Biography

After a four-year hitch with the Naval Reserve, actor Steven Hill made his first New York stage appearance in Ben Hecht's A Flag is Born (1946), which also featured a young Marlon Brando. Hill made his film debut in 1950, then returned to the Navy for two more years before settling down to acting on a permanent basis. He was particularly busy in the so-called Golden Age of live TV drama, appearing in such prestigious video offerings as "The Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti" (1959). In 1966, he was cast as Daniel Briggs--as in "Good morning, Mr. Briggs"--on the hit TV adventure series Mission: Impossible. He left this lucrative assignment in 1967, reportedly because his Orthodox Jewish faith prevented him from filming on weekends; his replacement was Peter Graves as "Mr. Phelps" (in 1989, Hill guest-starred on the short-lived Mission: Impossible revival). Hill remained very much in demand throughout the 1980s and 1990s playing parental and authority-figure roles in such films as Yentl (1983) Heartburn (1986) and Billy Bathgate (1991). Contemporary TV viewers are most familiar with Steven Hill for his work as Michael Steadman's father on thirtysomething (1987-91) and DA Adam Schiff on the weekly TVer Law and Order (1990- ). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi