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Hirsch, Judd


HIRSCH, JUDD (1935– ), U.S. actor. Hirsch was born in the Bronx, New York. His first success on Broadway was in a revival of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park (1966). Hirsch followed this with two off-Broadway hits, Scuba Duba (1967) and Hot L. Baltimore (1973). He then moved back to Broadway in Jules Feiffer's play Knock Knock (1975) and won the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor of 1975–76. Hirsch then starred in Neil Simon's Chapter Two (1977) and Lanford Wilson's Talleys' Folly (1980), for which he won an Obie Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a Tony Award. He then had a successful run with Herb Gardner's comedy I'm Not Rappaport (1985–88), garnering a Tony Award for Best Actor in 1986. Gardner's Conversations with My Father (1992–93) earned Hirsch another Best Actor Tony in 1992. His subsequent Broadway performances were in A Thousand Clowns (1996), Art (1998), and the short-lived Sixteen Wounded (2004).

Hirsch starred in the popular television sitcomTaxi (1978–83), winning two Emmy Awards (1981, 1983) for his role as the affable cabbie Alex Rieger. He starred in several other tv series as well, although none were as successful as Taxi. These include Dear John (1988–91), for which he shared a Golden Globe in 1989 for Best Actor in a Comedy Series with Richard Mulligan and Michael J. Fox. He also served as the narrator of the 2003 documentary miniseries Heroes of Jewish Comedy.

Hirsch began his film career with a small role in the 1971 movie Jump and a bit part in Serpico (1973). He then landed a major role in Ordinary People, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1980. His subsequent major film appearances include Without a Trace (1983); The Goodbye People (1984); Teachers (1984); Running on Empty (1988); Independence Day (1996); Out of the Cold (1999); A Beautiful Mind (2002); and Zeyda and the Hitman (2004). Hirsch was also the narrator of the 1986 film Isaac in America. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, it tells the story of author Isaac Bashevis *Singer.

[Jonathan Licht /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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