skip navigation
Philip B. Hall

Philip B. Hall

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Philip B. Hall - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video



Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 10, 1931 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Toledo, Ohio, USA Profession: actor, director, costume designer, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A classic late-bloomer who launched his career well after most others had come and gone, actor Philip Baker Hall was one of few performers of a certain age able to achieve Hollywood stardom. After starting a family and teaching high school English for a living, Hall changed course to become a prominent theater actor, landing roles both on and off-Broadway while slowly carving out a career on screen. He had a number of less-than-memorable appearances before landing his breakout role as a demented Richard Nixon in the one-man show, "Secret Honor" (1983), which director Robert Altman turned into an acclaimed but often overlooked film the following year. But the industry recognition he received led to bigger and better roles. Hall landed supporting parts in films like "Midnight Run" (1988) and "Say Anything" (1989), and played the fast-talking Lt. Bookman in a classic third season episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998). But it was his relationship with writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson that propelled Hall into a popular and widely recognized performer. Starting with Anderson's short film, "Coffee and Cigarettes" (1992), which was later turned into the feature-length "Hard Eight" (1996), Hall appeared...

A classic late-bloomer who launched his career well after most others had come and gone, actor Philip Baker Hall was one of few performers of a certain age able to achieve Hollywood stardom. After starting a family and teaching high school English for a living, Hall changed course to become a prominent theater actor, landing roles both on and off-Broadway while slowly carving out a career on screen. He had a number of less-than-memorable appearances before landing his breakout role as a demented Richard Nixon in the one-man show, "Secret Honor" (1983), which director Robert Altman turned into an acclaimed but often overlooked film the following year. But the industry recognition he received led to bigger and better roles. Hall landed supporting parts in films like "Midnight Run" (1988) and "Say Anything" (1989), and played the fast-talking Lt. Bookman in a classic third season episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998). But it was his relationship with writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson that propelled Hall into a popular and widely recognized performer. Starting with Anderson's short film, "Coffee and Cigarettes" (1992), which was later turned into the feature-length "Hard Eight" (1996), Hall appeared in a number of the director's films, including "Boggie Nights" (1997) and most notably "Magnolia" (1999). From there, Hall was in-demand as a character actor, landing big movies like "The Insider" (1999), "The Sum of All Fears" (2002), "Bruce Almighty" (2003) and "Zodiac" (2007), defying the odds and proving that sometimes life could really begin after 60.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bad Words (2014)
2.
 Clear History (2013)
4.
 50/50 (2011)
5.
6.
 All Good Things (2010)
7.
 Wonderful World (2009)
8.
 Lodger, The (2009)
9.
 Fired Up! (2009)
10.
 Zodiac (2007)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Ohio
:
Entered U.S. Army after college
1961:
Appeared as the Leader in "Donogo" at the Greenwich Mews Theatre, NYC
1965:
Acted in NYC stage production of "In White America"
1970:
Made feature film debut in "Cowards"
1975:
Moved to Los Angeles, where he became involved soon after in the L.A. Actors Theatre
1976:
TV-movie debut, "Mayday at 40,000 Feet!" (CBS)
1977:
Acted in the telefilm pilot for NBC's "Man From Atlantis", a sci-fi adventure series starring Patrick Duffy
1978:
TV miniseries acting debut, "The Bastard" (syndicated)
1978:
Co-wrote (with James Shepard) and co-directed (with Andrew Fye) "The Far Other Side of a Very Thin Line", performed at L.A.'s Mark Taper Forum
1983:
Starred on the NYC stage as President Richard Nixon in "Secret Honor," a one-man show he debuted at the L.A. Actors Theatre
1984:
Gained critical acclaim portraying Nixon in Robert Altman's film version of "Secret Honor"; also designed costumes; first starring role in a feature
1987:
Debut as a TV series regular, playing Superintendent James Malone in the short-lived prison drama "Mariah" (ABC)
1988:
Had small role as Sydney in Martin Brest's "Midnight Run"
1988:
Appeared as Dr Harrison in three-part episode of "Family Ties" (NBC), centering around Steven's heart surgery
1989:
Played the recurring role of Ed Meyers during the final season of the long-running CBS primetime soap "Falcon Crest"
1991:
Portrayed Lt Bookman, the library cop who confronts Jerry with the fact that he's had a copy of Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" since 1971, on NBC's "Seinfeld"
1992:
Starred as Sydney in neophyte writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's short film "Cigarettes and Coffee" in a part written specifically for him; short eventually expanded into the feature, "Sydney/Hard Eight"; had originally met Anderson (then a production assistant) while the two were working on a PBS special on political correctness ("Campus Culture Wars: Five Stories About PC", 1993)
1995:
Had high-profile supporting role as Big Junior, the dying father of Nicolas Cage's ruthless Little Junior, in the remake of "Kiss of Death"
1995:
Starred as Max, the tyrannical father of an oddball clan, in a Los Angeles stage production of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming"
1996:
Garnered acclaim for his starring performance as Sydney, a paternalistic professional gambler, in "Hard Eight/Sydney," Paul Thomas Anderson's feature debut as writer-director
1996:
Returned to the boards as Chertikov, a leading follower of Tolstoy, opposite Julie Harris as Tolstoy's estranged wife in a State University of New York at Purchase production of Leon Katz's "Sonya"
1997:
Appeared in Anderson's "Boogie Nights" as a businessman who tries to warn producer Burt Reynolds about the impending video revolution
1997:
Had recurring role as Judge Joseph Vinocour in three episodes of ABC's "The Practice," and played Judge Canker in an episode the following season (but same year)
1998:
Played the sheriff in Gus Van Sant's remake of "Psycho"
1998:
Appeared as a network executive in Peter Weir's "The Truman Show"
1999:
Cast as "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt in Michael Mann's highly-praised look at tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigard in "The Insider"
1999:
Had supporting roles as a Fascist industrialist in Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock" and as a detective in "The Talented Mr Ripley"
1999:
Reteamed with Paul Thomas Anderson to play a game show host in "Magnolia"
2000:
Acted the part of General Lawrence H Hodges in William Friedkin's "Rules of Engagement," about the trial of an army officer accused of inciting a riot killing many people in a third world country
2000:
Co-starred in Off-Broadway revival of "American Buffalo" with William H Macy
2000:
Portrayed a Catholic priest with a secret in "Lost Souls," starring Wynona Ryder and Ben Chaplin; feature directing debut for cinematographer Janusz Kaminski
2000:
Played Joan Allen's father in "The Contender"
2002:
Portrayed Sen. Everett Dirksen in the TV-movie "Path To War" (HBO)
2003:
Cast in the comedy "Bruce Almighty"
2004:
Appeared in "Dogville," directed by Lars von Trier
2004:
Cast opposite Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid in the comedy "In Good Company" directed by Paul Weitz
2005:
Starred in "The Amityville Horror," a remake of the 1979 film about a family that is terrorized after moving into a home that was the site of a mass-murder
2005:
Cast opposite Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in "The Matador"
2006:
Appeared in the David Fincher directed "Zodiac," based on the real life serial killer
2007:
Co-starred with Ben Kingsley in the mafia comedy thriller "You Kill Me," directed by John Dahl
2009:
Appeared in the teen comedy "Fired Up!"
2010:
Acted in the crime drama "All Good Things" with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst
2011:
Guest starred on ABC's Emmy Award-winning series "Modern Family" as the grumpy neighbor of the Dunphys
2011:
Cast opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in "50/50"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Toledo: Toledo , Ohio -

Notes

"Nixon is portrayed by Philip Baker Hall, an actor previously unknown to me, with such savage intensity, such passion, such venom, such scandal, that we cannot turn away. Hall looks a little like the real Nixon; he could be a cousin, and he sounds a little like him. That's close enough. This is not an impersonation, it's a performance."

. . . We get the sensation of a man pouring out all of his secrets after a lifetime of repression. His sentences rush out, disorganized, disconnected, under tremendous pressure, interrupted by four-letter words that serve almost as punctuation. After a while the specific details don't matter so much; what we are hearing is a scream of a brilliant, gifted man who is tortured by the notion that fate might have made him a loser."--Roger Ebert, reviewing "Secret Honor" in "Roger Ebert's Video Companion" (1995 Edition).

"As Richard Milhous Nixon, Philip Baker Hall delivers a wild rumination on his life--a mixture of confession and self-exoneration." --Pauline Kael, in a capsule review of "Secret Honor" in "5001 Nights at the Movies" (NY: Henry Holt, 1991).

"'I prefer the theater,' [Hall] said. 'On the stage you get two hours of fresh life, but there is no permanence in the theater.'"

No permanence and no profit. Hall saw the shrinking resources for live performance and increasingly turned to film and television. He also reasoned that this would be the best way to support his family. . . ."

"'I would love to make more money and protect my family,' said Hall. 'I don't like to think of ever becoming a Hollywood whore. But you have to make a living.'" --From "Stardom Comes The 'Hard' Way" by Nick Charles, DAILY NEWS, February 27, 1997

"The 'Seinfeld' episode ultimately did more than 'Secret Honor' did. 'Secret Honor' was an aficionado's piece. It did better in New York than in L.A., and more so in Europe. Even video stores eventually stopped carrying it. But I can go all over the world and somebody will recognize me from 'Seinfeld'. I was in Venice working on 'The Talented Mr Ripley', and I was recognized from 'Seinfeld'. You think, Who gives a shit about an American sitcom in Venice? I feel I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the 'Seinfeld'--although Paul Thomas Anderson had a lot to do with it, too." --Philip Baker Hall quoted in DETOUR, December 1999-January 2000

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Holly Baker. Third wife; mother of his younger daughter.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Anna Ruth Baker. Born c. 1995.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute