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Judd Hirsch on Andy Kaufman & Taxi

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Published on Feb 18, 2009

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As the sole voice of reason, Judd Hirsch became a household name with his portrayal of Alex Reiger on the critically revered TV comedy, Taxi. Throughout his esteemed career, the actor earned multiple Emmy and Tony nominations (and two wins apiece). He debuted on Broadway in 1964 in Barefoot in the Park. He won his Best Actor Tony Awards for his performances in two Herb Gardner plays, 1986s I'm Not Rappaport and 1992s Conversations With My Father. As the show that put Hirsch permanently on the pop cultural map, Taxi was a unique sitcom that successfully blended a unique ensemble cast together to experience the blue collar ups-and-downs of life in Manhattan. Hirschs Alex Reiger was a tragicomic figure, having lost his wife and custody of his daughter to a gambling addiction. Reiger comes to accept his lot in life as a taxi driver, standing in stark contrast to his young, energetic colleagues including Jeff Conaway, Marilu Henner and Tony Danza all of whom feel that they are simply driving cabs for the short term. Hirschs interpretation of Reiger was met with almost universal acclaim he received five consecutive Emmy nominations as Best Actor, starting in 1979 and snagging the esteemed award twice, first in 1981 and then in 1983. Hirsch starred in a number of box office bonanzas as well including Serpico (1973), Ordinary People (1980) (for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role of Dr. Tyrone C. Berger), Running on Empty (1988), Independence Day (1996) and the Oscar-winning best picture drama, A Beautiful Mind (2001).

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