Biography

Burly character actor Pat Hingle held down a variety of bread-and-butter jobs--mostly in the construction field--while studying at the University of Texas, the Hagen-Bergdorf studio, the Theatre Wing and the Actors Studio. Earning his Equity card in 1950, Hingle made his Broadway debut in 1953 as Harold Koble in End as a Man (he would repeat this role in the 1957 film adaptation, retitled The Strange One). One year later, he was cast as Gooper-aka "Brother Man"-in Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer-winning play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Also in 1954, he made his inaugural film appearance in On the Waterfront as a bartender. Though a familiar Broadway presence and a prolific TV actor, Hingle remained a relatively unknown film quantity, so much so that he was ballyhooed as one of the "eight new stars" in the 1957 release No Down Payment. As busy as he was before the cameras in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Hingle's first love was the theatre, where he starred in such productions as William Inge's Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Archibald MacLeish's JB, and later appeared in the one-man show Thomas Edison: Reflections of a Genius. His made-for-TV assignments include such historical personages as Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis (1979), Sam Rayburn in LBJ: The Early Years (1988), J. Edgar Hoover in Citizen Cohn (1992) and Earl Warren in Simple Justice (1993). Among his more recent big-screen assignments has been Commissioner Gordon in the Batman films. Amidst his hundreds of TV guest shots, Pat Hingle has played the regular roles of Chief Paulton in Stone (1980) and Henry Cobb in Blue Skies (1988), was briefly a replacement for Doc (Milburn Stone) on the vintage western Gunsmoke, and has shown up sporadically as the globe-trotting father of Tim Daly and Steven Weber on the evergreen sitcom Wings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi