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Whatever Happened To Dr. Alfred Hofstadter From The Big Bang Theory?

"Special guest star" casting has been a staple of the sitcom realm pretty much since the moment sitcoms were developed. But even as countless shows have taken advantage of the ratings-boosting scheme over the years, few series have ever made quite as frequent, or effective, use of it as "The Big Bang Theory." And during the series' 12-season run, producers brought in a cast of special guest stars that would be the envy of any program that's ever made its way to prime-time television.

As fans no doubt recall, "The Big Bang Theory" boasted some pretty impressive names from both the entertainment realm and the scientific community, with everyone from Mark Hamill and Stan Lee to Steve Wozniak and Stephen Hawking making appearances. One of the more under-the-radar guest spots on "The Big Bang Theory" comes during the Season 9 episode that finds Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) trying to appease their family and friends with a wedding ceremony everyone can comfortably attend. That proves trickier than even they anticipate, particularly due to the presence of Leonard's anthropologist father, Dr. Alfred Hofstadter.

That character was, of course, played by the great Judd Hirsch. And the beloved actor brought a charming level of semi-neurotic gravitas to the proceedings as the quippy Dr. Hofstadter in both his Season 9 and Season 10 appearances. Here's what Hirsch has been up to since "The Big Bang Theory."

Judd Hirsch was a legend before The Big Bang Theory, and he's sill a legend today

If you recognized Judd Hirsch on "The Big Bang Theory," it's because he's been a major presence in film and television since the early 1970s. Hirsch landed his breakout role as Alex Reiger on the iconic sitcom "Taxi" in 1978 and earned an Academy Award nomination three years later for "Ordinary People."

Regarding his role on "The Big Bang Theory," Hirsch admitted during a 2017 TV Guide interview that Johnny Galecki personally approached him about the show. "He just sort of cornered me one day," Hirsch stated, adding that Galecki's pitch was quite endearing: "Johnny said, 'I never had a father on the show, and I always thought that I was like you.'"

If you've seen Hirsch's episodes, you know Galecki's instincts were pretty spot on. As for what Hirsch has been up to since, he's kept busy on screens big and small, following that gig with a memorable turn in Noah Baumbach's 2017 dramedy "The Meyerowitz Stories" and that same year fronting the short-lived sitcom "Superior Donuts." In 2019, Hirsch booked a small role in the Adam Sandler sensation "Uncut Gems." His Ben "Pop-Pop" Goldberg has also been a recurring character on "The Goldbergs" since 2015, and Hirsch portrayed Holocaust survivor, Nazi hunter, and author Simon Wiesenthal on the Amazon Prime conspiracy thriller "Hunters."

Most prominently, Hirsch appeared as wise old Uncle Boris Podgorny in Steven Spielberg's "The Fabelmans," scoring his second Academy Award nomination for his efforts. It's a performance that remains one of the strongest of Hirsch's career.