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Jerry Adler (born February 4, 1929) is an American theatre director, and producer, and television and film actor. He is perhaps best known for his work as Herman "Hesh" Rabkin on The Sopranos and as Howard Lyman on The Good Wife.

Jerry Adler
Born (1929-02-04) February 4, 1929 (age 90)
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1951–present

Contents

Life and careerEdit

Adler was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York,[1] the son of Pauline and Philip Adler, who was a general manager of the Group Theatre.[2] His great-uncle was a Yiddish theater actor Jacob Pavlovich Adler, whose children Stella and Luther Adler were his cousins.[3][4] He was raised in an observant Jewish household.[1]

Adler began his theatre career as a stage manager in 1950, working on such productions as Of Thee I Sing and My Fair Lady before becoming a production supervisor for The Apple Tree, Black Comedy/White Lies, Dear World, Coco, 6 Rms Riv Vu, Annie, and I Remember Mama, among others. He made his directing debut with the 1974 Sammy Cahn revue Words and Music and also directed the 1976 revival of My Fair Lady, which garnered him a Drama Desk Award nomination, and the ill-fated 1981 musical The Little Prince and the Aviator. He also directed the 1976 play Checking Out.

He witnessed his share of flops, including “Drat the Cat!” (which he thought had some nice tunes), “Hellzapoppin,’ ” starring Jerry Lewis. (“Awful, terrible man”) and Richard Rodgers’ final musical, “I Remember Mama.” (Don’t get him started on Liv Ullmann, who, he said, was a terrible singer and kept insisting on more songs.)

As an actor, Adler is perhaps best known for his roles as Herman "Hesh" Rabkin in The Sopranos, Mr. Wicker in Mad About You, Lt. Al Teischler in Hudson Street, and Howard Lyman in The Good Wife. He made three appearances on Northern Exposure as Alan Schulman, Joel Fleischman's old neighborhood rabbi seen in visions. His screen credits include In Her Shoes, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and The Public Eye. In addition, Adler also appeared in an episode of The West Wing as Toby Ziegler's father, Jules Ziegler. The elder Ziegler worked as a 1950s member of Murder, Inc. Adler appeared as the new chief in the fourth season of FX's fire fighter drama Rescue Me. He guest starred as Eddie's father Al in season 3 and season 4 of 'Til Death. It rang for a TV job that led to Adler playing Jeffrey Tambor’s father in the upcoming season starting this fall of Amazon’s Transparent (TV series). Last year his popular Howard Lyman character returned for CBS’s The Good Fight, starring Christine Baranski, who lives just up the road in Roxbury. Two years ago he was in Larry David’s hit Broadway play Fish in the Dark


Personal lifeEdit

In 2017 at the age of 88 and after 24 years in Connecticut, he and his wife of 23 years, psychologist Joan Laxman, are moving out of their spacious home in Roxbury for a two-bedroom flat on the Upper West Side.

He’ll miss the quiet, the 14-stall stable, the three fowl barns and especially his large deck overlooking the rolling hills of Litchfield County. But it’s a return to his New York roots, says the Brooklyn-born Adler, who comes from a theatrical heritage that includes acting coach Stella and actor Luther (cousins) Adler, the Group Theater’s Phillip (father) and Yiddish theater legend Jacob (great-uncle).

His wife, an equestrian, has given up the horses, and he has donated a houseful of his theater archives and memorabilia to Goodspeed Musical’s library. (Former Goodspeed head, Michael Price, was an assistant stage manager under Adler in the ‘60s.)

Adler says he wants to be able to easily go to the theater, visit museums, travel more easily and enjoy an urban life. If the phone rings with a job offer to extend his 67-years-and-counting career, “Who knows,” he says with a smile and a shrug.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Public Eye Arthur Nabler
1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery Paul House
1995 For Better or Worse Morton Makeshift
1996 Getting Away with Murder Judge
1996 Larger than Life Event Coordinator
1997 Six Ways to Sunday Louis Varga
1999 30 Days Rick Trainer
2005 In Her Shoes Lewis Feldman
2005 Prime Sam
2006 Find Me Guilty Rizzo
2007 The Memory Thief Mr. Zweig
2008 Synecdoche, New York Caden's father
2014 The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Cooper
2014 A Most Violent Year Joseph Mendelsohn

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Brooklyn Bridge Bert Mendel Episode: "Old Fools"
1992 True Colors Mr. Green 2 episodes
1992 Quantum Leap Lenny Greenman Episode: "It's a Wonderful Leap - May 10, 1958"
1993–1999 Mad About You Sgt. Panino / Mr. Wicker 10 episodes
1993 The Odd Couple: Together Again Murray TV movie
1994–1995 Northern Exposure Rabbi Alan Schulman 3 episodes
1995 New York Undercover Mr. Ross Episode: "All in the Family"
1995 One Life to Live Len Hanen 3 episodes
1995–1996 Hudson Street Lt. Al Teischler 22 episodes
1996 Law & Order Judge Nathan Marks Episode: "I.D."
1996 Spin City Police Commissioner Episode: "Dog Day Afternoon"
1997–1998 Alright Already Al Lerner 21 episodes
1999–2007 The Sopranos Herman "Hesh" Rabkin 28 episodes
1999 LateLine Judge Fischbein Episode: "Protecting the Source"
1999 Tracey Takes On... Murray Episode: "Lies"
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Burt Hornstein 2 episodes
2000 Wonderland Perlman Episode: "Spell Check"
2000 Bull Max Decker 2 episodes
2001–2002 Raising Dad Sam Stewart 22 episodes
2002 The West Wing Jules Ziegler Episode: "Holy Night"
2005 CSI: Miami Cardinal Benedetti Episode: "From the Grave"
2006 The War at Home Jerry Episode: "The West Palm Beach Story"
2007–2011 Rescue Me Sidney Feinberg 34 episodes
2008–2009 'Til Death Al Stark / Eddie's Father 3 episodes
2010 Detroit 1-8-7 Max Elkin Episode: "Déjà Vu/All In"
2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Minyan Member #1 Episode: "Mister Softee"
2011–2016 The Good Wife Howard Lyman Recurring role; 30 episodes
2013 Remember Sunday Sam TV movie
2014 Mozart in the Jungle Lazlo 2 episodes
2017–2018 The Good Fight Howard Lyman 2 episodes
2017 Transparent Moshe Pfefferman 8 episodes
2019 Broad City Saul Horowitz 1 episode

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Schleier, Curt (April 14, 2006). "Hollywood veteran keeping busy as Jewish 'Sopranos' mobster". j. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Jerry Adler Biography (1929-)". Filmreference.com.
  3. ^ "Jerry Adler Is In Transitions -- And 'Transparent'". Showriz. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  4. ^ "The Sunshine Boys lights up Connecticut stage…with two veteran Jewish actors". Jewish Ledger. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2019-04-23.

External linksEdit