Philip Baker Hall is an American actor best known to television audiences for his role as Russ in the comedy series The Loop, from 2006-2007.
Hall was born in Toledo, Ohio and attended the University of Toledo. He did not have aspirations to be an actor until relatively late in life.
As a younger man, Hall served in the military, started a family and became a high school English teacher. In 1961, having become bored with his life, he decided to become an actor.
He moved to New York, enjoying success in Off Broadway and Broadway productions.
In 1975, Hall moved to Los Angeles to make a career in television. Since then, he has had over 200 guest roles on television shows, including a memorable role as the library cop Lt. Bookman on Seinfeld in the episode "The Library".
He starred in many films, including Robert Altman's Secret Honor in which he played Richard Nixon, but had not garnered much recognition for his performances.
It was not until Paul Thomas Anderson wrote a role in his film Hard Eight, specifically for Hall, that a cult following arose. (Anderson was a big fan of Hall's work, particularly Secret Honor.)
Hall went on to have significant roles in Anderson's two subsequent films, Boogie Nights and Magnolia. He also had a minor role as Captain Diel in Rush Hour.
Additionally, Hall has had roles in Ghostbusters II, Say Anything, The Rock, Bruce Almighty, In Good Company, Dogville, The Amityville Horror, The Matador, Zodiac and Rush Hour 3.