born in New York
in 1918. His career began in the 1930's when he was employed by Russek's, a high class furrier
located in Manhattan
. The Russek's granddaughter
was Diane Nemerov, whom Arbus would marry in 1941.
After marriage and work in the Signal Corps during World War II, Arbus and his wife beagn a career in the fashion photography business. They were quite successful but by the late 1950's with two children, Allan had caught the acting bug and Diane had wanted to photograph more interesting subjects (see Diane Arbus). The couple was divorced in 1959.
Allan's acting carrer began to take off in the early 1970's when he first appeared in the lead role in Robert Downey's film Greaser's Palace. This led to his best known role, that of the recurring character of psychiatrist Sidney Freedman on the televion show M*A*S*H.