Pat Hingle

Pat Hingle

Pat Hingle as Thomas Edison in a General Electric ad, in 1977.
Born Martin Patterson Hingle
(1924-07-19)July 19, 1924
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Died January 3, 2009(2009-01-03) (aged 84)
Carolina Beach, North Carolina, U.S.
Cause of death Myelodysplastic syndrome
Residence Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Nationality American
Education Actors Studio
Alma mater University of Texas[1]
Occupation Actor
Years active 1951–2006
Notable work Batman, Hang 'Em High, Splendor in the Grass, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Shaft
Home town Houston, Texas
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Spouse(s) Alyce Faye Dorsey
(1947–1972; divorced),
Julie Wright
(1979–2009; his death)
Children Five
Parent(s) Marvin Louise (nèe Patterson),
Clarence Martin Hingle

Martin Patterson "Pat" Hingle (July 19, 1924 – January 3, 2009) was an American actor who appeared in hundreds of television shows and feature films. His first film was On the Waterfront in 1954. He often played tough authority figures. Hingle was a close friend of Clint Eastwood and appeared in the Eastwood films Hang 'em High, The Gauntlet and Sudden Impact.

Early life

Martin Patterson Hingle was born in Miami, Florida (some sources say Denver, Colorado), the son of Marvin Louise (née Patterson), a schoolteacher and musician, and Clarence Martin Hingle, a building contractor.[2] Hingle enlisted in the United States Navy in December 1941, dropping out of the University of Texas. He served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II. He returned to the University of Texas after the war and earned a degree in radio broadcasting in 1949. As a Navy Reservist, he was recalled to the service during the Korean War and served on the escort destroyer USS Damato.[1]

Acting career

Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon in Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman

Hingle began acting in college, and after graduating, he moved to New York and studied at the American Theatre Wing. In 1952, he became a member of the Actors Studio. This led to his first Broadway show, End as a Man.[3]

On Broadway, he originated the role of Gooper in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). He played the title role in the award winning Broadway play J.B. by Archibald MacLeish (1958). He appeared in the 1963 Actors Studio production of Strange Interlude, directed by Jose Quintero, and That Championship Season (1972). He earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance in Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957).[3] In 1997, he played Benjamin Franklin in the Roundabout Theatre revival of the musical 1776, with Brent Spiner and Gregg Edelman.

Hingle's first film role was an uncredited part as bartender Jock in On the Waterfront (1954). Later in his career, he was known for playing judges, police officers and other authority figures. He was a guest star on the early NBC legal drama Justice, based on case histories of the Legal Aid Society of New York, which aired in the 1950s.[4]

Another notable role was as the father of Warren Beatty's character in Splendor in the Grass (1961), which was directed by Elia Kazan, the director of On the Waterfront. He was widely known for portraying the father of Sally Field's title character Norma Rae (1979).[3] He also played manager Colonel Tom Parker in John Carpenter's TV movie Elvis (1979).

Hingle had a long list of television and film credits to his name, going back to 1948. Among them were The Fugitive (1964), Carol for Another Christmas (1964), Nevada Smith (1966), Mission: Impossible (1967), Hang 'Em High (1968), The Gauntlet (1977), Sudden Impact (1983), Road To Redemption (2001), When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979), Brewster's Millions (1985), Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive (1986), The Grifters (1990), Citizen Cohn (1992), The Land Before Time (1988), Wings (1996), and Shaft (2000). Hingle played Dr. Chapman in seven episodes of the TV series Gunsmoke (1971), and Col. Tucker in the movie Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (1992). In 1963, Hingle guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Incredible World of Horace Ford" as the title character. He guest starred in the TV series Matlock and Murder, She Wrote. In 1980, he appeared in the short-lived police series Stone with Dennis Weaver.[5] Magnum PI (1985)(Garwood Huddle)

He played Commissioner Gordon in the 1989 film Batman and its three sequels. He is one of only two actors to appear in the four Batman films from 1989 to 1997; the other is Michael Gough.

In November 2007, he created the Pat Hingle Guest Artist Endowment to enable students to work with visiting professional actors at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.[3]

Personal life

Hingle married Alyce Faye Dorsey on June 3, 1947. They had children Jody, Billy and Molly. The couple later divorced. In 1979 Hingle married Julia Wright. He and his second wife had two children.[2]


In 1959 while playing J.B. on Broadway, he was offered the title role for the 1960 film Elmer Gantry but lost it to Burt Lancaster because Hingle had a nearly fatal accident. He was trapped in the elevator of his West End Avenue apartment building in Manhattan, when it stalled between the second and third floors. He crawled out and tried to reach the second floor corridor, but lost his balance and fell fifty-four feet down the shaft. He fractured his skull, wrist, hip and most of the ribs on his left side. He broke his left leg in three places and lost the little finger on his left hand.[6] He lay near death for two weeks, and his recovery required more than a year.


Hingle died at his home in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, of myelodysplasia on January 3, 2009; he had been diagnosed with the disease in November 2006. His ashes were scattered into the Atlantic Ocean.[3]

Selected TV and filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1954 On the Waterfront Jocko
1957 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Warren Selvy TV Show

Season 3, episode 13, "Night of the Execution"

The Strange One Harold Koble
1961 Splendor in the Grass Ace Stamper
1962 The Untouchables Mitchell A. Grandin TV Show
Season 3 Episode 23: "The Case Against Eliot Ness"
1963 The Untouchables Barney Howe/ Barney Retsick TV Show
Season 4 Episode 20: "Junk Man"
The Twilight Zone Horace Ford TV Show
Episode: "The Incredible World of Horace Ford"
The Ugly American Homer Atkins
1964 Invitation to a Gunfighter Sam Brewster
1964 Carol for Another Christmas Ghost of Christmas Present
1965 Daniel Boone Will Carey TV Show

Episode: "The Returning"

1966 Nevada Smith Big Foot
The Andy Griffith Show Fred Gibson TV Show

Season 6, Episode 20 "Wyatt Earp Rides Again"

1967 Mission: Impossible R.J. McMillan TV Show

Season 1, Episode 22 "The Confession"

1968 Hang 'Em High Judge Adam Fenton
Sol Madrid Harry Mitchell
Jigsaw Lew Haley
1970 Bloody Mama Sam Adams Pendlebury
WUSA Bingamon
Norwood Grady Fring
1971 Gunsmoke Dr. John Chapman TV Show 7 Episodes after Milburn Stone had heart surgery
1972 The Carey Treatment Captain Pearson
1973 One Little Indian Captain Stewart
1974 The New Land Cadbury TV Show episode "The Word is: Mortal" (never aired)
The Super Cops Inspector Novick
Nightmare Honeymoon Mr. Binghamton
1975 Hawaii Five-O Ormsbee TV Show Episode 8: "The Defector"
1976 Independence John Adams
1977 The Gauntlet Maynard Josephson
Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo Doc Hodgins TV movie
1979 When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? Lyle Stricker
Elvis Colonel Tom Parker TV movie
Norma Rae Vernon
Disaster on the Coastliner John Marsh TV movie
1980 Running Scared Sergeant McClain
M*A*S*H Colonel Daniel Webster Tucker TV Show, guest appearance
Stone Chief Gene Paulton TV Show
1982 Gunsmoke: To the Last Man Colonel Tucker TV movie
1983 Sudden Impact Chief Lester Jannings
Going Berserk Ed Reese
1985 Brewster's Millions Edward Roundfield
The Falcon and the Snowman Charles Boyce
The Rape of Richard Beck Chappy Beck TV movie
The Lady from Yesterday Jim Bartlett TV movie
1986 Maximum Overdrive Bubba Hendershot
Murder, She Wrote Ret. Lt. Det. Barney Kale TV Show episode "Unfinished Business"
1987 Baby Boom Hughes Larabee
1988 The Land Before Time Narrator & Rooter Voice
War and Remembrance Admiral William "Bull" Halsey TV miniseries
1989 Batman Commissioner Gordon
1990 The Grifters Bobo Justus
The Kennedys of Massachusetts PJ Kennedy TV miniseries
1992 Citizen Cohn J. Edgar Hoover
Batman Returns Commissioner Gordon
1995 Batman Forever
The Quick and the Dead Horace
1996 Wings Jack Hackett 1 episode
1996 larger then life Vernon
1997 Batman & Robin Commissioner Gordon
1997 The Shining Pete Watson TV miniseries
1999 Muppets from Space General Luft
2000 Shaft Judge Dennis Bradford
2000-02 Batman OnStar commercials Commissioner Gordon Voice Role
2001 Road to Redemption Grandpa Nathan Tucker
2006 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Mr. Dennit Sr. Final film role.



  1. 1 2 Wise, Stars in Blue. pp. 173–176.
  2. 1 2 "Pat Hingle Biography (1924?-)". Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Hotz, Amy (January 4, 2009). "Actor Pat Hingle dies at age 84". StarNews online. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  4. "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  5. Pat Hingle at the Internet Movie Database
  6. Witchel, Alex (August 10, 1997), "A Broadway Elder With the Spirit of '76", The New York Times, retrieved October 29, 2014


External links

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