Judd Hirsch is an American actor best known for his roles as Alex Rieger on the TV series Taxi, John Lacey on TV series Dear John, and Alan Eppes on the TV series Numb3rs. He is also well known for his roles in films such as Ordinary People (1980), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Independence Day (1996), and later, A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Bronx-born actor Judd Hirsch attended The City College of New York, where he majored in engineering and physics. A blossoming fascination with theatre convinced Hirsch that his future lay in acting. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and at the famed Herbert Berghof Studios in NY before making his 1966 Broadway debut in Barefoot in the Park. He spent many years at New York's Circle Repertory, where he appeared in the first-ever production of Lanford Wilson's The Hot L Baltimore. After an auspicious TV-movie bow in the Emmy-winning TV movie The Law (1974), Hirsch landed his first weekly-series, playing the title character in the detective drama Delvecchio (1976-77). From 1978 to 1982, he was Alex Reiger in one of the most celebrated television ensemble comedies Taxi, earning several Golden Globes and two Emmys in the process.
While occupied with Taxi, Hirsch continued his stage career with an off-Broadway production of Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly, which earned him an Obie award. The show subsequently moved to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and finally to Broadway where he was nominated for both a Tony and a Drama Desk Award. He won Tony Awards for his starring role in two of Herb Gardner's best plays, I'm Not Rappaport and Conversations with My Father. He played the role of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's classic play Death of a Salesman in Toronto and was in productions of Yazmina Reza's play Art on Broadway and in Chicago, Toronto and London. He has further expanded his love of theatre by directing productions of Art in Seattle, Miami, New Jersey and Ogunquit, Maine. Other of Judd's theatre credits include the world premiere of The Whore and Mr. Moore by Michael Christopher at the Dorset Theatre in Vermont and the role of Sigmund Freud in the Broad Theatre Company's production of Freud's Last Session, which he did in Los Angeles in January of 2013. Most recently he starred with former Taxi co-star, Danny De Vito, in a production of Neil Simon's hit play The Sunshine Boys at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
Judd's post Taxi TV career continued with a Golden Globe-winning turn as John Lacey in Dear John (1988-92), Grocer and Leo (with Bob Newhart), and five seasons of the CBS hit series, Numb3rs. He played Glenn Close's former law mentor who, subsequently, fell on hard times in the fourth and fifth seasons of the critically acclaimed series Damages. Last year, he starred in the TNT movie, Silent Witness and this year he has played Marc Maron's father in several episodes of the cable comedy hit series Maron, and can next be seen in a guest starring role on TNT's new series Perception.
On the features front, Judd was nominated for an Oscar for his iconic performance as Tim Hutton's psychiatrist in the Academy award-winning Best Picture Ordinary People. He played Russell Crowe's mathematics mentor in another Oscar-winning film, A Beautiful Mind and was seen as Jeff Goldblum's father in the movie blockbuster Independence Day. Recently, he starred with Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place, the first English language film by famed director Paulo Sorrentino, which was well reviewed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. His other films include King of the Gypsies, Without a Trace, Teachers, The Goodbye People, Running on Empty and the comedy/action film Tower Heist.
- Judd and Ioan Gruffudd are good friends. Judd said, "We were fast friends. We met in five seconds. He has a silly name and so do I. I mean, I couldn't figure out his name. That was the first 20 minutes. I have to call him 'yo-hahn,' because I think that's what his real name is."
- Judd said he think the Forver story is "filmic" and "wonder some." He also said "there's a mystery involved in this which would go on for many, many, many years."