Legendary actor Philip Baker Hall passed away recently but his legacy lives on through the wonderful performances he delivered over the course of an illustrious career. Although he appeared on various popular shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and BoJack Horseman, Hall’s most definitive television role was his portrayal of Lt. Joe Bookman on Seinfeld.
Appropriately named, the character is a highly dedicated library cop whose life’s mission is to track down juvenile offenders who fail to return books to the library and rob others of the pleasures of reading. Hall believed that this role was responsible for giving his career an incredible amount of momentum which propelled him towards further achievements.
In an interview, Hall once spoke about the wide-ranging influence of the role on popular culture: “Wherever I go, even if I go out of the country, Bookman is an identifiable character. I mean, it’s shown all the time. The reruns are shown on TV at least a couple of days a week, sometimes hour after hour of Seinfeld, so they’re out there.”
Adding, “Because it was so eventful, career-wise, in my life, I can still remember that audition. I remember going in for it. And first of all, I did have a copy of the script or the sides or whatever, and I was kind of amazed at the depth of the role. Seinfeld wasn’t writing roles that big for the guest actors. Or that varied, that interesting.”
The show paid tribute to the great actor by celebrating his work on social media: “The great Philip Baker Hall will forever be remembered by Seinfeld fans as the hard-nosed library detective, Mr Bookman. Hall had a long and impressive career as one of Hollywood’s top character actors. His talent will be cherished.”
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