Jerry Adler Is In Transitions -- And 'Transparent'
You could say Jerry Adler is “in transition,” preparing for yet another chapter of a rich and varied theatrical life.
It’s one that has seen him as a stage manager (including the original “My Fair Lady”), Broadway director and commercial producer. Finally, at the age when many retire, he began an acting career that resulted with such memorable continuing roles as the Jewish mobster Hesh in “The Sopranos,” as Mr. Wicker, the building super, in ”Mad About You,” and most recently, as Howard Lyman, the politically incorrect law partner in “The Good Wife.”
Now at 88 and after 24 years in Connecticut, he and his wife of 23 years, psychologist Joan Laxman, are moving out of their spacious home in Roxbury for a two-bedroom flat on the Upper West Side.
He’ll miss the quiet, the 14-stall stable, the three fowl barns and especially his large deck overlooking the rolling hills of Litchfield County. But it’s a return to his New York roots, says the Brooklyn-born Adler, who comes from a theatrical heritage that includes acting coach Stella and actor Luther (cousins) Adler, the Group Theater’s Phillip (father) and Yiddish theater legend Jacob (great-uncle).
His wife, an equestrian, has given up the horses, and he has donated a houseful of theater archives and memorabilia to Goodspeed Musical’s library. (Former Goodspeed head, Michael Price, was an assistant stage manager under Adler in the ‘60s.)
Adler says he wants to be able to easily go to the theater, visit museums, travel more easily and enjoy an urban life. If the phone rings extending his 67-years-and-counting career, “Who knows,” he says with a smile and a shrug.
It rang for a TV job that led to Adler playing Jeffrey Tambor’s father starting this fall in Amazon’s “Transparent.”