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Friday, June 17, 2022


Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor of film and theatre, who starred in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s first movies and who (above) memorably hunted down a long over-due library book in “Seinfeld,” has died. He was 90. 

In an acting career spanning half a century, Philip Baker Hall was a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful, weary appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble sensitivity. His range was wide, but Hall often played men in suits, trench coats and lab coats. “Men who are highly stressed, older men, who are at the limit of their tolerance for suffering and stress and pain,” Hall told the Washington Post in 2017. 

To many, Hall was instantly recognizable for one of the most powerfully funny guest appearances on “Seinfeld.” In 1991, Hall played Lt. Joe Bookman, the library investigator who comes after Seinfeld for a years overdue book. Hall played him like a hardboiled noir detective: “Well, I got a flash for ya, Joy-Boy: Party time is over…”  

Video clip of Philip Baker Hall as Lt. Joe Bookman from a 1991 “Seinfeld” episode. CLICK HERE

With Al Pacino in “The Insider.”

He also appeared in film and television projects like: “Midnight Run,” “Say Anything,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The West Wing,” “Sydney,” “Coffee & Cigarettes,” “Rush Hour,” “Family Ties,” “Modern Family,” “Falcon Crest,” “M*A*S*H,” “Secret Honor,” “L.A. Law,” “Cagney & Lacey,” “The Waltons,” “Buddy,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Cradle will Rock,” “The Practice,” “Dogville,” “The Truman Show,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Air Force One,” “Bruce Almighty,” “Monk,” “Matlock,” “Boston Legal,” “Psycho II,” “Zodiac,” and “Argo.” 

His last performance was in the 2020 series “Messiah.”—By the Associated Press. 

As Nixon in “Secret Honor.” 

 “You’d better not screw up again, Seinfeld, because if you do, I’ll be all over you like a pit bull on a poodle,” Lt. Bookman warns Jerry. 


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