Barnard Hughes was an American theater and film actor whose fame came after his middle age years. He frequently played a grandfatherly elder or a dithering authority figure. He was born on July 16, 1915 in Bedford Hills, New York, as Bernard Aloysius Kiernan Hughes. He later changed his name spelling to include an "a" rather than an "e" on a numerologist's advice. In his twenties, he spent two years with the Shakespeare Fellowship Repertory company in New York City. Thus began a theater stint encompassing over 400 roles, including his best-known role in Hugh Leonard's "Da," for which he won the 1978 Tony Award as Best Actor. His first big on-screen role, in 1969, was in "Midnight Cowboy". He also appeared in such movies as "Hamlet," "Tron," an adaptation of "Da," and "Doc Hollywood." His television roles include several series besides starring roles in three sitcoms such as "The Cavanaughs," and he won an Emmy for his performance as a senile judge for "Lou Grant."