He led as the title character in the comedy “Barney Miller” for seven years.
Across the country, fans have lately been meeting the man behind the police precinct captain with his traveling concert series.
On Sept. 26, local fans will get their chances to meet him as well when multifaceted performer Hal Linden comes to Aiken.
“An Evening with Hal Linden” will show audiences that Linden does more than just TV acting.
“Linden plus seven musicians will perform some jazz, Big Band tunes, Broadway Hits and share life experiences,” said Juanita Palmer, USC Aiken's Etherredge Center house manager and publicity coordinator.
The TV star has appeared on Broadway and in movies. He is also a musician, having played instruments like the clarinet and saxophone.
Born in New York City, Linden graduated from the City College of New York. He later joined dance bands with artists Bobby Sherwood, Ray McKinley and Sammy Kaye.
He was then drafted into the Army.
Still, he kept playing.
He played the clarinet in the Army band. During a performance, the piano player asked if Linden wanted to sing.
Then, the piano player asked if Linden wanted to ask if he wanted to act in a sketch.
He, again, agreed.
His first line got “big laughs,” Linden said.
“'Ohh, that feels good,'” Linden remembered thinking. “I felt very much at home.”
From that moment on, Linden was bit by the acting bug, he said.
In 1957, he made his Broadway debut in the musical “Bells are Ringing,” where he signed on to tour with the national company.
He has now appeared in over 20 Broadway and Off Broadway shows.
The showing of “The Rothschilds” won him a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical in 1971.
In the late 1970s, he returned to his musician side when he once again picked up the clarinet.
“I didn't intend to come back to it,” Linden said.
He credits working with Toni Tennille in New Orleans for the renewed interest.
Linden appeared on the 1978 TV special “Captain and Tennille in New Orleans.”
On the big screen, the actor has appeared in such movies like “The Man From Rio” and “Out to Sea.”
His work on ABC's “FYI,” CBS' Schoolbreak Special series and ABC's “Animals, Animals, Animals” won him several Emmys, with the latter also winning him a Peabody Award.
In 2011, the performer released his first CD “It's Never Too Late.”
Now, he is traveling the nation with seven musicians for his “Hal Linden in Concert” tour.
Linden himself labels his concert as “very autobiographical.”
A certain freedom comes with putting on concerts. That time can be used to identify with the audiences, he said.
“An Evening with Hal Linden” will start at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40. Applicable fees may apply.
Tickets can be bought online or in-person.
This concert is the first of USCA's 2013-14 Cultural Series.
For more information on the series and for more ticketing options, visit www.web.usca.edu/etherredge-center/index.dot or call 803-641-3305.
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