Basil Hoffman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Hill Street Blues Actor, Dies at 83

Basil Hoffman, a character actor best known for starring in Hill Street Blues as Ed Greenglass, has passed away at the age of 83. News of his passing comes form his longtime manager Brad Lemack, who tweeted the news earlier today. "Sad news to report today on the passing of my longtime client (40 years!) & friend Basil Hoffman," Lemack wrote. "Basil was a prolific, career character actor who earned over 200 credits in film, television and stage. Classy guy. Classic talent. Untouchable legacy. Well-earned, respected career." No details on the cause of death were revealed but Deadline reports that Hoffman passed away on Friday, September 17th.

Hoffman's career started back in 1960s, recurring as a guest star on multiple TV shows in the era including The Rockford Files, Kung Fu, Lady Liberty, That's Life, and The Waltons. He wasn't contained just to television though, making appearances on the big screen in films of the 1970s like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, At Long Last Love, and All the President's Men. Basil would go on to appear in multiple other well known TV shows including M*A*S*H, CHiPs, Night Court, Square Pegs, and Dynasty. 

Though he got his start back in the 60s, Basil would continue to work in television well into the '90s and 2000s, booking guest spots on shows like Eerie, Indiana, Seinfeld, The West Wing, and Down With Love. In recent years he continued to act in films a well including The Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! and the Best Picture-winning The Artist.


Deadline reports that Hoffman's final appearance will be in the upcoming feature comedy Lucky Louie, currently in post-production. Hoffman's career didn't start and stop on the screen though as he also penned some books including Cold Reading And How to Be Good At It and Acting and How To Be Good At It.