Maltin began his writing career at age 15, editing and publishing the Film Fan Monthly. After receiving a journalism degree at New York University, Maltin went on to publish articles in a variety of film journals, national newspapers, and magazines, including Variety and TV Guide.
As an author, Maltin is best known for Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide, a compendium of synopses and reviews that has been annually updated since 1969.
He has also written several other works, including Behind the Camera, a study of the art of cinematography, The Whole Film Sourcebook, Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, and Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons.
Since the 1980s, Maltin has had a regular spot on the syndicated television series Entertainment Tonight . He also appears on the Starz cable network and hosted his own syndicated radio program, Leonard Maltin on Video.
In the mid-'90s, he 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, Matlin was on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City.