Steven Hill was an actor best known for his role as District Attorney Adam Schiff on the long-running NBC series Law & Order. Hill portrayed the character for 10 seasons – 229 episodes – from 1990 to 2000, with one additional episode as his character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Hill was nominated for an Emmy Award twice for the supporting role, in 1998 and 1999. He was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award seven times between 1995 and 2001 in the category of outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
Additionally, he had roles on the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, The Untouchables, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, Naked City, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Rawhide, The Fugitive, One Life to Live, Thirtysomething, Columbo, and Equal Justice. Hill also notably played Daniel Briggs, the original team leader on CBS’s Mission: Impossible, for the first season of the series, before being replaced by Peter Graves.
Additionally, he appeared in films, including A Lady Without Passport, starring Hedy Lamarr; Kiss Her Goodbye, with Elaine Stritch; A Child Is Waiting, starring Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland; The Slender Thread, starring Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft; It’s My Turn, with Michael Douglas; Eyewitness, with William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, and Christopher Plummer; Yentl, starring Barbra Streisand; Legal Eagles, starring Robert Redford; Heartburn, starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson; White Palace, with James Spader and Susan Sarandon; Billy Bathgate, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman; and The Firm, starring Tom Cruise.
Hill began his career in theater, on the New York stage. He was one of the original members of The Actors Studio, and performed alongside Montgomery Clift, Julie Harris, and Marlon Brando, who Hill would serve as an understudy for in years to come.
Hill also appeared in theatrical productions of Mr. Roberts (in a run that went for 1,100 performances), Sundown Beach, The Lady From the Sea, The Country Girl, and A Far Country, in the role of Sigmund Freud.
In 1949, he transitioned into television with appearances on Actor’s Studio, a program which adapted plays and stories for the small screen. He appeared on other theatrical series including Starlight Theatre, The Magnavox Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse, Goodyear Playhouse, Studio One in Hollywood, and Playhouse 90.
Beginning in 1967, Hill took a break from acting and pursued careers in writing and real estate. He resumed his acting career in 1977 with a role on the TV series The Andros Targets.
Hill died August 23, 2016, in Manhattan, New York City. He was 94.