Random Roles: Hal Linden on Barney Miller, singing on Donny And Marie, and doing the Lindy with Emily Gilmore

Welcome to Random Roles, wherein we talk to actors about the characters who defined their careers. The catch: They don’t know beforehand what roles we’ll ask them to talk about.

The actor: Hal Linden made his Broadway debut in 1957, after he’d been singing and playing music for more than a decade. He became one of the most famous faces on the primetime landscape when he took on the title role in the long-running and critically acclaimed sitcom Barney Miller in 1975. Barney Miller came to a close after eight seasons, but Linden has yet to stop working. He’s tried his hand at a few more TV series (Blacke’s Magic, Jack’s Place) and guest-starred on many others, continued his work in the theater, and toured his nightclub act. He can currently be seen in the indie mob comedy Stevie D.

Hal Linden: When people …

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