‘The Waltons’: Remembering Philip Baker Hall’s Appearance as Major Gordon

by Leanne Stahulak

Early in his career, the late Philip Baker Hall starred in many classic TV series, including favorites like “The Waltons” and “M*A*S*H.”

Unfortunately, Philip Baker Hall passed away this weekend at the age of 90. He starred in more than 180 projects over his six-decade career in film and television. While he got his start in acting on Broadway in the 1960s, Hall soon moved over to the silver screen in the 1970s.

He starred in classic sitcoms like “M*A*S*H” or “Emergency!”, but in 1980, Philip Baker Hall also appeared in one episode of this CBS hit. During “The Waltons” Season 8 Episode 22, Hall played Major Gordon. While not much is known about the role online, based on the synopsis for the episode, it sounds like he works for the FBI.

The IMDb description for the episode, titled “The Furlough,” reads, “John-Boy is released from the hospital and returns to Walton’s Mountain. Ike is arrested for draft evasion.”

When Ike gets arrested for draft evasion, the Waltons try to help him out. They talk to the commanding officer, presumably Major Gordon, and try to see if there was a mistake. Turns out there was, as Ike’s file shows his date of birth was incorrectly entered. The file showed that Ike was 20 years old and therefore eligible to be drafted.

While it was a minor role, Philip Baker Hall still contributed a great presence on-screen during the episode. And it’s one of many roles that fans will remember him for.

Fans Mourn the Loss of Philip Baker Hall

LA Times writer Sam Farmer revealed that Hall passed earlier today. Apparently, Farmer was a friend and neighbor of Hall’s. He posted a photo of the actor on Twitter 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.”

Once the news spread online, many fans took to social media to mourn the loss of the legendary actor. They especially remembered his appearance in “Seinfeld” as library cop Joe Bookman.

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

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

“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.’”

See all the tributes for Philip Baker Hall under the tweet below.