2016-08-31 / World News

Steven Hill dies, actor played ‘Law & Order’ DA

Steven Hill, an Orthodox Jewish actor best known for playing a Jewish Manhattan district attorney on the hit TV series “Law & Order,” has died at 94.

Hill, who sacrificed numerous career opportunities in order to observe Shabbat, died in Monsey, New York, Hollywood Reporter said, citing Hill’s son, Rabbi Yehoshua Hill.

The New York Times cited Hill’s daughter, Sarah Gobioff, in reporting that Hill lived in Monsey, a heavily Orthodox Jewish area in suburban Rockland County, but died in Manhattan.

On NBC’s “Law & Order,” Hill played District Attorney Adam Schiff for more than 225 episodes from 1990 to 2000, earning two Emmy nominations for outstanding actor in a drama series. Schiff was loosely modeled on longtime Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, who also was Jewish.

In a 1996 interview with The Washington Post cited in the Times obituary, “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf called Hill “the Talmudic influence on the entire zeitgeist of the series.”

“Steven has more moral authority than anyone else on episodic TV,” Wolf said.

In a statement made after Hill’s death, Wolf said, “Steven was not only one of the truly great actors of his generation, he was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met…He will be missed but fortunately he can be seen ubiquitously on Law & Order reruns.”

Hill, born Solomon Krakovsky in Seattle, Washington, made his professional acting debut in the 1946 production of “A Flag Is Born,” a controversial Zionist play by Ben Hecht. In the 1960s, after having established himself in television and on Broadway, Hill became Orthodox. (JTA)

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