Arthur Hill, Tony-winning stage actor who also became famous for his dozens of TV and film roles including the lead in the series “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law,” died Oct. 22 at a Pacific Palisades care facility after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. He was 84.
Hill’s stoic, calm face and distinctive voice became well known on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Defenders,” “Ben Casey,” “The Untouchables,” “The Nurses,” “The FBI,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Fugitive,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and “Murder, She Wrote.” He was the star of ABC’s “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law” from 1971-74.
That role was quite the opposite of the one for which he received Broadway’s Tony and New York Drama Critics awards as George in Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1962. He also appeared in Eugene O’Neill’s “More Stately Mansions,” the inaugural production at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theater in L.A.
Hill made his Broadway debut opposite Ruth Gordon in “The Matchmaker,” then went on to star in such stage hits as “Look Homeward Angel.”
He also appeared in such films as “Harper” with Paul Newman, “The Ugly American” with Marlon Brando, “The Andromeda Strain” and “A Bridge Too Far.” TV films included “Death Be Not Proud” and “Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys.”
Born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Hill served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and attended the U. of British Columbia, where he studied law but was lured to the stage.
He moved to Great Britain in 1948 with his wife, actress Peggy Hassard, in 1948, where he performed in a variety of stage productions and BBC radio plays, then moved to New York 10 years later and established himself on Broadway.
Hassard, with whom he was married 56 years, died in 1998, also of Alzheimer’s. He is survived by his second wife, Anne-Sophie Taraba; a son; a stepdaughter; a stepgranddaughter; and two sisters.