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Hal Linden Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (25)  | Personal Quotes (16)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameHarold Lipshitz
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in 1931, Bronx-born Hal Linden was the son of Charles Lipshitz and Frances Rosen and had an older brother who would become a future professor of music at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Similarly musical, Hal took up classical clarinet in his late teens and played regularly with symphony orchestras. After graduating from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, he studied music at Queens College, moving later to City College to pursue business. Hal also played in dance bands and was asked to join Sammy Kaye on tour before being drafted into the Army, where he sang and provided entertainment for the troops. This sparked an interest in acting, and, upon receiving his discharge, he enrolled at New York's American Theatre Wing where he trained in voice and drama. In 1955, Hal met Frances Martin, a dancer. They married three years later, and she gave up her career to raise a family.

Hal's first Broadway show was in "Bells Are Ringing" where he understudied lead Sydney Chaplin in the role of Jeff Moss. During the 1960s, Hal accumulated more musical credits in "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," "Subways Are for Sleeping," "The Apple Tree" and "The Pajama Game." He won the 1971 Tony award for his role in "The Rothschilds." This particular stage success led to a TV career that culminated in the title role on the popular Barney Miller (1975) sitcom. Emmy-nominated every year the program aired, Hal became a household name. Since that time, he has appeared in other lesser TV series including Blacke's Magic (1986), and Jack's Place (1992). He has held a secondary presence in such films as A New Life (1988) and Out to Sea (1997).

More musical leads such as "I Do! I Do!" and "The Pajama Game" came his way, along with dramatic pursuits in "I'm Not Rappaport" and "The Sisters Rosenzweig." Hal has also undertaken musical tours in his continuing role as clarinetist. He and wife Frances are avid golfers during their spare time.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Frances Linden (13 April 1958 - 9 July 2010) ( her death) ( 4 children)

Trade Mark (4)

The role of Barney Miller.
Calm, reasonable voice.
His mustache.
Bronx accent.

Trivia (25)

Chose his stage name on the way from Philadelphia to an acting job in New York City. He saw the water tower in Linden, New Jersey, and the rest is history.
Played clarinet with the New York American Symphony at the age of fifteen.
Long associated with the March of Dimes, serving as national chairman for many years.
He was offered and turned down the lead role in St. Elsewhere (1982).
Although he was nominated for seven Primetime Emmys for his great work on Barney Miller (1975), he won two Daytime Emmys for hosting a series of daytime informational spots called FYI: For Your Information (1980).
Won Broadway's 1971 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "The Rothschilds."
Even though he was trained as a clarinet player, he often played saxophone in live jazz bands to earn a living as a young man.
Met his wife when she was a dancer and she got him a reading for the understudy of Jeffery Moss in the musical "Bells Are Ringing" on Broadway. Judy Holliday, the show's (and movie's) star, was at their wedding.
Best remembered by the public for his starring role on Barney Miller (1975).
In 1984, he carried the Olympic Torch and ran a portion of the Los Angeles segment.
Building on his popularity on Barney Miller, Mr. Linden toured as a solo singing act during the same period. His musical talent and training resulted in an surprisingly outstanding performance.
Both his family name Lipshitz and stage name Linden are derived from the words for "limetree" in Yiddish and German, respectively.
He is most widely known to be a social butterfly.
Music ran in his family.
While he was in the Army; all the big band musicians had vanished and rock and roll was born.
Had no intention on acting. He didn't even started acting until he was 25.
The younger of a brother.
Long lives ran in his family.
He was enlisted in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954. He left college; after graduation, he didn't get a diploma. His mother wasn't even aware of Linden's graduation from college. Decades before he lost his mother, he got his diploma at 69. It was the last time Frances ever got to see Hal Linden got his diploma.
His mother, Frances Lipshitz, died in 2001, at age 98. When she passed away, Frances lived to be physically healthy and active at the time.
Alongside Norman Lloyd, William Daniels, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine, Mickey Rooney, Christopher Lee, Betty White, Angela Lansbury, Edward Asner, Marla Gibbs, Adam West, William Shatner, Larry Hagman, Florence Henderson, Shirley Jones and Alan Alda, Linden is one of the few actors in Hollywood who lived into their 80s and/or 90s without ever either retiring from acting or having stopped getting work.
His parents were Charles Lipshitz, who owned a small printing firm, and his mother, Frances (née Rosen), was a housewife.
To calm his parents, he attended the City College of New York, where he graduated there.
Before he was a successful actor, he played a big band, in the United States Army.
Worked as a voice over actor for Titra Studios. In fact, his voice is heard in many foreign films that were dubbed into English including several films in the "Godzilla" series.

Personal Quotes (16)

[About the [Barney Miller (1975)] role]: Joseph Wambaugh was once asked what was the most realistic cop show on TV, and he said it was Barney Miller. And this is a guy who had been a cop. Over the years I've talked to many policemen who've told me the same thing. I always ask them, 'How many times on the job have you had to pull your gun.' Nine times out of 10, the answer is, 'Never.' The job is more about paperwork. It's a grind.
I've noticed that on some of the commercial "voice overs" I've done, often times the background music is so loud, you can hardly hear the voice! The audio technicians seem to really be mixing the background too loud.
[About [Barney Miller (1975)]'s diverse cast not being groundbreaking at the time]: What it was was an incredibly well-written show. There were gang comedies all around when we started. The ones that were well-written lasted.
[When he started out as the star on Broadway]: It took me years to learn a technique.
I'm an actor, and I do my research.
[Who interpreted [Barney Miller (1975)] as a cult show, whilst playing in reruns, esp. in heavy syndication]: The guest actors were the stars, because the stories were about them. They weren't just passing through and fixing a television set. They were the stars, and they had the opportunity to really create characters with a beginning, a middle and an end. In a sense, it's the same thing with Jack. This series is not so much about Jack as about other people that we see through Jack's eyes.
I have a terrific relationship with all my grandchildren. Some are outgoing and loving, some are serious and respectful. I have eight different relationships with each different grandchild.
[on the popularity of [Barney Miller (1975)]]: Being in Barney Miller has done wonders for me and for my career. There are so many things I want to do, and I hope this will make them possible. There is so much acting that I haven't done because I couldn't get jobs. I haven't done feature films or classic theater. I've only done one major Broadway musical...
Judy Holliday was the most sharing actress I've ever worked with. I took her in my arms and I started singing, 'Just in time, I found you just in time.' All of a sudden, I felt her hand on my back, twisting me. I realized she was twisting me so I was facing the audience and not singing into the wings. How do you not fall in love? Her back was to the audience!
[About doing another Jewish play]: The Holocaust was a defining event of the century. I was a teenager when the [newsreel] footage started to come out at the end of the war about the concentration camps. It was horrifying. The script got me interested because it's very much of the moment again. I was just reading in this morning's paper about the IBM company's actions with Germany during World War II. So the issues are still with us.
[on the death of [Ron Glass]]: I knew Harris was a good detective, but suffered him gladly. Harris had an enormous ego, if you remember correctly. He was writing the great American novel, 'Blood on the Badge.'
[Who played characters where his real-life family inherited]: I drew on many experiences in my life to play the many memorable Jewish and non-Jewish characters that are magical moments in my life.
[Of his early performance]: I started as a kid musician. I was 13 when I started playing at local dances for $2.00 a night. I date my professional career from the time I joined the musicians' union at the age of 15. That was about 30 years ago!
[on touring in the 1950s]: I thought my career would always be performing with big bands. But the big band era didn't last forever; so, when it came to an end, I needed to find something else to do.
[About his role in [Stevie D (2016)]]: First of all, when you're playing an agent, already you're playing the enemy. [Laughs.] But he was a guy who spent his life trying to help people and doing the best he could, and the world just changed around him. When you're still making phone calls and everybody else is texting, you're in trouble... and that's unfortunately my life! Well, not actually my life. I text, I email. But there are still things I don't know how to do.
They've all got internet, watching everything we do here in New York.

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