NEW YORK — Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor of film and theater who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson's first movies and who memorably hunted down a long-overdue library book in Seinfeld, has died. He was 90.
Holly Wolfle Hall, the actor's wife of nearly 40 years, on Monday said Hall died Sunday surrounded by loved ones in Glendale, Calif. She said Hall had been well until a few weeks earlier, and spent his final days in warm spirits, reflecting on his life.
"His voice at the end was still just as powerful," said Wolfle Hall. Her husband, she added, never retired from acting.
In a career spanning half a century, Hall was a ubiquitous hangdog face whose doleful, weary appearance could shroud a booming intensity and humble sensitivity.
His range was wide, but Hall, who had a natural gravitas, often played men in suits, trench coats and lab coats.
"Men who are highly stressed, older men, who are at the limit of their tolerance for suffering and stress and pain," Hall told The Washington Post in 2017.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Hall initially devoted himself more to theater in Los Angeles, after moving out in 1975, than TV and movies.