Barney Miller was an American comedy series that aired from 1975 to 1982. It took place almost entirely within the confines of the detectives’ squad room and Captain Barney Miller’s adjoining office of New York City‘s fictional 12th Precinct, located in Greenwich Village, where the detectives of the 12th were regularly bringing in several complaints and/or suspects. There were various subplots in a given episode, with different officers dealing with different crimes. Once a year, an episode would feature one or more of the detectives outside of the walls of the precinct, either on a stakeout or at one of their homes. See the Barney Miller Cast members & the precinct as we remember it and know it today:
Captain Barney Miller (Hal Linden)
Was the eponymous captain of the beleaguered 12th precinct in Greenwich Village, New York, who tried to retain his sanity while dealing with the foibles of his staff and the unending stream of budget problems and paperwork that make up the day to day grind of his job. The show dealt with mordant wit, compassion, and occasional frustration at the comedy-of-manners misfits brought in for arrest or questioning, or who came to lodge a complaint or stop by on bureaucratic business or to just say hi. He gets passed over a promotion to Deputy Inspector several times during the series’ run before finally reaching that rank in the series finale.
Hal Linden was born on March 20, 1931as Harold Lipshitz. Linden had no intention of acting. Before he became a successful actor, he played a big band, in the United States Army. While in Fort Belvoir, a friend recommended that he see the touring production of Guys and Dolls playing in D.C. After seeing the show, Linden decided to become an actor. He was discharged in 1954 (age 23) and started acting at 25.
Linden’s stage success led to a TV career that culminated in the title role on the popular Barney Miller (1975) sitcom. The role earned him seven Primetime Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Award nominations, Hal became a household name. Hal Linden chose his stage name on the way from Philadelphia to an acting job in New York City. He saw the water tower in Linden, New Jersey, and the rest is history.
Although he was nominated for seven Primetime Emmys for his great work on Barney Miller (1975), he won two Daytime Emmys for hosting a series of daytime informational spots called FYI: For Your Information (1980).
Linden’s career slowed in the 1960s. During this time, he dubbed English dialogue for various foreign films, did voiceover work for commercials and sang jingles. His career was revived in the 1970s when he was cast as Mayer Rothschild in the 1971 musical The Rothschilds. The role earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Linden later said that leaving Broadway to work on Barney Miller was his most irrational act and also one of his best decisions.
Linden is the spokesman for the Jewish National Fund, a position he has held since 1997. He met dancer Fran Martin while doing summer stock in 1955. They married in 1958 and had four children. Martin died in 2010. Linden is 86.