Biography

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 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 (1974) 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.

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 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 (1974) 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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 46

Birthday 1931-03-20

Place of Birth New York City - New York - USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

The Samuel Project as Samuel
2011 2 Broke Girls(1 episode) as Lester
2005 Supernatural(1 episode) as Rabbi Isaac Bass
2005 Living With Fran(1 episode)
2004 The Tony Danza Show(1 episode)
2003 Time Changer as The Dean
2003 Dumb Luck as Blaine Mitchell
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age
2002 The Glow as Arnold Janusz
2001 Law & Order: Criminal Intent(1 episode)
2001 The Zeta Project(1 episode)
2000 Gilmore Girls(1 episode)
1999 The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads as Ernie Landale
1998 Killers in the House
1998 The King of Queens(1 episode)
1997 Out to Sea as Mac Valor
1995 The Colony as Philip Denig
1994 Touched by an Angel(1 episode)
1994 The Boys Are Back(18 episodes) as Fred Hansen
1993 The Nanny(1 episode)
1992 Jack's Place(19 episodes)
1988 American Experience(1 episode) as Narrator (voice)
1988 A New Life as Mel Arons
1987 The Grand Knockout Tournament as Himself
1986 Blacke's Magic(13 episodes) as Alexander Blacke
1985 The Golden Girls(1 episode)
1985 The Ray Bradbury Theater(1 episode)
1985 My Wicked, Wicked Ways: The Legend of Errol Flynn as Jack Warner
1983 All-Star Party for Frank Sinatra
1983 Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land as Josh Gilliam
1982 Christmas in Washington(1 episode)
1980 Father Figure as Howard
1979 When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? as Richard Ethridge
1976 Battle of the Network Stars(2 episodes)
1976 Van Dyke and Company(1 episode)
1976 Donny & Marie(1 episode)
1975 Saturday Night Live(1 episode)
1975 Cher(1 episode)
1975 Barney Miller(176 episodes) as Barney Miller
1974 Tony Orlando and Dawn(1 episode)
1974 NOVA(1 episode) as Narrator
1973 Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside as Det. Lou Isaacs
1972 Ghost Story(1 episode)
1965 The F.B.I.(1 episode)
1951 Search for Tomorrow(260 episodes)
1947 Tony Awards(1 episode)

Directing

1975 Barney Miller(3 episodes)Director

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