Monday, May 5, 2014
WHAT A CHARACTER: PHILIP BAKER HALL
Hall was born in Toledo, Ohio on September 10, 1931, the son of a factory worker father who was from Montgomery, Alabama. He attended the University of Toledo. As a young man, Hall served in the military, started a family, and became a high school English teacher. In 1961, he decided to become an actor. He moved to New York, enjoying success in Off Broadway and Broadway productions. In 1975, Hall moved to Los Angeles to make a career in television.
Since then, he has had over 200 guest roles on television shows. He starred in many films, including Robert Altman's Secret Honor in which he played the film's only role, Richard Nixon. Hall got his first high-profile film role when Paul Thomas Anderson wrote a role in his film Hard Eight, specifically for Hall. Hall went on to have roles in two of Anderson's subsequent films, Boogie Nights and Magnolia. He also had a minor role as Captain Diel in the Rush Hour trilogy (though his scenes were cut from the theatrical release of Rush Hour 2 and he was uncredited for his scenes in Rush Hour 3).
Additionally, Hall has had roles in Midnight Run, Say Anything..., The Rock, The Truman Show, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Bruce Almighty, You Kill Me, In Good Company, Dogville, The Amityville Horror, The Matador, The Sum of All Fears, The Zodiac and Zodiac. More recently, he had a starring role in the 2006–07 Fox sitcom The Loop and had a guest starring role in The West Wing. Hall also appeared as a guest star in the HBO animated series The Life & Times of Tim. He appeared in the 2010 film, All Good Things.
Hall acted in Seinfeld as Lt. Joe Bookman, the 'library cop' who tracks down Jerry for a long-overdue library book in "The Library". He reprised the role in the May 1998 finale where his character is one of many to testify against Jerry. More recently he has appeared as the crotchety Dr. Morrison, Larry David's physician, on Curb Your Enthusiasm and an equally crotchety neighbor of the Dunphy family on Modern Family. In 2012, he appeared in an episode of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom. Hall also appears in a series of humorous Holiday Inn commercials. He is currently starring in I Never Sang for My Father at The New American Theatre in Hollywood. Philip Baker Hall is another character actor that certainly adds character to every role he has...