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Pat Hingle

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Pat Hingle
Hingle as Thomas Edison in a General Electric ad, in 1977
Martin Patterson Hingle

(1924-07-19)July 19, 1924
DiedJanuary 3, 2009(2009-01-03) (aged 84)
Alma materUniversity of Texas[1]
Years active1951–2008
Notable workBatman, Hang 'Em High, Splendor in the Grass, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Shaft
  • Alyce Faye Dorsey
    (m. 1947; div. 1972)
  • Julie Wright
    (m. 1979)
Pat Hingle and Nan Martin in "The Incredible World of Horace Ford", a 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone.

Martin Patterson Hingle[2] (July 19, 1924 – January 3, 2009) was an American character actor who appeared in stage productions and in hundreds of television shows and feature films. His first film was On the Waterfront in 1954. He often played tough authority figures. Hingle was a close friend of Clint Eastwood and appeared in the Eastwood films Hang 'Em High, The Gauntlet, and Sudden Impact. He also portrayed Jim Gordon in the Batman film franchise from 1989 to 1997.

Early life


Hingle was born in Miami, Florida[2] (some sources say Denver, Colorado[citation needed] ), the son of a building contractor father and a mother who "worked at menial jobs".[2] He attended Weslaco High School, where he played tuba in the band.[3] Hingle enlisted in the United States Navy in December 1941, dropping out of the University of Texas. He served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II. He returned to the University of Texas after the war and earned a degree in radio broadcasting in 1949. As a Navy Reservist, he was recalled to the service during the Korean War and served on the escort destroyer USS Damato.[1]



Hingle began acting in college, and after graduating, he moved to New York and studied at HB Studio[4] and the American Theatre Wing. In 1952, he became a member of the Actors Studio. This led to his first Broadway show, End as a Man.[5]

On Broadway, Hingle performed the role of Gooper in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). He played the title role in Archibald MacLeish's award-winning Broadway play J.B. (1958), receiving rave reviews.[6]

In February 1959, while playing J.B. on Broadway, Hingle was seriously injured in an accident. He was trapped in the elevator of his West End Avenue apartment building when it stalled between the second and third floors. The elevator stopped four feet above the landing, within reach, and Hingle tried to jump to the second floor. He missed and fell back down the elevator shaft, plunging 30 feet to the bottom. He fractured his skull, wrist, hip and most of the ribs on his left side. He broke his left leg in three places and lost the little finger on his left hand.[7]

On the strength of his performance in J.B., Hingle had been offered the title role of the 1960 film Elmer Gantry, but he lost it to Burt Lancaster because of his injuries. His recovery took months, and at first he could not walk without a cane.[6]

Hingle appeared in the 1963 Actors Studio production of Strange Interlude, directed by Jose Quintero, and That Championship Season (1972). He earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance in Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957).[5] In 1997, he played Benjamin Franklin in the Roundabout Theatre revival of the musical 1776, with Brent Spiner and Gregg Edelman.[6]

Hingle's first film role was an uncredited part as bartender Jock in On the Waterfront (1954). Later in his career, he was known for playing judges, police officers and other authority figures. He was a guest star on the early NBC legal drama Justice, based on case histories of the Legal Aid Society of New York, which aired in the 1950s.[8]

Another notable role was as the father of Warren Beatty's character in Splendor in the Grass (1961). Hingle was widely known for portraying the father of Sally Field's title character Norma Rae (1979).[5] He also played manager Colonel Tom Parker in John Carpenter's TV movie Elvis (1979).[9]

Hingle had a long list of television and film credits to his name dating to 1948. Among them were two episodes of The Fugitive (1964), Carol for Another Christmas (1964), Nevada Smith (1966), Mission: Impossible (1967), The Invaders (1967), Hang 'Em High (1968), The Gauntlet (1977), Sudden Impact (1983), Road To Redemption (2001), When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979), Brewster's Millions (1985), Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive (1986), Baby Boom (1987), The Grifters (1990), Citizen Cohn (1992), Cheers (1993), The Land Before Time (1988), Wings (1996), and Shaft (2000). He played Dr. Chapman in seven episodes of the TV series Gunsmoke (1971), and Col. Tucker in the movie Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (1992). In 1963, Hingle guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone, "The Incredible World of Horace Ford", as the title character.[10] He guest-starred in the TV series Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, and Murder, She Wrote. In 1980, he appeared in the short-lived police series Stone with Dennis Weaver.[11]

Hingle played Commissioner Gordon in the 1989 film Batman and its three sequels. He is one of only two actors to appear in the four Batman films from 1989 to 1997; the other is Michael Gough.[12]

In November 2007, he created the Pat Hingle Guest Artist Endowment to enable students to work with visiting professional actors at the University of North Carolina Wilmington .[5]

Personal life


Hingle married Alyce Faye Dorsey on June 3, 1947. They had three children. The couple later divorced. In 1979 Hingle married Julia Wright. He and his second wife had two children.[citation needed]

Hingle died at his home in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, of myelodysplasia on January 3, 2009; he had been diagnosed with the disease in November 2008. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.[5]

Selected TV credits and filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1954 On the Waterfront Jocko Uncredited
1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Warren Selvy Season 3 Episode 13: "Night of the Execution"
The Strange One Harold Koble
No Down Payment Herman Kreitzer
1960 Wild River Narrator Voice, Uncredited
1961 Splendor in the Grass 'Ace' Stamper
1962 The Untouchables Mitchell A. Grandin TV series
Season 3 episode "The Case Against Eliot Ness"
1963 The Untouchables Barney Howe / Barney Retsick TV series
Season 4 episode "Junk Man"
The Twilight Zone Horace Ford TV series
Episode "The Incredible World of Horace Ford"
The Ugly American Homer Atkins
All the Way Home Ralph Follet
1964 Invitation to a Gunfighter Sam Brewster
Carol for Another Christmas Ghost of Christmas Present
1965 Daniel Boone Will Carey TV series
Episode "The Returning"
The Fugitive Sheriff Joe Bob Sims TV series
Episode "Nicest Fella You'd Ever Want to Meet"
1966 Nevada Smith 'Big Foot'
The Andy Griffith Show Fred Gibson TV series
Season 6 episode "Wyatt Earp Rides Again"
1967 Mission: Impossible R.J. McMillan TV series
Season 1 episode "The Confession"
The Invaders Brother Avery TV series
Season 2 episode "The Prophet"
1968 Sol Madrid Harry Mitchell
Jigsaw Lew Haley
Hang 'Em High Judge Adam Fenton
1970 Bloody Mama Sam Adams Pendlebury
WUSA Bingamon
Norwood Grady Fring
1971 Gunsmoke Dr. John Chapman TV series
7 episodes after Milburn Stone ("Doc") had heart surgery
1972 The Carey Treatment Captain Pearson
1973 Kung Fu General Thoms TV series
Season 1, episode 6 "The Soul is the Warrior"
One Little Indian Captain Stewart
Happy as the Grass Was Green Eric Mills
1974 The New Land Cadbury TV series
Episode "The Word is: Mortal" (never aired)
The Six Million Dollar Man Senator Hill TV series
Episode "Pilot Error"
The Super Cops Inspector Novick
Nightmare Honeymoon Mr. Binghamton
1975 Hawaii Five-O Ormsbee TV series
Episode "The Defector"
1976 Independence John Adams
1977 The Gauntlet Detective Maynard Josephson
Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo 'Doc' Hodgins TV movie
1979 Elvis Colonel Tom Parker TV movie
When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? Lyle Stricker
Norma Rae Vernon
Disaster on the Coastliner John Marsh TV movie
1980 Running Scared Sergeant McClain
M*A*S*H Colonel Daniel Webster Tucker TV series
Season 8 episode "April Fools"
Stone Chief Gene Paulton TV series
1983 Going Berserk Ed Reese
Running Brave Coach Bill Easton
Sudden Impact Chief Lester Jannings
1984 Magnum, P.I. Garwood Huddle TV series
Season 5 episode "The Legacy of Garwood Huddle"
In 'n Out Oscar Milstone
The Act Frank Boda
1985 The Falcon and the Snowman Charles Boyce
Amazing Stories The Sheriff TV series
Episode "Santa '85"
The Lady from Yesterday Jim Bartlett TV movie
Brewster's Millions Edward Roundfield
The Rape of Richard Beck 'Chappy' Beck TV movie
1986 Maximum Overdrive Bubba Hendershot
Murder, She Wrote Retired Lieutenant Barney Kale TV series
Episode "Unfinished Business"
1987 Baby Boom Hughes Larabee
1988 The Land Before Time Narrator / Rooter Voice
War and Remembrance Admiral William "Bull" Halsey TV miniseries
1989 Batman Commissioner Jim Gordon
1990 The Grifters 'Bobo' Justus
The Kennedys of Massachusetts PJ Kennedy TV miniseries
Murder, She Wrote Lieutenant James Ignatius O'Malley TV series
Episode: "O'Malley's Luck"
1991 Murder, She Wrote Captain Zach Franklin TV series
Episode: "Thicker Than Water"
1992 Gunsmoke: To the Last Man Colonel Tucker TV movie
Batman Returns Commissioner Jim Gordon
Citizen Cohn J. Edgar Hoover
1993 Cheers Gus O'Malley TV series
Episode "The Last Picture Show"
In the Heat of the Night Daddy Roy Eversole TV series
Episode "A Step Removed"
1994 Lightning Jack U.S. Marshal Dan Kurtz
In the Heat of the Night Daddy Roy Eversole TV series
Episode "Poor Relations"
1995 The Quick and the Dead Horace the Bartender
Batman Forever Commissioner Jim Gordon
1996 Wings Jack Hackett TV series
1 episode
Larger than Life Vernon
Bastard out of Carolina Mr. Waddell
1997 The Shining Pete Watson TV miniseries
Batman & Robin Commissioner Jim Gordon
A Thousand Acres Harold Clark
Horror Story Judge Caldwell
1999 Muppets from Space General Luft
2000 Shaft Judge Dennis Bradford
2000-2002 Batman OnStar commercials Commissioner Jim Gordon Voice
2001 Road to Redemption Grandpa Nathan Tucker
2001 Morning Major Sonny
2002 The Angel Doll Noah Roudabush
2005 The Greatest Adventure of My Life General J.T. Boone
2006 Two Tickets to Paradise Mark's Dad
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Mr. Dennit Sr.
Waltzing Anna 'Mo' Kegley
2007 The List Gus Eicholtz
2008 Undoing Time Judge Final film role
2019 Shaft Judge Dennis Bradford Posthumous / Archive footage cameo


  1. ^ a b Wise, Jr., James E.; Rehill, Anne Collier (1997). Stars in Blue: Movie Actors in America's Sea Services. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 173–176. ISBN 978-1-55750-937-6.
  2. ^ a b c Severo, Richard (January 5, 2009). "Pat Hingle, Versatile Actor With Recurring Role in Batman Movies, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 21, 2023. Retrieved July 11, 2024.
  3. ^ "Weslaco grad, veteran actor Pat Hingle dies". Valley Morning Star. Harlingen, Texas. Associated Press. January 9, 2009. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  4. ^ "HB Studio - Notable Alumni | One of the Original Acting Studios in NYC". HB Studio. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Hotz, Amy (January 4, 2009). "Actor Pat Hingle dies at age 84". Star-News. Wilmington, North Carolina. Archived from the original on January 13, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Witchel, Alex (August 10, 1997). "A Broadway Elder With the Spirit of '76". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Quirk, David (February 21, 1959). "Star of 'Job' Badly Hurt in Fall". Daily News. p. 3. Retrieved August 22, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  9. ^ Thurber, Jon (January 5, 2009). "Pat Hingle dies at 84; veteran actor was perhaps best known for 'Batman' role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  10. ^ Presnell, Don; McGee, Marty (2008). A Critical History of Television's The Twilight Zone, 1959-1964. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-0-7864-3886-0.
  11. ^ Kelley, Bill (July 5, 1988). "HINGLE NO STRANGER TO PATRIARCHAL ROLES". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Pat Hingle: Commissioner Gordon in four of the Batman films". The Times. January 6, 1996. Retrieved February 10, 2019.