Big Bang Theory Judd Hirsch

The Big Bang Theory Casts Judd Hirsch as Leonard's Father

The Big Bang Theory‘s Leonard Hofstadter comes from good stock.

In addition to having Emmy-winning actress Christine Baranski for a mom (as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter), it was announced on Wednesday that two-time Emmy winner Judd Hirsch has been cast as the scientist’s father.

As shared at the hitcom’s PaleyFest panel, Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard, met Hirsch at NBC’s recent James Burrows tribute and invited the former Taxi driver to play the role.

Among what has been revealed to date about Leonard’s dad, he is by some accounts an anthropologist, and he was not affectionate, at all, toward his son. (Fun side note: Last year, TVLine suggested that Hirsch play pops to Howard.)

Hirsch’s post-Taxi credits include Dear John, Numb3rs, Damages and Forever, plus episodes of The Goldbergs and Maron.

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  1. Scribe says:


  2. Linda says:

    That’s actually pretty good casting.

  3. laurelnev says:

    LOVE Judd, but he’d be more appropriately cast as Leonard’s Grandfather, especially considering he’s like 20 years older than Baranski.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      It’s a great casting, I don’t know what your talking about lol. So your saying he should be his grandfather cuz he looks “20 years” older? Under that logic, he would’ve had to have Leonard’s father when he was like 10, and Leonard’s father would have had Leonard when he was like 10. Lol

      • lrdslvrhnd says:

        He said 20 years older than BARANSKI, ie Leonard’s mother. (Although the actual difference is 18).
        I don’t find that age gap to be all that huge; my stepmother was 16 years younger than my dad. My sister is dating somebody 12 years older than her. Especially if Beverly is his second wife, 18 years is NBD… and that’s even assuming they play their actual ages.
        I can totally see Hirsch as Leonard’s father.

      • laurelnev says:

        I think you need a little help with your reading comprehension. I said nothing about looks. FACT: Hirsch is over 20 years older than Baranski. Baranski is middle-aged, and Hirsch is well into his golden years. And Baranski’s character would NEVER marry a man over 20 years her senior. Judd would be a good grandfather though…and an age appropriate casting in terms of the characters’ ages.

        And BTW…you’re means you are. Stay in school… Your means belonging to you.

        • She would marry anyone who would further her career criteria.

        • jj says:

          1. You aren’t the authority on the character. You can’t what the character would never do.
          2. The age difference between the actors is 17 years, not over 20 years as you keep insisting.
          3. Based on the actor’s ages, the issue is Christine. As an academic it is unlikely that she would have had children in her early 20s. Leonard’s sister was said to be 38 when Leonard hooked up with Priya so she’s in her 40s now. Based on Christine’s age, she is too young an academic mother of Leonard and his siblings. Consequently it’s reasonable to assume her character is older than the actress.

        • KCC says:

          If Leonard is 32 and his mother was 35 when he was born that would make her 67 now. IMO Hirsch would be believable playing someone that’s 70. That would only be a 3 year difference between them. Since you consider yourself an expert on the character of Beverly Hofstadter and her motivations for marriage, would that be an acceptable age difference?
          I think Judd Hirsch is an excellent casting choice. A fine actor fully capable of playing someone younger than his actual age. It’s not like he’s a 40 year old actor playing a 20 year old character. At worst, it’s an 81 year old actor playing a character that’s around 70.

        • NDFan says:

          Your FACT is incorrect, sorry. He is not “over 20 years older than Baranski”. He is 17 years older at 81. And let’s face it, he looks incredible and more like he’s 70 years old anyway. Makes sense to me.

        • Zerb says:

          “And Baranski’s character would NEVER marry a man over 20 years her senior.”

          Apparently she would.

    • rowan77 says:

      So what? You think it’s not possible that a woman in her 20’s would marry a man 17 years (not 20) her senior? It happens all the time. If the character were the same ages as the actors playing them (which they are not), Leonard’s mother would have been in her early 20’s when she had Leonard, so if she got married at 20, her husband would have been 37 years old at the time. BTW – I have a friend who was in her late 20’s when her father had his 80th birthday. For some people age doesn’t matter. Stop being ageist.

      • This opens up a reveal that Christine has deeply repressed “daddy issues,” which I find to be delightfully ripe for further exploration into her quirky character. God, this show needs some other things to mine as it has gotten increasingly repetitive and stale over the past couple of seasons.

  4. Bella says:

    Perfect! Would love to see a scene between Judd and Christine.

  5. N says:

    Love him in Dear John & Forever

  6. Howard White says:

    Great idea for Judd Hirsh to play Leonard’s Dad !

  7. ggny says:

    Was hoping for John Goodman

  8. Shar says:

    David Krumholtz or even better, Rob Morrow to play his never seen, more successful brother?

  9. Lyn says:

    While I lament the ending of Forever, I applaud Mr. Hirsch’s addition to TBBT, with 2 caveats. First is that Judd is 81 years old, a bit of a stretch to be Leonard’s father. I realize JG is 40 but isn’t playing 40 on the show. And speaking of stretches leads me to the second. Christine Baranski and JH are both tall which seems odd considering Galecki’s height.

    • Maria says:

      It’s a tv show. I’m not going to take the whole age thing too seriously. I’m just going to enjoy a good bit of casting. I’d much rather watch a very good actor (which Judd Hitsch is) who maybe doesn’t perfectly “look the part” than someone who looks the right age/height but can’t act worth a darn.

    • Zerb says:

      Since in reality some people are taller or shorter than both of their parents, usually because a grandparent is of a certain height, it can certainly happen in a scripted one.

    • i_kissed_a_trekkie says:

      Yes. Leonard is so short . How can both his parents be so tall?

  10. Rita says:

    I love that you are all “doing the math” on this, since it is Big Bang Theory. Either way I love the idea of Judd Hirsch as Leonard’s dad.

  11. Television says:

    Dear Big Bang Theory, could you please go back to being an outrageous hilarious comedy show and stop with the serious episodes where everyone is yelling? Or some emotional scene? I liked this show because it was a break from reality. I just want to have a good laugh again. Like when Sheldon was in the ball pit, bazinga. Sincerely, a fan of old seasons.

  12. KT says:

    This is cool. I sure miss him and “Forever.” Good casting!

  13. Brenda says:

    please, please, please don,t cancel Big Bang

    • its not canecelled its renewed for 10th season don’t knw how much longer its going to be on also considering the popularity it has i think it will be a while at least i hope so.

  14. i_kissed_a_trekkie says:

    He is tall. Johnny Galecki is like one of the shortest guys in Hollywood. How can Leonard’s parents , both be tall ? Does not make sense.

  15. awsome episode awesome castng also hope to see him as regular like baranski doen’t have to be on every episode and who cares about age certain age diffrences there just acting.