The Tragic Death Of Magnolia And Seinfeld Star Philip Baker Hall

Veteran film and television actor Philip Baker Hall died on June 12 at age 90. The news was initially confirmed by Los Angeles Times writer Sam Farmer, who was a friend of Hall's. "My neighbor, friend, and one of the wisest, most talented and kindest people I've ever met, Philip Baker Hall, died peacefully last night," Farmer tweeted on June 13. The cause of Hall's death was not revealed at the time, but the actor revealed during a 2017 interview that he suffered from emphysema after years of smoking, per the New York Post.

Fans went online to mourn the loss of Hall, whose expansive IMDb credits included appearances in notable films such as "Magnolia," "Boogie Nights," and "Secret Honor," in which he played President Richard Nixon. "RIP Philip Baker Hall what a career. The Floyd/Jack scene in Boogie Nights and the Sidney/Serrano stuff in Midnight Run are my personal favs," sports analyst Bill Simmons tweeted after the news broke. "Philip baker hall was one of those actors who would show up for just a scene or two in one of the best movies you've ever seen and really make an impression," a fan wrote about the late actor.

In addition to his film work, Hall made an impact on the small screen as well. Multiple fans mentioned how much they adored his work as overly zealous library investigator Lt. Joe Bookman on "Seinfeld." Besides his acting roles, Hall also played a pivotal part in a famous director's career.

How Philip Baker Hall helped Paul Thomas Anderson launch his career

Philip Baker Hall met Paul Thomas Anderson while the director was just starting his career. "If Philip Baker Hall hadn't entertained the whims of a dorky production assistant and agreed to star in his no-budge short film we wouldn't have Paul Thomas Anderson," a person tweeted after the actor's death. The pair met on the set of a television movie that Hall was hired for and Anderson had volunteered on. After the pair met, the then-aspiring director asked Hall to read his script for a short film. "He really seemed like a kid. So I'm reading this script, and I truly had trouble believing that that kid wrote this script. I mean, it was just so brilliant," Hall recalled to the AV Club in 2012.

The "Rush Hour" actor was so impressed that he agreed to star in Anderson's short film "Cigarettes & Coffee" as weary gambler Sydney. Later, he reprised the role in the director's first feature length movie, "Hard Eight," per AV Club.

While collaborating with Anderson on future projects such as "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia," Hall formed a relationship with fellow actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who died in 2014. Shortly after Hoffman's death, Hall was effusive when discussing the late star. "My regard for him both as an artist and a man couldn't be higher," Hall told Rolling Stone in 2014, referring to the fellow Anderson collaborator as "a genius."