Philip Baker Hall (b. 1931) is a noted character actor who appeared in the Jim Henson Pictures film Buddy, as a minister who sees the titular gorilla at the World's Fair and contemplates whether he has a soul.
Hall has appeared in hundreds of films and television shows since 1970, including Robert Altman's 1984 film Secret Honor, where he was the sole actor and impersonated Richard M. Nixon. He also appeared in Midnight Run (with Charles Grodin and Fran Brill) and Ghostbusters II (as the police commissioner). In 1993, he appeared in fledgeling director Paul Thomas Anderson's short film Coffee & Cigarettes, which led to his break-out role, starring as a weathered gambler in Anderson's 1996 film Sydney. This was followed by two more collaborations with Anderson, in Boogie Nights (as Floyd Gondolli) and Magnolia (as Jimmy Gator).
Hall's other film credits range from The Cradle Will Rock, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Dogville to more mainstream fare like Rush Hour, the 1998 remake of Psycho (as the sheriff), and Bruce Almighty. In television, Baker Hall is most familiar from his guest turn on Seinfeld as Bookman, the zealous, hard-boiled library cop. Other TV credits include guest spots on Good Times, M*A*S*H, The Waltons, Family Ties, The West Wing, Cheers, Monk (as a mob boss), Matlock, and Boston Legal, and regular stints on Falcon Crest (as Ed Meyers from 1989-1990), the mystery series Pasadena, and the FOX sitcom The Loop.