Eszter Balint


Actor

About

Birth Place
Budapest, HU

Biography

This dark-haired, pixie-faced actress originally from Budapest is best-known for her breakthrough role as the culturally dislocated waif in Jim Jarmusch's off-beat "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984) and for her avant-garde theater work. The daughter of stage director Stefan Balint, she spent much of her youth as a member of The Squat Theater first formed in Budapest in 1969. Squat's members...

Family & Companions

Mark Boone Jr
Companion
Actor.

Biography

This dark-haired, pixie-faced actress originally from Budapest is best-known for her breakthrough role as the culturally dislocated waif in Jim Jarmusch's off-beat "Stranger Than Paradise" (1984) and for her avant-garde theater work. The daughter of stage director Stefan Balint, she spent much of her youth as a member of The Squat Theater first formed in Budapest in 1969. Squat's members--including Balint and her father--fled Hungary and spent two year in Paris and Rotterdam before heading to America and set up shop in New York. The company became well-known in bohemian circles for such productions as "Pig, Child, Fire!" (1977), "Andy Warhol's Last Love" (1978) and "Mr. Dead and Mrs. Free" (1981), both of which were filmed, and their last show, "Full Moon Killer" (1991).

By the time Squat folded, Balint had already made her debut into more mainstream work, including a 1985 appearance on TV's "Miami Vice," as a wife fleeing both her abusive husband and the Mafia. Mainstream, however, hardly described her early film work, which were primarily feature versions of her stage work. "Stranger Than Paradise" perhaps remains as her best-known vehicle. In this independent black comedy, Balint portrayed the Hungarian cousin of hipster John Lurie; they and Lurie's pal Richard Edson drift aimlessly through Cleveland and Florida, encountering adventure despite themselves.

Balint mostly concentrated on her theater work and music career thereafter, and her film appearances have been infrequent. She appeared in the French drama about Hungarian Jews, "Histoires d'Amerique" (1988), the short "Wonderland U.S.A." (1989) and co-starred in the low-budget comedy "Bail Jumper" (1989), as a newlywed who moves to Staten Island. In the crime comedy "The Linguini Incident" (1992), she played a designer of self-defense brassieres, who falls into a robbery plot. A small role followed in Woody Allen's "Shadows and Fog" (1992), then a supporting part as one of the habitues of Steve Buscemi's "Trees Lounge" (1996).

Life Events

1972

Appeared with The Squat Theatre, co-founded by her father in Budapest

1977

Appeared in "Pig, Child, Fire", a Squat Theatre production in Rotterdam

1978

First film appearance, "Andy Warhol's Last Love (The Film)", a version of a production originally staged by the Squat Theatre

1978

Immigrated to US

1984

Had breakthrough feature role in Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise"

1985

TV debut, "Miami Vice"

Family

Stefan Balint
Father
Theater director. Founder of The Squat Theater.

Companions

Mark Boone Jr
Companion
Actor.

Bibliography