Born: March 20, 1931
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, U.S.
Hal Linden (born Harold Lipshitz, March 20, 1931) is an American stage and screen actor, television director and musician.
Linden began his career as a big band musician and singer in the 1950s. After a stint in the United States Army, he began an acting career where he first worked in summer stock and off-Broadway productions. Linden found success on Broadway when he replaced Sydney Chaplin in the musical Bells Are Ringing. In 1971, he won a Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Mayer Rothschild in the musical The Rothschilds.
In 1974, Linden landed his best-known role as the title character in the television comedy series Barney Miller. The role earned him seven Primetime Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Award nominations. During the series' run, Linden also hosted two educational series, Animals, Animals, Animals and FYI. He won two special Daytime Emmy Awards for the latter series. Linden won a third Daytime Emmy Award for a guest-starring role on CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1995. Linden has since continued his career on the stage, in films and guest-starring roles on television. He released his first album of pop and jazz standards, It's Never Too Late, in 2011.Hal Linden was born on March 20, 1931, in The Bronx. He is the youngest son of Frances (née Rosen) and Charles Lipshitz, a Lithuanian Jew who immigrated to the United States in 1910 and later owned his own printing shop. His older brother, Bernard, became a professor of music at Bowling Green State University. Linden attended Herman Ridder Junior High School and the High School of Music and Art, going on to study music at Queens College, City University of New York. He later enrolled in Baruch College and then City College of New York where he received a Bachelor of Arts in business.
During his youth, Linden aspired to be a big band singer and bandleader. Before embarking on a career in music, he decided to change his name stating, "'Swing and Sway with Harold Lipshitz' just didn't parse." While driving through the town of Linden, New Jersey, he saw the name LINDEN on the water tower and Harold Lipshitz changed his name to Hal Linden. During the 1950s, he toured with Sammy Kaye, Bobby Sherwood, and other big bands of the era. Linden played the saxophone and clarinet and also sang. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1952 where he was sent to Fort Belvoir and played in the United States Army Band. While in Fort Belvoir, a friend recommended that he see the touring production of Guys and Dolls playing in Washington, D.C. After seeing the show, Linden decided to become an actor. He was discharged from the army in 1954.
Linden found success after replacing Sydney Chaplin in the Broadway production of Bells Are Ringing in 1958. He made a further breakthrough on the New York stage in 1962 when he was cast as Billy Crocker in the revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.
Linden's career slowed in the 1960s. During this time, he dubbed English dialogue for various foreign films, did voiceover work for commercials and sang jingles. His career was revived in the 1970s when he was cast as Mayer Rothschild in the 1971 musical The Rothschilds. The role earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In 1973, he co-starred opposite Tony Lo Bianco in the NBC television film Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside. The film was intended to be the pilot for a proposed series but was not picked up by the network.
In 1974, Linden landed the starring role in the ABC television police comedy Barney Miller. He portrayed the eponymous captain of the beleaguered 12th Precinct in bohemian Greenwich Village, dealing with mordant wit, compassion, and occasional frustration at the comedy-of-manners misfits brought in for arrest or questioning, or who came to lodge a complaint or stop by on bureaucratic business or to just say hi. He earned seven Emmy Award nominations for his work on the series, one for each season. Linden also earned four Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The series aired from 1975 to 1982. Linden later said that leaving Broadway to work on Barney Miller was his most irrational act and also one of his best decisions.
During the run of Barney Miller, Linden served as the narrator and host of the ABC children's shows Animals, Animals, Animals and FYI. He won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Individual Achievement for his host work on FYI. in 1984 and 1985.
After Barney Miller ended its 7 year run in 1982, Linden appeared in several television films including I Do! I Do! (1982), the television adaptation of the musical of the same name, and Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983). Also in 1982, he was the producers' first choice for the starring role of Dr. Donald Westphall in St. Elsewhere, when the role was immediately given to Ed Flanders, because he wanted to take a break from television. In 1984, he costarred in the television film Second Edition. The film was intended to be a series but was not picked up by CBS. The following year, Linden portrayed studio head Jack L. Warner in the television biopic My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Legend of Errol Flynn.Linden at Chiller Theatre on April 30, 2011
In 1986, Linden returned to episodic television in the NBC series Blacke's Magic. He played the lead character, Alexander Blacke, a magician who solves mysteries with the help of his father Leonard (Harry Morgan), a retired carnival magician and sometimes confidence man. The series was canceled after 13 episodes. In 1988, he co-starred in the romantic comedy A New Life, directed by Alan Alda. In 1992, Linden tried his hand at television again with the leading role in the comedy-drama series Jack's Place. In the series, Linden portrayed Jack Evans, a retired jazz musician who ran a restaurant that was frequented by patrons who learned lessons about love. The show was often compared to The Love Boat by critics as it featured a different weekly guest star. The series premiered as a mid-season replacement but did well enough in the ratings for ABC to order additional episodes. Viewership soon declined and ABC chose to cancel the series in 1993. The next year, Linden appeared in the CBS sitcom The Boys Are Back. That series was also low rated and canceled after 18 episodes. In 1995, Linden won his third Daytime Emmy Award for his 1994 guest-starring role as Rabbi Markovitz on CBS Schoolbreak Special.
In 1996, Linden had a supporting role in the television film The Colony, opposite John Ritter and June Lockhart. The role was a departure for Linden as he played the villainous head of a home owner's association of a gated community. In 1999, he had a guest role in the last The Rockford Files reunion TV movie, The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads. He continued his career in the late 1990s and 2000s with guest roles on Touched by an Angel, The King of Queens, Gilmore Girls, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Hot in Cleveland. He also narrated episodes of Biography and The American Experience, and voiced the role of "Dr. Selig" on the animated series The Zeta Project. In 2002, Linden received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars.
Linden continues to have an active stage career. He appeared in the Toronto production of Tuesdays with Morrie in 2009. In July 2011, he appeared opposite Christina Pickles in the Colony Theatre's production of On Golden Pond. Linden also starred in Under My Skin, which premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse on September 19, 2012 and ran through October 2012. In 2013, Linden guest-starred in a season eight episode of Supernatural as a rabbi. In 2014, Linden guest-starred in an episode of comedy series 2 Broke Girls. In 2015, he appeared at the Old Globe Theatre in the West Coast premiere of The Twenty Seventh Man starring as Yevgeny Zunser.
After the success of Barney Miller, Linden decided to revive his music career with a nightclub act. In his act, Linden plays the clarinet, performs pop and Broadway standards backed by a big band, and discusses his life and career. He has continued touring with various nightclub and cabaret acts since the early 1980s.
In March 2011, he began touring with his cabaret show An Evening with Hal Linden: I'm Old Fashioned. The show, which ran through 2012, was later released on DVD. In April 2011, Linden released his first album, It's Never Too Late. The album features a collection of jazz, Broadway and pop standards that Linden began recording around the time he was touring in the early 1980s. Due to a lack of interest, he shelved the songs. Linden decided to finish the album on the advice of his tour booker.
Linden is the spokesman for the Jewish National Fund, a position he has held since 1997.
Linden met dancer Fran Martin while doing summer stock in 1955. They married in 1958 and had four children. Martin died in 2010.
|November 29, 1956 – March 7, 1959||Bells Are Ringing||Jeff Moss (Replacement)|
|December 16, 1960 – June 3, 1961||Wildcat||Matt (Replacement)|
|November 10 – November 21, 1964||Something More!||Dick|
|October 17, 1965 – June 11, 1966||On a Clear Day You Can See Forever||Dr. Mark Bruckner, Edward Moncrief|
|April 11, 1967 – January 13, 1968||Illya Darling||No Face|
|April 4 – April 27, 1968||The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N||Yissel Fishbein|
|October 16, 1969 – January 10, 1970||Three Men on a Horse||Charlie|
|October 19, 1970 – January 1, 1972||The Rothschilds||Mayer Rothschild|
|January 26 – January 29, 1972||The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window||Sidney Brustein|
|December 9, 1973 – February 3, 1974||The Pajama Game||Sid Sorokin|
|November 19, 1985 – January 17, 1988||I'm Not Rappaport||Nat (Replacement)|
|March 18, 1993 – July 16, 1994||The Sisters Rosensweig||Mervyn Kant (Replacement)|
|April 29 – August 2002||Cabaret||Herr Schultz (Replacement)|
|April 24 – May 13, 2001||The Gathering||Gabe|
|1960||Bells Are Ringing||Singer of "The Midas Touch"|
|1964||That Man from Rio||Voice role||English version|
Alternative title: L'Homme de Rio
|1967||Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster||Akira Takarada (voice)||English version|
|1968||Destroy All Monsters||Akira Kubo (voice)||English version|
|1979||When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?||Richard Ethridge|
|1988||A New Life||Mel Arons|
|1996||Just Friends||Mr. Barton|
|1997||The Others||Principal Richard Meltzer|
|1997||Out to Sea||Mac Valor|
|2001||Dumb Luck||Blaine Mitchell|
|2002||Time Changer||The Dean|
|2005||Freezerburn||Roderick Carr the Cult Leader|
|2008||Light Years Away||Grandpa Sommers|
|2016||Stevie D||Max Levine|
|2018||The Samuel Project||Samuel|
|1957||Producers' Showcase||Episode: "Ruggles of Red Gap"|
|1963||Car 54, Where Are You?||Assistant DA Clark||Episode: "Joan Crawford Didn't Say No"|
|1969||Search for Tomorrow||Larry Carter||Unknown episodes|
|1970||Hastings Corner||District Attorney Corey Honker/Morey Honker||Television movie|
|1972||Circle of Fear||David Wells||Segment: "Elegy for a Vampire"|
|1973||Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside||Det. Lou Isaacs||Television movie|
|1975-1982||Barney Miller||Capt. Barney Miller||170 episodes|
|1976||The F.B.I||Abel Norton||"The Confession"|
|1976||The Love Boat||Andrew Canaan||Television movie|
|1976||How to Break Up a Happy Divorce||Tony Bartlett||Television movie|
|1984||Dorothy Hamill Presents Winners||Variety special|
|1980||Father Figure||Howard||Television movie|
|1982||I Do! I Do!||He (Michael)||Television movie|
|1983||Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land||Josh Gilliam||Television movie|
|1983||The Other Woman||Lou Chadway||Television movie|
|1984||Second Edition||Cliff Penrose||Television movie|
|1985||My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Legend of Errol Flynn||Jack L. Warner||Television movie|
|1986||Blacke's Magic||Alexander Blacke||13 episodes|
|1989||Dream Breakers||Harry Palliser||Television movie|
|1990||The Ray Bradbury Theater||Captain Black||Episode: "Mars Is Heaven"|
|1991||The Golden Girls||John||Episode: "What a Difference a Date Makes"|
|1992-1993||Jack's Place||Jack Evans||18 episodes|
|1994||American Experience||Narrator||Episode: "America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference"|
|1994||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Rabbi Markovitz||Episode: "The Writing On the Wall"|
|1994-1995||The Boys Are Back||Fred Hansen||18 episodes|
|1995||The Colony||Philip Denig||Television movie|
|1996||Nowhere Man||Senator Wallace||Episode: "Gemini"|
|1996-2001||Touched By an Angel||Various roles||Two episodes|
|1998||Biography||Narrator||Episode: "Confucius: Words of Wisdom"|
|1998||Killers in the House||Arthur Pendleton||Television movie|
|1999||The Nanny||Maury Sherry||Episode: "California, Here We Come"|
|1999||The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads||Ernie Landale||Television movie|
|1999||The Drew Carey Show||Mr. Van Zandt||Episode: "Brotherhood of Man"|
|2000||Rude Awakening||Judge Howard Barrett||Episode: "Judging Billie"|
|2002||Gilmore Girls||Chad||Episode: "There's the Rub"|
|2002||The Zeta Project||Dr. Selig (Voice)||Episode: "The Hologram Man"|
|2002||The Glow||Arnold Janusz||Television movie|
|2003||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Mr. Turner||Episode: "Suite Sorrow"|
|2004||Will & Grace||Alan||Episode: "A Gay/December Romance"|
|2005||Huff||Judge Bork||Episode: "The Sample Closet"|
|2005||The King of Queens||Bernard||Episode: "Catching Hell"|
|2006||Living With Fran||Hal||Episode: "The Whole Clan with Fran"|
|2006-2007||The Bold and the Beautiful||Jerry Kramer||Six episodes|
|2008||A Kiss at Midnight||Arthur Wright||Television film|
|2010||In Security||Television film|
|2010||Hot in Cleveland||Alex||Episode: "Meet the Parents"|
|2011||Outside the Box||Father Merrin||Unknown episodes|
|2012||NTSF:SD:SUV::||C.T. Dalton||Episode: "Prairie Dog Companion"|
|2013||The Mindy Project||Manny||Episode: "Mindy's Brother"|
|2013||Supernatural||Rabbi Isaac Bass||Episode: "Everybody Hates Hitler"|
|2014||2 Broke Girls||Lester||Episode: "And the New Lease on Life"|
|2016||Royal Pains||Dr. Whitcomb||Episode: "Saab Story"|
|2016-present||American Housewife||MR. Montez||Episode: Krampus Katie|
|2018||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Leonard Maxwell||Episode: "Mama"|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work|
|1971||Tony Award||Best Actor in a Musical||The Rothschilds|
|1983||Daytime Emmy Award||Special Classification of Outstanding Individual Achievement - Performers||FYI|
|1984||Daytime Emmy Award||Special Classification of Outstanding Individual Achievement - Performers||FYI|
|1995||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special||CBS Schoolbreak Special|