November 10, 1937
Boothton, Alabama, United States
A pliable, somewhat paunchy character player of TV and films whose parts increased in size with the advent of middle age, Albert Hall made a strong impression as Baines, the brother who introduces Malcolm Little to Islam, in Spike Lee's biopic "Malcolm X" (1992) and as the nervous but firm Sal Martinella, manager of "Rookie of the Year" (1993). Like many actors who seem to have to age into their careers, Hall often played minor or unrewarding parts early in his career. His feature film work began with a comic role in "Leadbelly" (1976) and the actor had a small role as a co-pilot of an aircraft going over "The Bermuda Triangle" (1978). The next year, he could be seen as Chief Phillips, who brings Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) upriver in Francis Ford Coppola's epic "Apocalypse Now." In the 90s, the parts grew in importance, thanks in large measure to "Malcolm X" and the comedy hit "Rookie of the Year." Hall was the imperious General Decker in "Major Payne" and the slow-witted Odell in "Devil in a Blue Dress" (both 1995) and had supporting roles in "Courage Under Fire" and Spike Lee's "Get on the Bus" (both 1996).Hall broke into substantial TV parts a bit more quickly after his bit role in "Roots: The Next Generations" (ABC, 1979). He was a series regular on the short-lived drama "Ryan's Four" (ABC, 1983), portraying a married intern whose wife is not as understanding of his long hours as he would like. Hall portrayed Roy Wilkins in the CBS miniseries "Robert Kennedy and His Times" in 1985 and also had key roles in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (Showtime, 1987) and "Separate But Equal" (ABC, 1991).