Leonard Michael Maltin (born December 18, 1950) is an American Film criticism, film critic and History of film, film historian, as well as an author of several mainstream books on cinema, focusing on nostalgic, celebratory narratives. He is best known for his eponymous annual book of movie capsule reviews, ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide'', which was published annually from 1969 to 2014.

Early life

Maltin was born in New York City, son of singer Jacqueline (married and maiden names, née Gould; 1923–2012), and Aaron Isaac Maltin (1915–2002), a lawyer and immigration judge. Maltin was raised in a Jewish family, and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. He graduated from Teaneck High School in 1968.


Maltin began his writing career at age fifteen, writing for ''Classic Images'' and editing and publishing his own fanzine, ''Film Fan Monthly'', dedicated to films from the golden age of Hollywood. After earning a journalism degree at New York University, Maltin went on to publish articles in a variety of film journals, newspapers, and magazines, including ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' and ''TV Guide''. In the 1970s Maltin also reviewed recordings in the jazz magazine, ''Downbeat (magazine), Downbeat''. Maltin wrote ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide'', a compendium of synopses and reviews that first appeared in September 1969 and was annually updated from October 1987 until September 2014, each edition having the following year's date. Its original title was ''TV Movies'', and some editions were ''Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide''. In 2005, coverage of many films released no later than 1960 was moved into a spin-off volume, ''Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide'', to allow the regular book to cover a larger number of more recent titles. He has also written several other works, including ''Behind the Camera: The Cinematographer's Art, Behind the Camera'', a study of cinematography, ''The Whole Film Sourcebook'', ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia'', ''Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals'', and ''Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons''. Starting on May 29, 1982, Maltin was the movie reviewer on the syndicated television series ''Entertainment Tonight'' for 30 years. He also appears on the Starz (TV channel), Starz cable network, and hosted his own syndicated radio program, ''Leonard Maltin on Video'', as well as the syndicated TV show ''Hot Ticket'' with Boston film critic Joyce Kulhawik (originally ''E!'' personality and game show host Todd Newton). As of 2018, Maltin hosts a television show called ''Secret's Out'' on ReelzChannel movie network. He also spearheaded the creation of the ''Walt Disney Treasures'' collectible DVD line in 2001, and continues to provide creative input and host the various sets. Maltin appeared on ''Pyramid (game show), Pyramid'' twice as a celebrity player, in 1987 on the CBS $25,000 version, and in 1991 on the John Davidson (entertainer), John Davidson The $100,000 Pyramid, version. He also appeared on ''Super Password'' as a celebrity guest in 1988. During the 1980s and 1990s Maltin served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute. In the mid-1990s, Maltin became the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and is on the Advisory Board of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. For nearly a decade, Maltin was also on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. As of 2018, Maltin teaches in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. In 1998, Maltin legal settlement, settled a libel suit brought by former child star Billy Gray (actor), Billy Gray, of ''Father Knows Best'' fame, whom Maltin identified in his review of the film ''Dusty and Sweets McGee'' as a real-life drug addict and dealer. The statement had appeared in print in Maltin's annual movie guide for nearly 25 years before Maltin publicly apologized for the error. Maltin left Entertainment Tonight in 2010. His final appearance on the show as a regular correspondent was on July 19, 2010. As of 2018, Maltin hosts ''The Maltin Minute'' for DirecTV customers. With his daughter Jessie Maltin, he co-hosts ''Maltin on Movies,'' a long-form interview podcast for the Nerdist Industries network. He also wrote the introduction for ''The Complete Peanuts: 1983–1984''. In 1990, he took a look at the MGM years of The Three Stooges in a film called ''The Lost Stooges'', available on a made-to-order DVD through the Warner Archive Collection. From 2014 to 2019, Maltin hosted the quarterly ''Treasures From the Disney Vault'' on Turner Classic Movies. The last scheduled "Treasures from the Disney Vault" aired on September 2, 2019. Beginning in 2016, Maltin has served as the Honorary Head Juror of the Coronado Island Film Festival. In 2020, the festival named their top award Coronado Island Film Festival#The Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, The Leonard Maltin Tribute Award. In 2019, Maltin along with his daughter Jessie Maltin created a film festival called MaltinFest at Egyptian Theatre, the Egyptian Theater that spanned three days. Special guests included Laura Dern and Alexander Payne. Maltin currently co-hosts a podcast, ''Maltin on Movies'', with his daughter Jessie Maltin. Since 2018, Maltin has served on the advisory board for Legion M.

Popular culture appearances

Maltin was portrayed in an episode of the animated comedy ''South Park'' called "Mecha-Streisand" where he, along with actor Sidney Poitier and singer Robert Smith (musician), Robert Smith, fight Barbra Streisand, who has assumed the form of Mecha-Streisand, a giant, Godzilla-like robot version of herself. His own gigantic form was reminiscent of Ultraman (character), Ultraman with his initials on his chest. Maltin also made an appearance on the cartoon show ''Freakazoid!'' where he voiced himself, only to be abducted by monsters. Maltin also appeared as himself in ''Gremlins 2: The New Batch'', playing a film critic who blasts the first ''Gremlins'' film, only to get attacked by Gremlins. This scene echoed real life, as Maltin gave the first film a bad review, finding it mean-spirited, which affected his friendship with director Joe Dante. The scene was spoofed in the ''Mad (magazine), Mad'' magazine parody of ''Gremlins 2'', where he protests being eaten as Roger Ebert gives a worse review of the film, only for the Gremlins to remark they are waiting until Thanksgiving to find Ebert, as "he will feed a family of 15!" Maltin starred on an episode of ''Entertainment Tonight'', where he was presenting a time machine akin to one in the film ''The Time Machine (1960 film), The Time Machine''. He sits in the machine and then vanishes, as does the character in the film. Maltin is one of the few people to appear as a "guest star" on ''Mystery Science Theater 3000''; during a Season Nine episode, he joins Pearl Forrester in torturing Mike Nelson (character), Mike Nelson and the bots with the film ''Gorgo (film), Gorgo''. He was also mocked on the show for giving the film ''Laserblast'' a rating of 2.5 stars. After Mike and the Bots finish watching the movie, they express amazement at the rating while Mike reads off a list of well-known films that Maltin gave similar ratings to. In ''The Simpsons'' episode "A Star is Burns", Marge Simpson, Marge says "Did you know there are over 600 critics on TV and Leonard Maltin is the best looking of them all?" Lisa Simpson, Lisa replies "Ewwww!" In the 1995 video release of the original ''Star Wars'' trilogy, there was an interview with George Lucas conducted by Maltin included before the start of the movies. Maltin is listed in the ''Guinness Book of World Records'' for the world's shortest movie review; his two-star review of the 1948 musical ''Isn't It Romantic? (1948 film), Isn't It Romantic?'' consists of the word "No". In 1985 he delivered a three-word movie review on ''Entertainment Tonight'' for that year's horror film spoof, ''Transylvania 6-5000 (1985 film), Transylvania 6-5000''. The review begins with a silent Maltin swaying to a recording of the Glenn Miller, Glenn Miller Orchestra playing "Pennsylvania 6-5000", wherein the instrumental melody is interrupted by the sound of a telephone ringing (part of the original recording), after which the band chants the title of the song. In his review, Maltin timed it so that his review began with the phone ringing: "''Transylvania 6-5000'' ... stinks!" Maltin also selected and hosted a compilation of National Film Board of Canada animated shorts, ''Leonard Maltin's Animation Favorites from the National Film Board of Canada''. Comedian Doug Benson's podcast ''Doug Loves Movies'' features a segment called The Leonard Maltin Game, in which the guest must guess the name of a movie based on a subset of the cast list in reverse order and a few intentionally vague clues from the capsule review of the movie in ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide''. Maltin appeared on the podcast in February 2010 and played the game himself. He appeared on the show again in August 2010. In November 2010 Benson and Maltin played the game on ''Kevin Pollak's Chat Show''. Maltin has repeated his appearances on Doug Loves Movies in September 2011 with Jimmy Pardo and Samm Levine, in September 2012 with Chris Evans (actor), Chris Evans and Adam Scott (actor), Adam Scott, and in November 2013 with Peter Segal, "Paul F. Tompkins, Werner Herzog," and Clare Kramer. Beginning in November 2014, Maltin has hosted the podcast ''Maltin on Movies''. It began on Paul Scheer's now-defunct Wolfpop network, with comedian and actor Baron Vaughn as a co-host. The two picked a topic generally based on what was currently in theaters and discussed three other movies within that topic: one that the two both liked, one that the two disliked and one they thought was a great lesser-known film – or "Sleeper hit, sleeper" – within the category. Topics included biopics, breakthrough performances, and sequels. In 2020, a Leonard Maltin board game was released called ''King of Movies: The Leonard Maltin Game.''

Personal life

Maltin lives in Los Angeles. He is married to researcher and producer Alice Tlusty, and has one daughter, Jessie, who works with him (his production company, JessieFilm, is named for her). In July 2018, Maltin announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three and a half years prior.


As author

*''Movie Comedy Teams'' (NAL, 1970; revised editions, 1974, 1985) *''Behind the Camera: The Cinematographer's Art, Behind the Camera'' (NAL, 1971), reissued as ''The Art of the Cinematographer'' (Dover, 1978) *''The Great Movie Shorts'' (Crown, 1972), reissued as ''Selected Short Subjects'' (Da Capo, 1983) *''The Disney Films'' (Crown, 1973; revised edition, 1985; 3rd edition, 1995 from Hyperion; 4th ed., 2000, Disney Editions) *''Carole Lombard'' (Pyramid, 1976) *''Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals'' (Crown, 1977; coauthor with Richard W. Bann; revised and reissued as ''The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang'', 1992) *''The Great Movie Comedians'' (Crown, 1978, revised edition, 1982) *''Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons'' (NAL and McGraw Hill, 1980; revised edition, November 1987) *''The Complete Guide to Home Video'' (Crown, 1981; coauthor) *''The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio's Golden Age'' (E.P. Dutton, 1997) *''Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy'' (M Press, 2008) *''Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen'' (HarperStudio, 2010) *''Hooked On Hollywood: Discoveries From A Lifetime of Film Fandom (GoodKnight Books 2018) *''Star Struck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood'' (GoodKnight Books, 2021)

As editor

* ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide'' (originally published as ''TV Movies'', then ''Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide'') (NAL, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, published annually 1988 through 2014). Also published in a Dutch edition as ''Speelfilm Encyclopedie'', and Swedish version as ''Bonniers Stora Film & Video Guide''. * ''The Real Stars'' (Curtis, 1973) * ''The Real Stars #2'' (Curtis, 1974) * ''The Laurel & Hardy Book'' (Curtis, 1973) * ''Hollywood: The Movie Factory'' (Popular Library, 1976) * ''Hollywood Kids'' (Popular Library, 1978) * ''The Real Stars #3'' (Curtis, 1979) * ''The Whole Film Sourcebook'' (NAL and Universe Books, 1983) * ''Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia'' (Dutton/Penguin, 1994) * ''Leonard Maltin's Family Movie Guide'' (Dutton/Signet, 1999)

As a host

*''Bugs & Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons'' VHS, 1989, MGM/UA Home Video *''Our Gang, The Little Rascals'' only on VHS tapes, Volumes 1–21 from Sonar Entertainment, Cabin Fever Entertainment not on DVD from Genius Products. *''Walt Disney Treasures'' DVD series, featuring Disney animation and television shows.


External links

* *
Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy
blog at indieWIRE
Leonard Maltin's bio courtesy of ''ET'' Online
Leonard Maltin
at ''TV Guide'' * {{DEFAULTSORT:Maltin, Leonard 1950 births 20th-century American historians 21st-century American historians 21st-century American male writers American film critics American film historians American infotainers American male non-fiction writers Historians of animation American men podcasters American podcasters Film theorists Inkpot Award winners Jewish American writers Living people New York University alumni People with Parkinson's disease Teaneck High School alumni USC School of Cinematic Arts faculty Writers from New York City Historians from New York (state) Historians from California Historians from New Jersey