Childhood & Early Life
Goldberg was born on October 25, 1970, in Santa Monica, California, to Donna (Goebel) and Earl Goldberg. His father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Russia, Lithuania, and Romania), and his mother is a non-practicing Catholic. His maternal grandfather, Eugene John Goebel, was of German descent. Adam's maternal grandmother, Neva Bernice Tully, was of half-Mexican descent.
He started performing at the tender age of 14 and later attended the famed ‘Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.’ He also attended the ‘Sarah Lawrence College,’ where he acted in a number of stage productions.
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In 1991, Goldberg made his debut as Bill Crystal’s younger brother-in-law, ‘Eugene Gimbel,’ in ‘Mr. Saturday Night.’ His other supporting roles in major movies include Richard Linklater’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ (1993), John Singleton’s ‘Higher Learning’ (1995), Gregory Widen’s ‘The Prophecy’ (1995), and Ron Howard’s ‘Edtv’ (1999).
He then appeared in the career-defining role of infantryman ‘Mellish’ in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ (1998), with Tom Hanks. The same year, he lent his voice to ‘Babe: Pig in the City,’ an Australian–American comedy–drama film directed by George Miller.
Goldberg made his directorial and screenwriting debut with ‘Scotch and Milk’ (1998), a neo-noir film that was entirely shot in black and white. He also co-edited and played the lead role in the film and earned positive reviews.
He portrayed the lead role of ‘Mordechai Jefferson Carver’ in Jonathan Kesselman’s ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ (2003), a role that was laden with Jewish stereotypes. He had earlier played a Jewish character in ‘Dazed and Confused.’
He directed a psychological thriller, ‘I Love Your Work,’ which was also co-written by him. The film was produced through his production company and premiered at the ‘Toronto International Film Festival’ in 2003. The original score for the film was also composed by him, along with Steven Drozd, the drummer of ‘The Flaming Lip.’
He has also appeared in Ron Howard's ‘Academy Award’-winning film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ (2001), with Russell Crowe, and in Donald Petrie's ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ (2003), with Matthew McConaughey. He was also part of DJ Caruso's ‘The Salton Sea’ (2002).
In 2015, Goldberg directed and acted in a comedy–drama film, ‘No Way Jose,’ which was co-written by him. The film premiered in the US.
He has also been part of a number of TV shows. He was part of the main cast of ‘Double Rush’ (1995), in which he played ‘Leo,’ a delivery boy. The sitcom lasted one season.
He appeared in a few episodes of the popular sitcom ‘Friends’ (1996), in which he played the role of Chandler’s roommate, ‘Eddie.’ He also appeared in ‘Joey’ (2004), which was a spin-off of ‘Friends’.
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In 1996, he appeared in ‘ER’ and ‘NYPD Blue.’ He was also the main lead in the series ‘Relativity’ (1996–1997), in which he appeared as ‘Doug.’ It was canceled after 17 episodes due to bad ratings. He also made guest appearances in ‘The Practice’ (1997), ‘Will & Grace’ (1998), and ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ (2001).
In 2003, he directed the TV documentary movie ‘Running with the Bulls.’ Goldberg played himself in the film.
In the 2004 TV movie ‘Frankenstein,’ Goldberg played a police detective, ‘Michael Sloane,’ who takes the creature’s help to stop a serial killer. The film was co-produced by Martin Scorsese. Its story, written by Dean Koontz, was not a direct adaptation of Mary Shelley’s book of the same name.
In 2009, Goldberg appeared as the witty detective ‘Eric Delahoy’ in ‘The Unusuals,’ which explored the comic insanity of the detectives at the ‘New York City Police Department’ (NYPD). The show was canceled after 10 episodes without explaining the fate of ‘Delahoy’s brain tumor.
He played ‘Ray "Lazarus" Harper,’ a divorced Jewish former newspaper reporter, in the series ‘NYC 22’ (2012). The series received mixed reviews and was canceled after one season.
He appeared as ‘Howard K Stern’ in the 2013 American biographical TV movie ‘The Anna Nicole Story.’ The film, based on actor and ‘Playboy’ playmate Anna Nicole Smith, received lukewarm reviews.
The critically acclaimed series ‘Fargo’ (2014) featured him as ‘Mr. Numbers.’
The ‘The Jim Gaffigan Show’ (2015) featured him as ‘Dave Marks,’ Jim’s friend and a struggling comedian. He played the role for two seasons.
Goldberg was part of the second season of ‘Taken’ (2018), as ‘Kilroy,’ a computer hacker. Unfortunately, ‘NBC’ removed the show from its schedule on April 18, 2018. The series was based on the movie trilogy of the same name that featured Liam Neeson.
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Goldberg is also a guitarist and a songwriter. He has provided original scores for ‘I Love Your Work’ and ‘Running with the Bulls.’
He also performed with a group called ‘LANDy.’ The band released its debut album, ‘Eros and Omissions,’ in 2009. The group has since been renamed and is now known as ‘The Goldberg Sisters,’ as the earlier name had created lot of confusion. Goldberg made an appearance on ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’ with his band.
The members of the band ‘The Flaming Lips’ were his friends. He appeared in ‘The Fearless Freaks,’ a documentary based on the band’s work, and in ‘Christmas on Mars,’ a science-fiction film written and directed by Wayne Coyne, the frontman of the band.