Steven Hill, who played Daniel Briggs in the first season of Mission: Impossible and District Attorney Adam Schiff on Law & Order, died yesterday, August 23 2016, at the age of 94.
Steven Hill was born Solomon Krakowsky in Seattle, Washington on February 22 1922. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He graduated from the University of Washington. He made his Broadway debut in a walk on part in A Flag Is Born in 1946. He had more substantial roles on Broadway in Mister Roberts and Sundown Beach, both in 1948. In 1950 he appeared on Broadway in The Lady from the Sea. He made his TV debut in an episode of Actor's Studio in 1949. In the late Forties he also appeared in episodes of Theatre of Romance, Suspense, Starlight Theatre, and Magnavox Theatre. He made his film debut in 1950 in A Lady Without Passport (1950).
In the Fifties Mr. Hill guest starred on such TV shows as Schlitz Playhouse, Danger, Lights Out, Lux Video Theatre, The Motorola Television Hour, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Studio One, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Playhouse 90, and The Lineup. He appeared in the films Storm Fear (1955), The Goddess (1958), and Kiss Her Goodbye (1959). He appeared on Broadway in The Country Girl.
In the Sixties Steven Hill played the lead role of Daniel Briggs in the first season of Mission: Impossible. He guest starred on such TV shows as Route 66, The Untouchables, The Eleventh Hour, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Naked City, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rawhide, and The Fugitive. He appeared in the film A Child Is Waiting (1963). He appeared one last time on Broadway in A Far Country in 1961.
Following his experience on Mission: Impossible Steven Hill gave up acting and worked a number of different jobs, including writing and real estate. After about ten years he returned to acting. He guest starred in an episode of The Andros Targets and appeared in the mini-series King, as well as the film It's My Turn (1980).
In the Eighties Steven Hill appeared in such films as Raw Deal (1986), Eyewitness (1981), Rich and Famous (1981), Yentl (1983), Teachers (1984), Raw Deal (1986), Legal Eagles (1986), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), and White Palace. He gust starred on the TV shows One Life to Live, Thirtysomething, Columbo, and Equal Justice.
From 1990 to 2000 Steven Hill played District Attorney Adam Schiff on Law & Order. He guest starred as Adam Schiff on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Steven Hill was a very talented actor. He did a fine job as Daniel Briggs, the original leader of the Impossible Missions Force on Mission: Impossible, and Adam Schiff on Law & Order. Over the years most of the roles Mr. Hill played similar authority figures or father figures, such as a rabbi in Yentl, a police lieutenant in Eyewitness, and a district attorney in Legal Eagles. That having been said, he was capable of playing other roles. He had a memorable turn as a mob boss in Raw Deal, and played the title gangster in the episode "Jack 'Legs' Diamond" of The Untouchbles. While he may have been best known for the many authority figures he played over the years, he could play villains quite well. He was a very versatile actor.