"I'd been offered the pilot for 'Barney Miller,' but also I'd gotten an offer to star in a Broadway musical. I remember sitting in my manager's office. The Broadway producer had called and said he needed an answer by close of business. And I said cavalierly, 'All right, we've done Broadway. Let's try television.' We did the pilot, and that got us a mid-season replacement, which led to eight terrific seasons."
About This Interview
In his four-hour Archive interview, Hal Linden talks about his early life and influences and making his Broadway debut in the musical "Bells Are Ringing." He describes early television roles, doing voiceover for commercials and overdubbing for foreign films, and triumphing on Broadway with a Tony win for "The Rothchilds." He recounts his eight-year stint on the classic series Barney Miller, outlining the development of the show by creator Danny Arnold, and speaking of the show's ensemble cast members including Ron Glass, Jack Soo, Max Gail, and Abe Vigoda. Linden recalls how the show and characters changed over the years, describes the show's relationship to New York City, and shares the fact that many police called it the most realistic depiction of their job ever on television. He talks of his post-Barney Miller career, including guest stints on The Golden Girls,Will & Grace, and Hot in Cleveland, and starring roles in Jack's Place and Blacke's Magic. He concludes with career highlights and regrets and gives advice to aspiring actors. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on July 2, 2013 in North Hollywood, CA.