Times Daily
January 9, 1987

   Linn-Baker's Popularity Soaring
With Latest Role

Written by Toni Reinhold

When "Perfect Strangers" made its debut on ABC in early 1986, two things were perfectly clear: The show had hit potential and TV had two potential new stars.

One new star was Bronson Pinchot.  And the other new star was a New York-based actor with roots in the theater.  In fact, Mark Linn-Baker, 32, had made an impression on audiences before the series through commercials and films.

A graduate of Yale, he says he took the plunge into commercials because of "a desperate search for means of financial support."

"I have been doing professional theater for the last 12 years," Linn-Baker says.  "That's really my first love.  But it's not a big paycheck even if you're lucky enough to work constantly, which I have been lucky enough to do.  Television, films and commercials are a little more rewarding.

"Most people either know me from my stage work or the film 'My Favorite Year,'" continues Linn-Baker.  "I also appeared in Woody Allen's 'Manhattan,' which is actually the first film I did.  But commercials are totally new to me.  I never did them until a few months ago.  My agent said, "Mark, if you're interested we could get you some commercial work.'  I'd been working for a long time and concentrating on the theater and it seemed like a nice way to supplement theater."

As commercial work found Linn-Baker, so did "Perfect Strangers."

"The producers called my agent," he says.  "They had Bronson Pinchot playing an immigrant and they were looking for the other half of the show.  They knew my work and wanted to know if I was interested."