Albert Hall (actor)

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Albert Hall
Born (1937-11-10) November 10, 1937 (age 77)
Boothton, Alabama, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1970–present

Albert W. Hall[1][2] (born November 10, 1937) is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Chief Phillips in the 1979 war film, Apocalypse Now and Judge Seymore Walsh in Ally McBeal and The Practice.[3][4][5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Hall was born on November 10, 1937 in Boothton, Alabama.[1][2][8] He graduated from the Columbia University School of the Arts.[3]


Early work[edit]

After portraying Pointer in Willie Dynamite (1974),[9] Hall made his film debut in the 1976 biopic, Leadbelly. He also played a co-pilot in the 1978 film, The Bermuda Triangle.[2][8] Hall had a small role in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations.[2][8][9]

Apocalypse Now[edit]

Hall gained mainstream attention for his role as Chief Phillips in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 war classic, Apocalypse Now, in which his character leads the rest of crew upriver from Vietnam to Cambodia so that Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) can complete his mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando).[2][3][8] Chief eventually gets killed by a Vietcong soldier who throws a spear that impales him.[10] To prepare for the role, Hall did some research in attempt to convey an accurate portrayal of experiencing the Vietnam War first hand. The actor has since then described his experience shooting the film in the Philippines as "exotic" and added that "it was all fun."[3]

When Hall's Separate but Equal (1991) co-star Jeffrey Wright told him that Apocalypse Now is his favorite film, he gave him a book in which he wrote inside, "Jeffrey, evolution is when a young actor comes up to you and says, 'I've seen your work, you know, a hundred so times, and it has meaning to me.'"[11][12][13]

According to Slate, some of Hall's dialogue in Apocalypse Now Redux is semi-improvised.[14] Hall's performance in both versions has been praised by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Variety respectively.[15][16]

Later work[edit]

Hall appeared in the 1981 miniseries, The Sophisticated Gents.[17][18] In 1983, Hall had his first regular role in the short-lived series Ryan's Four.[2][8] Hall also appeared alongside Sidney Poitier in the 1991 television movie, Separate but Equal.[11]

Throughout the 1990s, Hall appeared in a range of films, starting with memorable performances in Malcolm X (1992) and Rookie of the Year (1993). He collaborated with Spike Lee, the director of the former film, again in Get on the Bus (1996).[2][3][8] Other films Hall appeared in during that decade include Major Payne (1995), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Courage Under Fire (1996) and Beloved (1998).[2][3][8]

In the late 1990s, Hall became known by television audiences for his recurring role as Judge Seymore Walsh in the series The Practice and Ally McBeal, both of which were created by David E. Kelley.[2][3][4][8][19][20] Coincidentally, he portrayed the role of a judge in soap operas such as The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives.[19]

Hall has portrayed real life figures such as Hank Aaron in 1998 television film, The Tiger Woods Story, and Elijah Muhammad in Michael Mann's 2001 biopic, Ali.[2][8] Hall recently played the recurring role of Bruce in the series, Men of a Certain Age.[19]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Albert Hall biography at The New York Times
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Albert Hall biography at Turner Classic Movies
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Washington, Laurence. "Albert Hall revisits Apocalypse Now". Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Actor Albert Hall visits Kosmos". 11 August 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2009). Encyclopedia of Television Law Shows: Factual and Fictional Series About Judges, Lawyers and the Courtroom, 1948-2008. McFarland. ISBN 9780786438280. 
  6. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2008). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786486410. 
  7. ^ Marsh, Earle F.; Brooks, Tim (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307483201. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  9. ^ a b Albert Hall filmography at Turner Classic Movies
  10. ^ Hess, Alex (30 April 2015). "My favourite Cannes winner: Apocalypse Now". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Percy, Lily (26 January 2013). "The Movie Jeffrey Wright Has 'Seen A Million Times'". NPR. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  12. ^ Percy, Lily. "The Movie Jeffrey Wright Has 'Seen A Million Times'". WBUR-FM. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Movie Jeffrey Wright Has 'Seen A Million Times'". KUER-FM. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Edelstein, David (10 August 2001). "Acid Redux". Slate. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  15. ^ Paris, Barry (14 September 2001). "'Apocalypse Now Redux': 'Redux' is a timeless trip into the heart of darkness". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  16. ^ Pollock, Dale (12 May 1979). "Review: ‘Apocalypse Now’". Variety. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Fearn-Banks, Kathleen (2009). The A to Z of African-American Television. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810863484. 
  18. ^ Fearn-Banks, Kathleen (2005). Historical Dictionary of African-American Television. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810865228. 
  19. ^ a b c "'Apocalypse Now': Where Are They Now?". Daily News. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "The Cast of Malcolm X: Where Are They Now". BET. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 

External links[edit]