Law & Order star Steven Hill passed away earlier today in Manhattan, New York at the age of 94. He is survived by his wife, four daughters, five sons and his brother Charles. The news of Hill’s death was first reported by The New York Times.
Hill is best known to international audiences for playing Manhattan District Attorney Adam Schiff on ten seasons of the original Law & Order, taking on the role after the project scored a series order at NBC in 1990 (he did not appear in the original pilot Everyone’s Favourite Bagman, which was produced in 1988 for CBS).
He would go on to reprise the role of Adam Schiff in a single episode of spin-off series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999 and to-date remains the longest serving DA in the history of Law & Order. Hill left the franchise and acting in 2000, though he would front a number of commercials in the years that followed.
Several decades before Law & Order, Hill starred on CBS’ Mission: Impossible (1966-1973) as lead character Dan Briggs. He was only one the show for the first season and as the story goes, CBS decided not to pick up his contract for season two as they were never overly keen on the casting and because of producers having to work around his schedule so he could observe his religious traditions as an orthodox Jew. Hill’s other credits included The Firm, White Palace, Equal Justice and Thirtysomething.