Philip Baker Hall Remembered by Patton Oswalt, Michael McKean and Others: ‘One of the Best’

“Nobody made Larry David break on camera as much as Phil,” director Greg Mottola says of the performer’s “Seinfeld” and “Curb” appearances

philip baker hall
Philip Baker Hall in 2000 (Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison)

Actor Philip Baker Hall is being remembered by Hollywood as one of the great character actors and a “lovely man” who was “never not good” whenever he appeared on screen.

Baker Hall, who died Sunday night at age 90, was honored by his “Magnolia” co-star Patton Oswalt, as well as stars such as Michael McKean, Bradley Whitford and director Greg Mottola, among others in Hollywood.

“I hope he’s in heaven having a sandwich, drinking a glass of milk, doing some f—in’ thing,” Patton Oswalt tweeted, making a reference to a classic scene featuring Baker Hall from “Midnight Run.”

“A fantastic actor, a lovely man, and nobody made Larry David break on camera as much as Phil,” Mottola said in reference to Baker Hall’s two “Curb Your Enthusiasm” appearances.

Fans and cinephiles online shared clips from some of his standout moments in “Boogie Nights” and talks about enjoying the “simple pleasures like butter in my ass” or in “Magnolia” where he faints during a game show talking about the beauty of a piece from Chopin. Though many of his roles were brief, character-actor turns, they were frequently memorable thanks to either his ability to flash a forceful presence or a hangdog expression.

But many more recalled his memorable turn as Lt. Bookman from “Seinfeld,” in which he plays a hard-nosed P.I. for a New York public library who harangues Jerry Seinfeld over a long overdue book. The fan favorite character was enough to warrant him returning for the show’s finale.

Some of Baker Hall’s other standout performances included appearances in “Argo,” “Zodiac,” “The Truman Show,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Bruce Almighty,” “Monk” and “BoJack Horseman,” to name just a few roles from his 185 credits dating back to 1970.

See some more online reaction to Philip Baker Hall’s passing below.