Edelman, Rob 1949-

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EDELMAN, Rob 1949-


Born March 25, 1949, in New York, NY; son of Sam (a tailor) and Anne (a homemaker; maiden name, Greenberg) Edelman; married Audrey Kupferberg (a film consultant, archivist, lecturer, and writer). Ethnicity: "Eastern European-American Jew." Education: State University of New York, B.S., 1976. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Playing racquetball, attending baseball games, collecting baseball memorabilia.


Home—Amsterdam, NY. Office—378 Division St., Amsterdam, NY 12010. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer and film historian. University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, lecturer in the history of cinema. WAMC (Northeast) Public Radio, film critic/commentator, 1996—.


Society for American Baseball Research.


Top-Ten Internet Book designation, Amazon.com, 1998, for Baseball on the Web.



Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen, Birch Lane Press (Secaucus, NJ), 1996.

The John Travolta Scrapbook, Citadel Press (Secaucus, NJ), 1997.

Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of "I Love Lucy's" Other Couple, Renaissance Books (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.

Matthau: A Life, Taylor Trade Press (Lanham, MD), 2002.

The Vietnam War, (children's book; part of "People at the Center of" series) Blackbirch Press (San Diego, CA), 2004.


The Great Baseball Films: From "Right off the Bat" to "A League of Their Own," Citadel Press (Secaucus, NJ), 1994.

Baseball on the Web, MIS Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Associate editor/contributing editor of Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide, 1981—. Contributor to books on films, filmmaking, and popular culture, including Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia; Leonard Maltin's Family Film Guide; St. James Film Directors Encyclopedia, edited by Andrew Sarris; Political Companion to American Film, edited by Gary Crowdus; Total Baseball, edited by John Thorn and others; International Film Guide, edited by Peter Cowie; Total Baseball Catalog, edited by David Pietrusza and others; International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers; Women Filmmakers and Their Films; The Stars Appear, edited by Richard Dyer MacCann; The Whole Film Sourcebook, edited by Leonard Maltin; Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Sportswriters; St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia; St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture; Essays on Baseball and American Culture: Across the Diamond; Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of Twentieth-Century America; Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives; and Fashion Costume and Culture. Contributor of articles to numerous magazines and newspapers, including New York Times, New York Post, Washington Post, American Film, Baseball America, National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History, Baseball Research Journal, Cineaste, Ballet News, Forward, American Movie Classics, Chaplin, Independent, Culturefront, Sightlines, Filmmaker, and American Arts.


A memoir of Ida Lupino by Bridget Duff, daughter of Lupino and Howard Duff, cowritten with Audrey Kupferberg.


Rob Edelman is a film and television historian whose works include biographies of such celebrities as Angela Lansbury and Walter Matthau. A lecturer on film history at the State University of New York, Edelman is also a contributor to numerous books on film. He often collaborates with his wife, film archivist Audrey Kupferberg.

Edelman's first book was The Great Baseball Films: From "Right off the Bat" to "A League of Their Own," which chronicles baseball films from the silent era to the present. Each chapter emphasizes a different aspect of baseball films, including sections on drama and comedy, race and gender, biographies of sports legends, and themes such as "the triumph of the underdog" and "loss and redemption."

In Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of "I Love Lucy's" Other Couple, Edelman and Kupferberg delve into the private lives of Vivian Vance and William Frawley, who played the Ricardos' neighbors Fred and Ethel on the classic television comedy. In addition to anecdotes about their years on the "Lucy" show, Meet the Mertzes examines the actors' early careers and discusses their legendary off-camera animosity.

In two additional biographies, Edelman and Kupferberg offer extended discussions of film actors Walter Matthau and Angela Lansbury. In Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen, the pair trace the award-winning actress's career through more than fifty films and the long-running television mystery series Murder She Wrote. In Matthau: A Life, which a Washington Post reviewer called "an affectionate, celebratory new biography," the authors discuss Matthau's triumphs as an actor, his unstoppable addictions to gambling and smoking, his bitter relationship with fellow actor Barbra Streisand, and his decades-long friendship with Jack Lemmon.

Edelman told CA: "I have always been fascinated by the written word and the power of the written word to educate, inform, and influence. It never has been enough for me to observe an event, read a book or newspaper, or see a film. I have always been compelled to describe the event and put forth my feelings and opinions about what I have read or seen. I wrote for and edited my high school newspaper, and began my career working on a weekly paper in Brooklyn, New York. Here, and in my subsequent work as a journalist, film critic/commentator, and biographer, I have been able to express myself and my love of the written word. Along the way, I have also had the opportunity to meet and interview hundreds of fascinating people.

"More than anything else, I enjoy writing about film. From my childhood on, I have always had a passion for film. After a lifetime of watching, studying, reviewing—and being endlessly captivated by—films, I have come to believe that motion pictures play essential roles in forming our perceptions and impacting on our world views. Movies can make us think and feel. They can teach us lessons about life and history. They can reflect on our changing culture: what American and world culture was like in 1920, 1940, 1960, 1980, and today.

"In recent years, I have also been writing about various aspects of baseball. I have always been a baseball fan-atic; now, I feel extremely lucky to be able to write about the sport.

"When I write, I try to express myself simply and directly. I have no one favorite author and can cite no specific writer who has influenced me. I am at my best in the very early morning. When I am involved in a lengthy project, I will begin work at 6 a.m. or so and research or write non-stop well into the afternoon.

"The books I have written that I like best are The Great Baseball Films and Matthau: A Life. Because baseball and film are my great passions, it was an honor and a treat to be able to research and write about the manner in which the sport has been portrayed on the screen across the decades. I loved researching and writing about Walter Matthau. In particular, I relished exploring his childhood on New York's Lower East Side during the 1920s and 1930s and his involvement, however peripheral, in the Yiddish theater. Putting together the Matthau book allowed me to be in touch with my ethnicity and my roots as a child/grandchild of immigrants."



Bergen County Record (Bergen, NJ), November 3, 2002, Bill Ervolino, review of Matthau: A Life.

Entertainment Weekly, November 12, 1999, Charles Winecoff, review of Meet the Mertzes: The Life Stories of "I Love Lucy's" Other Couple, p. 74.

Library Journal, May 1, 1994, John Maxymuk, review of The Great Baseball Films from "Right off the Bat" to "A League of Their Own," p. 105.

Palm Beach Post, October 20, 2002, Scott Eyman, review of Matthau: A Life.

Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of Matthau: A Life, p. 61.

St. Petersburg Times, October 20, 2002, Lorrie P. Lykins, review of Matthau: A Life.

Washington Post Book World, April 23, 1995, review of The Great Baseball Films, p. 12, December 22, 2002, John DiLeo, review of Matthau: A Life, p. 9.