Fred Melamed


Fred Melamed (born May 13, 1956) is an American character actor, voice actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for portraying Sy Ableman in Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man (2009), with Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, and Amy Landecker; Sam Sotto in In a World… (2013), with Lake Bell (who also directed), Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, and Tig Notaro; and Bruce Ben-Bacharach in Lady Dynamite (2016–2017), with Maria Bamford, Mary Kay Place, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.

He made his film debut in Marshall Brickman’s Lovesick (1983), with Dudley Moore, Elizabeth McGovern, John Huston, Alec Guinness, Wallace Shawn, David Strathairn, and Christine Baranski. Other early films include The Manhattan Project (1986), with Christopher Collet, John Lithgow, John Mahoney, Jill Eikenberry, and Cynthia Nixon; Elaine May’s Ishtar (1987), with Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty, Isabelle Adjani, Charles Grodin, and Jack Weston; James Toback’s The Pick-up Artist (1987), with Robert Downey Jr., Molly Ringwald, Dennis Hopper, Danny Aiello, Harvey Keitel; Peter Yates’s Suspect (1987), with Cher, Dennis Quaid, Liam Neeson, Mahoney, Joe Mantegna, and Philip Bosco; and Leonard Nimoy’s The Good Mother (1988), with Diane Keaton, Neeson, Jason Robards, and Ralph Bellamy.

Films in the 2010s include Larry Charles’s The Dictator (2012), with Sacha Barron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Jason Mantzoukas, and an uncredited appearance by John C. Reilly; Fred Won’t Move Out (2012), with Elliott Gould, Stephanie Roth Haberle, and Judith Roberts; Hair Brained (2013), with Brendan Fraser, Alex Wolff, and Parker Posey; Blumenthal (2013), with Brian Cox; Get on Up (2014), with Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, and Octavia Spencer; and Some Kind of Beautiful (2015), with Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Ben McKenzie, and Malcolm McDowell; and Bone Tomahawk (2015), with Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette, and Sid Haig.

Films in the mid to late 2010s include Hail, Caesar! (2016), with Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum; Lemon (2017), with Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Shiri Appleby, Rhea Perlman, David Paymer, Gillian Jacobs, Jon Daly, Martin Starr, Megan Mullally, Jeff Garlin, Elizabeth De Razzo, Marla Gibbs and Nia Long; Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017), with Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier, Marc Blucas, and Tom Guiry; The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018), with Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, Sam Heughan, Hasan Minhaj, and Gillian Anderson; Dragged Across Concrete (2019), with Mel Gibson, Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Kier, Thomas Kretschmann, and Johnson; and Lying and Stealing (2019), with Theo James, Emily Ratajkowski, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Evan Handler.

Films in the 2020s include Shiva Baby (2021), with Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon, Polly Draper, Danny Deferrari, and Dianna Agron; Together Together (2021), with Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, Notaro, Julio Torres, and Anna Konkle.

  • Lovesick (1983) – directed by Marshall Brickman
  • Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – directed by Woody Allen
  • The Mission (1986) – directed by Roland Joffé – uncredited voice
  • The Manhattan Project (1986) – directed by Marshall Brickman
  • Radio Days (1987) – directed by Woody Allen – uncredited
  • Ishtar (1987) – directed by Elaine May
  • The Pick-up Artist (1987) – directed by James Toback
  • Suspect (1987) – directed by Peter Yates
  • Sticky Fingers (1988) – directed by Catlin Adams – uncredited voice
  • Another Woman (1988) – directed by Woody Allen
  • The Good Mother (1988) – directed by Leonard Nimoy
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) – directed by Woody Allen – uncredited
  • Shadows and Fog (1991) – directed by Woody Allen
  • Husbands and Wives (1992) – directed by Woody Allen – uncredited
  • Hollywood Ending (2002) – directed by Woody Allen
  • A Serious Man (2009)* – directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Interpersonal Exopolitics (2011) – directed by Jack Bank – short
  • The Dictator (2012) – directed by Larry Charles
  • Fred Won’t Move Out (2012) – directed by Richard Ledes
  • A Very Tight Place (2012) – directed by Derek Simon
  • In a World… (2013) – directed by Lake Bell
  • Hair Brained (2013) – directed by Billy Kent
  • Blumenthal (2013) – directed by Seth Fisher
  • The Thanksgivukkah Movie Trailer (2013) – directed by Andrew Bush – short
  • Two Wrongs (2013) – directed by David Katzenberg – TV movie
  • Get on Up (2014) – directed by Tate Taylor
  • Adult Beginners (2014) – directed by Ross Katz
  • Smart Pipe (2014) – directed by Zachary Johnson & Jeffrey Max – TV short
  • Superior Living (2014) – directed by Steven Kahn – short
  • Raise the ToyGantic (2015) – directed by Gail Lerner – short
  • Some Kind of Beautiful (2015) – directed by Tom Vaughan
  • You Are Whole (2015) – directed by Laura Spini – short
  • Bone Tomahawk (2015) – directed by S. Craig Zahler
  • The Dazzling Darling Sisters (2015) – directed by Brian E. Bennett – short
  • Hail, Caesar! (2016)* – directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Passengers (2016) – directed by Morten Tyldum
  • Kid Gambled (2016) – directed by Alex Familian – short
  • Lemon (2017) – directed by Janicza Bravo
  • Chicanery (2017) – directed by Charles Dennis
  • Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) – directed by S. Craig Zahler
  • Killer Black (2018) – directed by James Berry – short
  • The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) – directed by Susanna Fogel
  • Silver Lake (2018) – directed by Sean McGinly
  • Barking Mad (2018) – directed by Charles Dennis
  • Dragged Across Concrete (2019) – directed by S. Craig Zahler
  • Lying and Stealing (2019) – directed by Matt Aselton
  • The Vigil (2021) – directed by Keith Thomas
  • Shiva Baby (2021) – directed by Emma Seligman
  • Together Together (2021) – directed by Nikole Beckwith
  • Marzipan (2021) – directed by Adam Christian Clark
  • Rumble (2022) – directed by Hamish Grieve