‘The Big Bang Theory’ Adds Legendary 70s Sitcom Actor To Cast

The Big Bang Theory has a new cast member in its family. The CBS sitcom will finally reveal one of its characters onscreen after nine years, according to the Telegraph.

Judd Hirsch is set to appear in this season of The Big Bang Theory as the father of physicist Leonard Hofstadter. Leonard’s dad has been mentioned on the show throughout its run of nine seasons, but he has never made an onscreen appearance.

Johnny Galecki, who portrays Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, revealed at the Los Angeles TV festival PaleyFest that he was the one who offered Hirsch the opportunity to play the role of his father in the hit CBS show after meeting him during filming for February’s NBC tribute to legendary director James Burrows. Burrows was the one who directed The Big Bang Theory’s pilot.

Galecki said that he ran up to Hirsch and “just kind of bombarded him with verbalization.” And it seems that the 81-year-old actor just couldn’t resist the geeky charm of Galecki, as he accepted the proposal. The actor also told the audience that his Big Bang Theory character Leonardo was partly inspired by Hirsch’s portrayal of Alex Reiger on the TV show Taxi, which ran from 1978 to 1983.

“I did share with him, and this is true, that when we were shooting the pilot [for The Big Bang Theory] I watched the first two or three seasons [of Taxi].”

However, Galecki insisted that he didn’t want to base his Big Bang Theory character entirely on Hirsch’s character on Taxi, but he wanted to channel the character’s ability to sometimes serve as a voice of reason while still remaining “as confused as everyone else.”

Apart from Taxi, Hirsch is also popular for his role in sitcom Dear John as well as his Oscar-nominated performance in Ordinary People. Millennials might remember the 81-year-old actor from his portrayal of Jeff Goldblum’s dad in 1996’s Independence Day.

And since Hirsch is reprising his role in the upcoming Independence Day sequel, he will have to manage filming two projects at once, with The Big Bang Theory now firmly part of his list of ongoing commitments.

In other news, The Big Bang Theory showed continued gains in ratings in the first three months of 2016, adding nearly 5.22 million viewers with a week of delayed viewing, as reported by TV by the Numbers.

Melissa Rauch, who Big Bang Theory fans may remember for her role of Bernadette Rostenkowski on the CBS comedy, has revealed that her character in The Bronze, which opens Friday, will be nothing like Bernadette, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

So fans of The Big Bang Theory who expect to get a dose of Bernadette in the upcoming comedy-drama shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. The 35-year-old actress co-wrote and starred on The Bronze and is now busy promoting the movie in which she plays the role of a foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist.

When promoting her film in Chicago on Wednesday, Rauch said she wanted to create a character that would be nothing like her character on The Big Bang Theory and revealed that her character will be the opposite of “a people-pleaser.”

“It’s fun to play a character like Hope Ann Greggory, who is so opposite from me. I’m a bit of a people-pleaser. The fact that she doesn’t care what people think — at all! — was super fun to play.”

Rauch, who co-wrote the movie with her husband Winston Rauch, also said that “appearances can be deceiving,” referring to her Big Bang Theory character. The actress revealed that while Rostenkowski looks “sweet and girly” as well as submissive, underneath she is “as tough as nails and knows exactly what she wants.”

[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]