PROFILE: How Legendary Actor Steven ‘Shlomo’ Hill Z”L Chose Orthodox Faith Over Hollywood Stardom
Steven “Shlomo” Hill, a legendary actor who died on August 23 at age 94, showed how the solution to a happy life may be found in Jewish ritual rather than in a life devoted to Hollywood.Hill chose his Orthodox faith over a highly successful career. Born Solomon Krakovsky he was known professionally as Steven Hill. His two better-known roles are district attorney Adam Schiff on Law & Order, whom he portrayed for 10 seasons, and Dan Briggs, the original team leader of Mission: Impossible.
In 1947, Hill joined Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Julie Harris, among others, as one of the 50 fortunate applicants (out of about 700 interviewed) to be accepted by the newly created Actors Studio. Marlon Brando, considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time, said the same of Hill. Years later Strasberg said in a New York Times interview, “Steven Hill is considered one of the finest actors America has ever produced.” It appeared that Hill was on his way to stardom. “When I first became an actor,” Martin Landau once said, “there were two young actors in New York: Marlon Brando and Steven Hill. A lot of people said that Steven would have been the one, not Marlon. He was
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