton in the indie art world satire "(Untitled)" (2009), and earned excellent reviews as a cancer-stricken detective who refuses treatment on the dramedy "The Unusuals" (ABC, 2009). Adding to his impressive string of TV appearances, Goldberg guested in episodes of "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2005-2010), "White Collar" (USA Network, 2009-14) and "Traffic Light" (Fox, 2011).
By Jonathan Riggs
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Made TV-movie debut in bit part in "Babe Ruth" (NBC)
Made screen debut in "Mr. Saturday Night"
Had spotlighted role in "Dazed and Confused"
Had recurring role as the obnoxious new roommate of Matthew Perry's Chandler on the hit NBC sitcom "Friends"
Was regular on the CBS sitcom "Double Rush"
Co-starred as David Conrad's roommate on the ABC drama "Relativity"
Signed exclusive series development deal with ABC
Wrote and directed first film, "Scotch and Milk" (filmed in 1997)
Appeared in the ensemble of Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"
Returned to series TV as co-star of the short-lived Fox fall drama "The $treet"
Co-starred as a colleague of John Forbes Nash in the biopic "A Beautiful Mind"
Had a supporting role in the indie comedy-romance "All Over the Guy"
Co-starred with Val Kilmer and Vincent D'Onofrio in the crime thriller "The Salton Sea"
Played Matthew McConaughey's buddy in the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days"
Portrayed Mordechai Jefferson Carver a Jewish superhero who saves Hannukah in the comedy "The Hebrew Hammer"
Cast opposite Samaire Armstrong and Jon Foster in the horror flick "Stay Alive"
Co-starred with Denzel Washington in director Tony Scott's, "DéjÀ Vu"
Co-starred in Julie Deply's "2 Days in Paris"