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.
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer|
Life and careerEdit
Adler was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Pauline and Philip Adler, who was a general manager of the Group Theatre. His great-uncle was a Yiddish theater actor Jacob Pavlovich Adler, whose children Stella and Luther Adler were his cousins. He was raised in an observant Jewish household.
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
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
- Schleier, Curt (April 14, 2006). "Hollywood veteran keeping busy as Jewish 'Sopranos' mobster". j. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- "Jerry Adler Biography (1929-)". Filmreference.com.
- "Jerry Adler Is In Transitions -- And 'Transparent'". Showriz. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- "The Sunshine Boys lights up Connecticut stage…with two veteran Jewish actors". Jewish Ledger. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
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