Worked as an attendant in a psychiatric hospital, as a waiter, a dishwasher, a typist, a Times Square headline crier during a newspaper strike and as a toy salesman at Macy's
Stage debut, "Yes Is For a Very Young Man" at Sarah Lawrence College
Broadway stage debut, "A Cook For Mr. General"
TV acting debut, "Sweet Prince of Delancey Street" episode of "Naked City" (ABC)
Joined the Theatre Company of Boston and appeared in "Endgame", "The Quare Fellow", "In the Jungle of Cities" and other plays
Appeared in "Harry, Noon and Night" at the American Place Theater, NYC
Served as assistant to the director (Ulu Grosbard) on off-Broadway revival of "A View From the Bridge"
Worked as stage manager for "The Subject Was Roses" on Broadway; directed by Ulu Grosbard
Feature acting debut, "Tiger Makes Out"
Breakthrough screen role as Benjamin Braddock in Mike Nichols' "The Graduate"; recieved first Oscar nomination as Best Actor
Broadway directorial debut, "Jimmy Shine"
Earned second Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his mesmerizing performance as Ratso Rizzo in "Midnight Cowboy"
Co-starred with Steve McQueen in the crime drama "Papillon"
Directed Broadway production of "All Over Town"
Appeared in the ABC children's TV special "Marlo Thomas and Friends in Free to Be...You and Me"
Received third Best Actor Oscar nomination as comedian Lenny Bruce in Bob Fosse's biopic "Lenny"
Began directing film, "Straight Time" (turned over to Ulu Grosbard)
Earned Best Actor Oscar as a separated father coping with parenting in "Kramer vs. Kramer"
Delivered a brilliant performance as an out-of-work actor who resorts to drag to win a role in the comedy "Tootsie"; nominated for a Best Actor Oscar
Executive produced and starred as Willy Loman in CBS special "Death of a Salesman" (which he had previously done in a revival onstage)
Founded Punch Productions
Won second Oscar as Best Actor for his turn as an autistic man in Barry Levinson's "Rain Man"; also first collaboration with the director
Provided a guest voice for "The Simpsons" (Fox) as Lisa's beloved Jewish substitute teacher; credited as "Sam Etic"
Inducted into the French Order of Arts and Letters
Received rave reviews for his portrayal of a Hollywood producer (reportedly based on Robert Evans) in Barry Levinson's political satire "Wag the Dog"; earned Best Actor Academy Award nomination
Reteamed with Levinson for "Sphere"
Produced "The Blouse Man," which marked the directorial debut of actor Tony Goldwyn
Announced to make feature directorial debut with "Personal Injuries"
Played opposite Susan Sarandon in the touching drama "Moonlight Mile"
Played a mob boss in the drama "Confidence"
Co-starred in the thriller "Runaway Jury"
Cast as Ben Stiller's father in "Meet the Fockers," the follow-up to 2000's hit "Meet the Parents"
Starred opposite Johnny Depp in "Finding Neverland," which detailed the experiences of 'Peter Pan' author J.M. Barrie
Starred opposite Jude Law and Naomi Watts in David O. Russell's comedy "I Heart Huckabees"
Cast in Andy Garcia's feature directorial debut "The Lost City"
Co-starred as a literary expert opposite Will Ferrell in the Marc Forster comedy "Stranger Than Fiction"
Played an eccentric toy shop owner in the fantasy film "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"
Voiced the character of kung fu master Shifu in the animated feature "Kung Fu Panda"
Co-starred with Emma Thompson in the romantic comedy "Last Chance Harvey"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
Played Paul Giamatti's father in "Barney's Version"
Reprised role of Ben Stiller's father Bernie Focker in the comedy sequel "Little Fockers"
Once again voiced kung fu master Shifu in "Kung Fu Panda 2"
Co-starred with Nick Nolte and Gary Stevens on the horse-racing drama "Luck" (HBO); show cancelled in March 2012 during season two production following death of third horse on set.
Feature directorial debut, "Quartet"; film starred Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, and Billy Connolly as retired opera singers