‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Magnolia’ actor Philip Baker Hall has died aged 90

He also starred in ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Hard Eight’

Actor Philip Baker Hall, known for starring in numerous Paul Thomas Anderson films like Magnolia and Boogie Nights, has died aged 90.

As confirmed by the actor’s daughter Anna Ruth Hall (via The Washington Post), Hall died in his home in Glendale, California on Sunday night (June 12). The cause of death is said to have been complications from emphysema, which he suffered with in recent years.

His death was first reported by Los Angeles Times sports writer Sam Farmer on Twitter, who wrote: “My neighbour, friend, and one of the wisest, most talented people I’ve ever met, Philip Baker Hall, died peacefully last night. He was surrounded by loved ones. The world has an empty space in it.”


Hall played the leading role in 1984 historical drama Secret Honor directed by Robert Altman, where he played Richard Nixon.

Philip Baker Hall Magnolia
Philip Baker Hall in ‘Magnolia’ CREDIT: Everett Collection/Alamy

The actor began his frequent collaborations with director Paul Thomas Anderson in 1996 crime film Hard Eight, alongside John C. Reilly and Gwyneth Paltrow. He went onto star in two more films by the director, 1997’s Boogie Nights and 1999’s Magnolia.

For many, he’s perhaps best known for his small role as library investigator Lt. Joe Bookman in two episodes of Seinfeld, between 1991 and 1998. His other TV roles included Russ McDonald in sitcom The Loop and as neighbour Walt Kleezak in three episodes of Modern Family.

Hall’s other notable credits include roles in Michael Mann’s 1999 film Insider and David Fincher thriller Zodiac, where he played Sherwood Morrill. Two years earlier, he starred in another film about the serial killer, titled The Zodiac, from director Alexander Bulkley.

Hall is survived by wife Holly, his four daughters, Anna, Adella, Trisha and Darcy, his brother Lee, and grandchildren Mike, Jeffrey, Jonathan and Caroline.