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Pat Hingle

Pat Hingle

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Also Known As: Martin Patterson Hingle Died: January 3, 2009
Born: July 19, 1924 Cause of Death: myelodysplasia
Birth Place: Miami, Florida Profession: actor, waiter, sold concessions at movie house, laborer, construction worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A sturdily built performer with a large square head and a rustic voice, Pat Hingle has been a solid character player on stage, screen and TV for over four decades. He began acting as a student at the University of Texas and made the move to NYC in the late 1940s. There, Hingle studied at the American Theater Wing and became a protege of director Elia Kazan at the Actor's Studio. He was soon working regularly on the NY stage, where he would appear in four Pulitzer Prize-winning plays ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" 1955, "J.B." 1958, "Strange Interlude" 1963 and "That Championship Season" 1973). Hingle performed initially on TV in an adaptation of "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (1950) for CBS' "Suspense", and his feature acting debut came in a small part as a bartender in Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954). He shone in a breakthrough supporting role in Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass" (1961), as the brusque father of Warren Beatty, but the greatest part of his career would have been the one that got away. Offered the title role in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), Hingle nearly died from a fall down an elevator shaft, preventing him from playing the role that would win Burt Lancaster a Best Actor Oscar. Hingle spent much...

A sturdily built performer with a large square head and a rustic voice, Pat Hingle has been a solid character player on stage, screen and TV for over four decades. He began acting as a student at the University of Texas and made the move to NYC in the late 1940s. There, Hingle studied at the American Theater Wing and became a protege of director Elia Kazan at the Actor's Studio. He was soon working regularly on the NY stage, where he would appear in four Pulitzer Prize-winning plays ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" 1955, "J.B." 1958, "Strange Interlude" 1963 and "That Championship Season" 1973). Hingle performed initially on TV in an adaptation of "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (1950) for CBS' "Suspense", and his feature acting debut came in a small part as a bartender in Kazan's "On the Waterfront" (1954). He shone in a breakthrough supporting role in Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass" (1961), as the brusque father of Warren Beatty, but the greatest part of his career would have been the one that got away. Offered the title role in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), Hingle nearly died from a fall down an elevator shaft, preventing him from playing the role that would win Burt Lancaster a Best Actor Oscar. Hingle spent much of his film and TV career playing ambiguous fathers, sympathetic community leaders, veteran cops, crafty judges and other law enforcement personnel. Younger audiences may know him best as Police Commissioner Gordon in the feature "Batman" series, but some may recognize him as the conflicted police chief father of a catatonic rapist in Clint Eastwood's "Sudden Impact" (1983) or as mob boss Bobo Justice, who comes west to teach a painful lesson to Anjelica Huston about skimming mob money at the track, in "The Grifters" (1990). Equally comfortable in the Old West, he unjustly sentenced Eastwood to death in Ted Post's "Hang 'Em High" (1968), strode the prairie in such oaters as "Nevada Smith" (1966) and "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (1964) and even lent some iconic authority to his small role as a bartender in Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead" (1995). In addition to his feature work, Hingle worked frequently on TV and in regional theater during the 90s, most notably as Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", before returning to Broadway as Benjamin Franklin in the revival of "1776" (1997).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 List, The (2007)
3.
 Waltzing Anna (2006)
4.
 Road to Redemption (2001) Nathan Tucker
5.
 Runaway, The (2000) Avery
6.
 Shaft (2000) Honorable Dennis Bradford
7.
 Muppets From Space (1999) General Luft
8.
 Batman & Robin (1997) Commissioner Gordon
9.
 Member of the Wedding, The (1997) Officer Wylie
10.
 Thousand Acres, A (1997) Harold Clark
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1941:
Joined the U.S. Navy in December 1941 and served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II
1950:
Began professional acting career in a non-union stock company in New York
1950:
First television appearance was in a CBS production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
1953:
Made Off-Broadway debut as Harold Koble in "End as a Man"
1954:
Made feature acting debut in Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront"
1955:
Broadway debut as Joe Foster in "Festival"
1955:
Cast as Gooper in the Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
1958:
Nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for William Inge's "Dark at the Top of the Stairs"
1959:
Received rave reviews in title role of Archibald MacLeish's "J.B." on Broadway
:
Offered the title role in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), but could not do it due to near fatal accident; Burt Lancaster won a Best Actor Oscar as Elmer Gantry
1960:
Narrated Elia Kazan's "Wild River"
1961:
Breakthrough feature supporting role as Warren Beatty's father in Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass"
1964:
Appeared as Parnell James in the Broadway production of James Baldwin's "Blues for Mr Charlie"
1965:
Appeared in the first stage revival of "The Glass Menagerie"
1966:
Played the Gentleman Caller in a CBS-TV adaptation of "The Glass Menagerie"
1968:
First film with Clint Eastwood, "Hang 'Em High" (also appeared with Eastwood in "The Gauntlet" 1977 and "Sudden Impact" 1983)
1969:
TV-movie debut, "The Ballad of Andy Crocker" (ABC)
1973:
Succeeded Richard A. Dysart as Coach in Jason Miller's "That Championship Season" on Broadway
1974:
Played a colorful Depression-era doctor in the ABC TV-movie, "The Last Angry Man"
1980:
Debut as a TV regular, played Chief Paulton on the short-lived ABC detective series "Stone"
1986:
Gave an amusing performance as a true screen swine, in Stephen King's directorial debut "Maximum Overdrive"
1988:
Cast as a regular in the short-lived CBS drama "Blue Skies"
1989:
Portrayed Police Commissioner James Gordon in Tim Burton's "Batman"; took the job so his wife could see London
1990:
Cast as mob boss Bobo Justice in "The Grifters" opposite Anjelica Huston
1991:
Played J. Edgar Hoover in the HBO movie "Citizen Cohn"
1992:
Reprised the role of Commissioner Gordon for Burton's "Batman Returns"
1995:
Again played Commissioner Gordon for Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever"
1997:
Had a fourth go as Commissioner Gordon in "Batman & Robin"
1997:
Portrayed Officer Wylie in the USA movie "The Member of the Wedding"
1997:
Acted the part of Benjamin Franklin in the Broadway revival of "1776"
2002:
Returned to series TV as regular on the ABC drama "The Court"
2006:
Cast opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
2006:
Co-starred in the comedy "Waltzing Anna"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

HB Studio: New York , New York -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
University of Texas at Austin: Austin , Texas - 1949
American Theatre Wing: New York , New York - 1949 - 1950

Notes

Some sources give Hingle's birth place as Miami, Florida, but more recent material places it in Denver, Colorado. Similarly, his year of birth is variously reported as 1923 and 1924.

Hingle received a honorary PhD in 1974 from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH.

He won a Clio Award for his portrayal of Thomas Edison in General Electric TV commercials.

About his brush with death: "It's a miracle I survived it. I was back on Broadway within a year, though at first I couldn't walk without the help of a cane. My left leg was put together with nails and clamps, this and that. But I had such kindnesses given me. I was at Knickerbocker Hospital up in Harlem and Daniel Petrie, the director called. He said 'I've got a television job for you. It's a character in the hospital. We'll just fly you out here.' The doctor said, 'Are you out of your mind?' My sense returned to me then. I saw him years later and said 'You son of a gun, you did such a kindness to me. How it picked up my spirits to know there was still work!" --Pat Hingle quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 11, 1997

"I know that if I had played Elmer Gantry, I would have been more of a movie name. But I'm sure I would not have done as many plays as I've done. I had exactly the career I had hoped for. And I never, never forget that I'm the recipient of the blessing that is life. It was given to me to try again." --Hingle in THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 11, 1997

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Alyce Dorsey. Married on June 3, 1947; divorced; mother of Hingle's three children; stage-managed first show Hingle was in at University of Texas.
wife:
Julia Wright. Married on October 25, 1979; met on location in El Paso, Texas when Hingle was filming "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" (1979); worked at the bank where the crew cashed their checks.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
Ernest Patterson. Railroad engineer.
father:
Clarence Martin Hingle. Contractor. Abandoned family c. 1930.
mother:
Marvin Louise Hingle. Schoolteacher, musician and radio writer.
child:
Jody Hingle. Mother, Alyce Dorsey.
son:
Billy Hingle. Mother, Alyce Dorsey.
daughter:
Molly Hingle. Mother, Alyce Dorsey.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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