Family & Companions
Boyish character actor and occasional director who has had leading parts on stage, in films and TV. Perhaps best known for the role of Larry Appleton on the long-running comedy series "Perfect Strangers" (ABC, 1986-93), Linn-Baker's character found his neat and orderly life interrupted by the arrival of a distant foreign cousin, Balki, memorably played by Bronson Pinchot.
Linn-Baker began his career on the stage, coming to New York after working three seasons with the Yale Repertory Theater. He made his NY stage debut as Bertram in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of "All's Well That Ends Well," went on to garner favorable notices for starring roles in a number of festival productions, and then made his Broadway debut in "Doonesbury," a short lived musical based on the popular comic strip.
Linn-Baker had his big screen break-through opposite Peter O'Toole in the very successful comedy "My Favorite Year" (1982), as a young 1950s variety show writer who has to chaperon that week's star, a known drunk and womanizer (O'Toole). It would be a decade before Linn-Baker worked on the big screen again, co-starring in Peter Bogdanovich's "Noises Off" (1992). Meanwhile, he worked in episodic TV, landed regular roles on a summer series "The Comedy Zone" (1984) and made a busted pilot "The Recovery Room" (1985) before being cast in "Perfect Strangers." During the years he starred on the series, Linn-Baker showed up periodically on awards shows, specials and starred in such TV-movies as "Wedding Day Blues" (1988) and "Bare Essentials" (1991).
In the late 1980s, Linn-Baker co-founded the New York Stage & Film Company which produced plays and short films. The company developed Jay Presson Allen's "Tru" a one man show about the life of writer Truman Capote that eventually moved to Broadway. Linn-Baker also directed regional and off-Broadway productions of plays by Christopher Durang and John Patrick Shanley, as well as TV episodes of "Going Places," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" and "Family Matters."
In the mid-90s, he returned to the NY stage co-starring with Nathan Lane in Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (1993-94), based on Simon's experiences as a writer for the TV series "Your Show of Shows." Three years later, he and Lane teamed again for the revival of the Larry Gelbart-Burt Shevelove-Stephen Sondheim musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Linn-Baker played Hysterium, a slave who agrees to help a friend by posing as a virginal young woman.
Linn-Baker is married to theatrical set designer Adrianne Lobel.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Feature film debut, "Manhattan"
Feature debut in a starring role, "My Favorite Year"
Starred on Broadway in "Doonesbury"
Episodic TV debut in a detective pilot, "O'Malley"
Debut as host on summer series, "The Comedy Zone"
TV-movie debut, "The Ghost Writer"
Star of longrunning ABC comedy series, "Perfect Strangers"
TV directing debut, "Family Matters"
First film role after a decade of TV, "Noises Off"
Recurring character on children's educational series, "Ghostwriter"
Co-starred with Lane in revival of the musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
Headlined the one-man Off-Broadway show "Chesapeake"
Cast in Michael Cuesta's sophomore feature "Twelve and Holding"