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Danny Pope (RIVER PHOENIX, left), reveals his true identity to Lorna (MARTHA PLIMPTON) in Warner Bros.' contemporary drama "Running on Empty," also starring Christine Lahti and Judd Hirsh.
JUDD HIRSCH (Arthur Pope) is best known as Alex, the wise cab driver in the hit television series "Taxi." A two-time Emmy Award-winner for his outstanding work in this role, Hirsch also won a Tony Award for his role in Herb Gardner's play "I'm Not Rappaport," opposite Cleavon Little.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Hirsch did a number of radio and television commercials before his first off-Broadway appearance in "On the Necessity of Being Polygamous."
He made his Broadway debut as a replacement in Neil Simon's long-running smash "Barefoot in the Park," but his first important notices came when he replaced Jerry Orbach in Bruce Jay Friedman's black comedy, "Scuba Duba."
In 1973, Hirsch joined the Circle Repertory Theater and met playwright Lanford Wilson. Hirsch was chosen to play the feisty night clerk in Wilson's original production of "The Hot 1 Baltimore," which became one of the longest running off-Broadway plays. He soon returned to Broadway in Jules Feiffer's "Knock Knock," which won him the Drama Desk Award.
Perhaps his greatest acceptance as an actor came when he played Matt Friedman in Lanford Wilson's haunting "Talley's Folly," first at the Circle Rep (for which he received an Obie Award in 1979) and later on Broadway where he received a Tony nomination for his performance. He also starred in Neil Simon's "Chapter Two."
Popular recognition came through his television roles. He won fans as the Italian cop studying to be a lawyer in "Delvecchio" and was nominated for an Emmy five successive seasons for his work on "Taxi," winning the award twice. Other television credits include the made-for-TV movies "First Steps" and "Brotherly Love," in which he played identical twins.
On screen, Hirsch has been seen in "King of the Gypsies," "Ordinary People" (for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor), "Without a Trace," "The Goodbye People" and "Teachers."
Hirsch will return to prime time television later this year for his third series, the comedy "Dear John."
MARTHA PLIMPTON (Lorna Phillips) was born and raised in New York City. Seventeen-year-old Plimpton comes by her acting talent naturally. Her father is actor Keith Carradine; her mother Shelley, is an actress who appeared in the original Broadway cast of "Hair" and in such countercultural cult films as "Putney Swope" and "Alice's Restaurant."
When Plimpton was only 10 years old, producer Joseph Papp saw her in a film workshop and immediately cast her in "The Haggadah," a Joseph Papp/Elizabeth Swados production at New York's Public Theater. Millions remember her in a series of Calvin Klein commercials as the tomboy character who says, "I hate competition. I'm a terrible loser."
It was this exposure that led to her first feature film role opposite Tommy Lee Jones in "River Rat." Since then, Plimpton has starred in Alan J. Pakula's "Rollover," Steven Spielberg's production of "The Goonies" and Peter Weir's "The Mosquito Coast," in which River Phoenix also starred.
She was recently seen in Andrei Konchalovsky's "Shy People," with Jill Clayburgh and Barbara Hershey and in "Stars and Bars," with Daniel Day Lewis. Plimpton recently completed filming Woody Allen's "Another Woman," due out in the fall, and is currently working on Martin Ritt's "Stanley and Iris," with Jane Fonda and Robert De Niro.