Philip Baker Hall Dies: Fans Mourn the Loss of the ‘Seinfeld’ Star

by Leanne Stahulak

Hollywood legend Philip Baker Hall, known for his role in “Seinfeld” as library cop Lt. Joe Bookman, died yesterday at 90 years old.

His friend and neighbor Sam Farmer, who also writes for the LA Times, announced the actor’s death earlier today. Farmer posted a photo of the TV and film actor and wrote, “My neighbor, friend, and one of the wisest, most talented and kindest people I’ve ever met, Philip Baker Hall, died peacefully last night. He was surrounded by loved ones. The world has an empty space in it.”

Thousands of people have already commented and shared Farmer’s post with their own condolences over the loss of Hall. They shared memories of their favorite roles he played and projects he featured in.

“A truly great actor who could take any role, no matter how small, and shine,” a fan named Adam B. commented earlier. “Also, he gave one of my all-time favorite performances, as Jimmy Gator in ‘Magnolia.'”

Another person said, “Sad to read this. He was such an incredible actor and, not surprisingly, a great man.”

“A great actor,” Jim Messina added on Twitter. “He’s done many bigger things but his Seinfeld cameo as Bookman is one of the great performances ever on the show.”

Twitter user Josh Lewis said, “Philip Baker Hall was one of those actors who would show up for just a scene or two in one of the best movies you’ve ever seen and really make an impression (boogie nights, zodiac, the insider, dogville, etc). Also hard eight straight up one of the coolest performances ever. RIP.”

Fellow stars also took to social media to honor Hall and his Hollywood legacy. Actor Michael McKean wrote on Twitter, “Never not good. RIP, Philip Baker Hall.”

Reflecting on the Life and Legacy of Philip Baker Hall

Philip Baker Hall was born on September 10, 1931, in Toledo, Ohio. He started acting on Broadway and Off-Broadway in New York in the 1960s. But his first on-screen appearance came in 1970 with “Zabriskie Point.”

From there, he made major appearances in shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Emergency!”, and “The Waltons” in the 1970s. In the 80s, he featured in episodes of “General Hospital” and “Miami Vice” before starring in “Midnight Run” in 1988. The 1990s of course saw Philip Baker Hall in “Seinfeld,” but also in “Cheers,” “Chicago Hope,” and “Air Force One” with Harrison Ford.

Hall’s major films include “Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “The Truman Show,” “Rush Hour,” “Psycho,” “The Insider,” “Magnolia,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and “Rules of Engagement in 2000. He continued acting in many films throughout his 80s like “The Sum of All Fears,” “A Gentleman’s Game,” “Bruce Almighty,” “Dogville,” and “Argo.”

The actor’s last appearance was in 2020 when he appeared in six episodes of the show “Messiah” on Netflix. He starred in 185 different projects throughout his six-decade career, per IMDb.