- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : GP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (29,34)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Eden 1
American actor, a performer on Broadway from 1964 who received a Tony nomination in 1979 for his role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Talley's Folly." He moved on to TV work in 1974 when he became a member of the cast of the prize-winning show, "The Law." He then landed the lead in "Delvecchio," a show which ran from 1966-67. He won the Emmy twice for his co-starring role in the series "Taxi," which ran from 1978-1983.
Hirsch came from a background of dense poverty and parents who never seemed to connect as a couple. A sensitive kid, he was afraid of his construction-worker father's anger. When he was two, his dad left with another woman and was gone for six years. The family moved 13 times before he was ten. Having to constantly reinvent his place, he became gregarious and funny in school and a good athlete. His dad died in 1989 at the age of 85 and his mom, a Jewish Russian immigrant, lived into her 90's.
After graduating from high school in 1952, Hirsch went to City College of New York, not knowing what he wanted to do with his life. He married a girl friend in 1956 but they separated amiably the following year shortly after he got his draft notice. After two years in the Military, Hirsch returned to City College. When he took a drama course, he knew what he wanted to do. He graduated with a degree in physics in 1960, but set his sights on acting, working as a busboy, clerk, camp driver and bill collector to survive.
He made an off-Broadway debut in 1964 and had a small role on Broadway two years later. In 1976 he won a Drama Desk Award for "Knock Knock."
Though he gained his largest following for "Taxi" on TV, theater remained his first love and he periodically returns to the boards. Drawing on his youthful alienation, he gave an astonishing performance as a Jewish saloonkeeper who is frantic for his two sons to assimilate into American life in Herb Garner's hit play, "Conversations with My Father." For his performance, he won a Tony in 1992. His films include "King of the Gypsies," 1978, "Ordinary People," 1980, which netted him an Oscar nomination, "Without a Trace," 1983 and "Running on Empty," 1988. His TV series "Dear John" ran for four seasons, wrapping in 1992.
He is currently paired with Bob Newhart in a new TV series entitled "George and Leo," which made its debut in September 1997.
The veteran of two marriages, he has one son, Alexander, born in 1967, of whom he is proud. His boy is a musician, the son of a Venezuelan mother. One of his marriage was to fashion designer Bonni Chalkin 12/24/1992.