Hill Street Blues
Charles Haid is an American character player of stage, screen and TV, and a director as well as a producer, who has toiled in both television and movies. Before segueing to TV and films in the 1970s, he achieved wide ranging experience on stage, most notably known as the producer of the original Off-Off-Broadway musical “Godspell” (1971). As an actor, the muscular performer is well-associated with his coveted role of Officer Andy Renko in the NBC much-admired cop drama “Hill Street Blues (1981-1987), in which he received two Emmy nominations. Other memorable performances include as Dr. Mason Parrish in the drama film Altered States (1980), Delbert ‘Whitey’ Haines in the thriller/crime movie Cop (1988) and Sheriff Captain Eigerman in the horror/fantasy film Nightbreed (1990).
An accomplished director, Haid took home a Directors Guild of America in 1994 for his work in an episode of “ER.” He also nabbed an Emmy and Directors Guild of America nominations in episodes of Steven Bochco’s “NYPD Blue” (1993) and “Murder One” (1995), and a Directors Guild of America nod in the television film Buffalo Soldiers (1997). Haid made his big screen directorial debut with 1994’s Iron Will, an uneven seriocomedy set in the 1917 about a dog-sled marathon.
Off screen, Haid is now the husband of Elisabeth Harmon-Haid, whom he married in 1992. He was previously married to Penelope Windust (divorced in 1983) and actress Deborah Richter (1985-1988). He has two daughters, Arcadia Elizabeth and Brittany Catherine (mother: Penelope Windust).
Charles Maurice Haid III
Childhood and Family:
Charles Maurice Haid III, better known as Charles Haid, was born on June 2, 1943, in San Francisco, California, to Charles Maurice Haid Jr. and Grace Marian Folger. After high school, where Charles attended the same school as future music luminaries Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia, and Joan Baez, he went on to college at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University).
The cousin of singer/TV host Merv Griffin and brother of actor David Haid, Charles has been married three times. He was married to first wife, Penelope Windust, until 1983 and has two daughters, Arcadia Elizabeth and Brittany Catherine, with her. On February 17, 1985, he tied the knot with actress Deborah Richter, but divorced three years later in 1988. Charles married his current wife, Elisabeth Harmon-Haid, in 1992.
Raised in a suburb of San Francisco, Charles Haid started performing in college productions and later acted with the San Diego National Shakespeare Festival, the American Conservatory Theater, the New York Shakespeare Festival, and the American Shakespeare Festival. In 1971, he scored his first big hit as an associate producer of the original Off-Off-Broadway musical “Godspell,” which was originally developed at Carnegie. A year later, Haid made his NY stage debut with “Elizabeth the First.”
Following a string of stage works, Haid debuted on television movie with a supporting role, as Brockmeyer, in the drama The Execution of Private Slovik (1974), starring Martin Sheen and helmed by Lamont Johnson. But, Haid did not make his debut as a TV series regular until 1975, when he was cast as Ed McShane, the Jesuit pastor brother of the attorney protagonist (played by Anne Meara) on “Kate McShane.” This was followed by a one-year stint as Sergeant Paul Shonski in a cop show, “Delvecchio” (1976). He kicked off his film career a year later by teaming up with director Robert Aldrich and actors James Woods, Randy Quaid, Charles Durning and Louis Gossett Jr. in the crime/drama The Choirboys, a story of a group of L.A. cops who choose to take off some of the pressures of their jobs by engaging in various forms of after-hours depravity, which was followed by a memorable supporting role as Dr. Mason Parrish in the 1980 movie Altered States, starring William Hurt.
It was 1981 that marked Haid’s banner year because he won a role that would become his signature in Steven Bochco’s acclaimed and ground-breaking police drama “Hill Street Blues.” As Officer Andy Renko, he successfully represented a hot blooded but basically sympathetic good ol’ boy awkwardly adjusting to being a cop in a big city and received Emmy nominations in 1981 and 1982 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1987.
In addition to his series commitment, Haid kept on himself busy doing other projects. Some of his works included making his TV debut as a producer in the NBC film Children in the Crossfire (1984, also costarred with Julia Duffy), appearing with Tim Matheson in the comedy film The House of God (1984) and serving as a host for the PBS documentary/forum A Program for Vietnam Veterans . . . And Everyone Else Who Should Care (1986).
After “Hill Street Blues” left the airways, Haid executive produced his first feature film Square Dance/Home is Where the Heart Is (1987), a drama directed by Daniel Petrie, played a crooked officer named Delbert ‘Whitey’ Haines in the thriller/crime movie Cop (1988), as well as was cast in the supporting role of a monster-hating sheriff in the horror/fantasy film Nightbreed (1990). Haid also tried his hand in directing, starting with two episodes of the ABC sitcom “Doogie Howser, M.D.” (1990), produced and co-created by Steven Bochco, and the short-lived musical cop show “Cop Rock” (1990, also created by Bochco).
In 1994, Haid segued to movie direction with Iron Will (1994), a jagged adventure set in the 1917 about dogsledding. The same year, picked up a Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for his work in “Into That Good Night,” an episode of the popular medical series “ER.” Moreover, his fine effort in “True Confessions,” a 1993 episode of “NYPD Blue,” won him an Emmy and Directors Guild of America nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Drama Series. Haid received same nods two years later with his fine work in the pilot episode of Bochco’s “Murder One” (1995). Haid then directed pilot and episodes of the ABC police drama “High Incident” (1996) and in 1998, he nabbed his third Directors Guild of America nomination after helming the TNT original Buffalo Soldiers (1997), a Western telepic starring Danny Glover. He also co-executive produced and directed several episodes of the brief CBS series “Buddy Faro” (1998). Meanwhile, the actor could be seen acting in such films as Broken Trust (1995, TV) and The Third Miracle (1999).
Except for his recurring role in 12 episodes of “Third Watch” (2000-2005), Haid concentrated more on pursuing a career as a director. His directorial credits include the CBS miniseries “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal” (2000), the pilot of CBS’s series “Big Apple” (2001, also as an co-executive producer), as well as such TV series as “The Guardian” (2001), “Citizen Baines” (2001), “The Court” (2002) and “Presidio Med” (2002). He also had an episodic work on the shows “Karen Sisco” (2003) and “Boston Legal” (2004).
Haid then helmed the made-for-TV film Life Is Ruff (2005), episodes of “The Closer” (2005, 2006). He recently directed Kelly McGillis, Cat Noel and Robert Patrick in the television film Cold Shoulder (2006). Besides, he was invited to make guest appearances in two episodes of “Criminal Minds” (2006) after serving as a director in 2005.
- Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series’ – Night, “ER,” 2004