Hal Linden (Actor) - Barney Miller
Hal Linden 1
Updated: 10/27/21

Name: Hal Linden

Birth Name: Harold Lipshitz

Born: March 20, 1931, New York City, New York

Claim To Fame: Hal Linden is an American stage and screen actor, television director and musician, best known for his role as the title character in the television comedy series Barney Miller.

Family Life: Hal was married to Frances Marie Martin since April 1958 until her death July 2010. Together they have four children.

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Info: Linden played the clarinet and was a singer before he became an actor. His acting career began with a small role on stage at the Cape Cod Melody Tent. He understudied for the lead in the musical Bells Are Ringing on Broadway in 1958.

He mostly did stage work in the 1960s, and did voice work on the dubbed version of a few Japanese monster movies, including Destroy All Monsters and the lesser Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. He also guest starred on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow in 1969.

He landed the lead role in the Broadway musical The Rothschilds, and starred in dual roles (as Corey and Morey Honker) in the pilot for a soap opera spoof to be called Hastings Corners (the show did not get picked up).

Finally, he found his big break in 1974 when he landed the role of Captain Barney Miller on the comedy series that ended up running for eight seasons and winning praise as one of television's finest ensemble comedies.

After "Barney Miller," Hal Linden starred in numerous television specials and movies for television beforeembarking on another popular series, "Blacke's Magic."

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Trivia: Played clarinet with the New York American Symphony at the age of fifteen.

Long associated with the March of Dimes, serving as national chairman for many years.

Offered and turned down the lead role in "St. Elsewhere" (1982).

Carried the Olympic Torch in Los Angeles as part of the 1984 Olympics.

Won Broadway's 1971 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "The Rothschilds."

Changed his last name to Linden after spotting it on a water tower in Linden, New Jersey.

Received seven Emmy nominations---but no wins---for his role as Barney Miller.

Was a member of the U.S. Army band.

Is an avid golfer.

Linden is the spokesman for the Jewish National Fund, a position he has held since 1997.

He released his first album of pop and jazz standards, It's Never Too Late, in 2011.

Where Are They Now: Currently, Linden is working on the comedy film The Wizdor Hotel, which tells the story of three young professionals who inherit an old hotel from a mysterious man and soon find out that The Wizdor Hotel holds a lot of secrets and unusually bizarre guests. No release date has been announced, but it certainly sounds fun!


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