|Born||in New York City, New York, USA|
|Birth Name||Harold Lipshitz|
|Height||6' (1.83 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
A familiar name thanks to his handsome, brush-mustachioed titular cop on a popular 70's TV show, Bronx-born actor/singer/musician Hal Linden (né Harold Lipschitz, March 20, 1931) was the son of Lithuanian immigrant Charles Lipshitz and his wife Frances Rosen. He had one older brother, Bernard, 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 went on to play 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 where he earned a degree in business. Hal supplemented his income playing in dance bands and was asked, at one point, to join Sammy Kaye on tour. Around this time he changed his marquee name to the more inviting "Hal Linden."
This mild invitation into professional show business sparked an interest in acting. Upon receiving his discharge, Hal enrolled at New York's American Theatre Wing where he trained in voice and drama. Eventually drafted into the Army in 1952, he utilized his talents by singing and providing entertainment for the troops. Discharged in 1954, he turned to summer stock and met Frances Martin, a dancer, the following year while both were in the chorus of "Mr. Wonderful" in Cape Cod. They married three years later and she willingly gave up her career to raise a family (four children).
During the early 1950s, he toured with Sammy Kaye and Bobby Sherwood and His Orchestra, among other bands. Hal's first Broadway show was with the 1956 musical "Bells Are Ringing" where he understudied lead Sydney Chaplin in the role of Jeff Moss. He later took over the role. He would make a bigger impression as Billy Crocker in the Broadway revival of Cole Porter in 1962. Hal accumulated more musical credits with leads in "Something More," "Illya, Darling" and "The Apple Tree" (as the Devil).
Although Hal also appeared in a couple of straight plays during this time ("Angel in the Pawnshop," "Three Men on a Horse"), he would win the 1971 Tony award for his earnest portrayal of Mayer Rothschild in the musical "The Rothschilds." This was quickly followed by the title role in the musical "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window," "The Enclave," "The Pajama Game," and other stage roles.
Hal's musical prominence finally led to legit television parts in the early 70's with guest appearances on "Circle of Fear," "Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside" and "The F.B.I." This, in turn, gave him the clout to be tested in a star role, that of the personable precinct boss on the highly popular Barney Miller (1975) sitcom. The long-running comedy program lasted eight seasons and Hal was subsequently Emmy-nominated each year, becoming a highly pleasant household name thanks to his warmly masculine looks, easy charm and dazzling smile.
Accommodating this TV triumph was several light and heavy TV-movie vehicles, including How to Break Up a Happy Divorce (1976), Father Figure (1980), The Other Woman (1983) and the two-person musical I Do! I Do! (1983) co-starring Lee Remick. Following that, Hal has appeared in other shorter-run TV series -- the title magician in Blacke's Magic (1986), title restaurateur in Jack's Place (1992) and as the beleaguered patriarch in the domestic sitcom The Boys Are Back (1994).
Although film stardom eluded Hal, he has supported a handful of films, including A New Life (1988), Just Friends (1996), Out to Sea (1997), Dumb Luck (2001), Time Changer (2002), Light Years Away (2008), Stevie D (2016), The Samuel Project (2018) and Grand-Daddy Day Care (2019). A much bigger presence on TV, Hal dominated with a number of guest appearances -- "The Golden Girls," "The Nanny," "Touched by an Angel," "Law & Order," "Will & Grace," "The King of Queens," "Hot in Cleveland," "2 Broke Girls" and "Grey's Anatomy." In 2006 and 2007, he enjoyed a recurring role on the daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful (1987).
In between, he continued to impress on the stage with performances in such acclaimed plays and musicals as "Company," "Cabaret," "I'm Not Rappaport," "Tuesdays with Morrie," "The Sisters Rosenzweig" and "A Christmas Carol," while continuing musical tours as a clarinetist. The national chairman of the March of Dimes for many years, Hal's career length has now surpassed six decades. His wife Frances died in 2010.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / firstname.lastname@example.org
|Frances Linden||(13 April 1958 - 9 July 2010) ( her death) ( 4 children)|