Philip Baker Hall

HBO's "Clear History" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Hall in 2013, photo by PrPhotos

Place of Birth: Toledo, Ohio, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 10, 1931

Ethnicity: English, some German and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, possibly some African-American

Philip Baker Hall is an American actor. His films include Secret Honor, Hard Eight, and Magnolia, among many others.

He is the son of Alice Birdene (McDonald) and William Alexander Hall, a factory worker, who was originally from Alabama. Philip is married to Holly Wolfle, and has four children.

Philip’s paternal grandfather was James Madison Hall (the son of William Baker Hall and Sarah Saniscah Johnson). James was born in Alabama. William was the son of Matthew Hall and Priscilla Jones. Sarah was the daughter of Elhanan Winchester Johnson and Frances Augusta Palmer.

Philip’s paternal grandmother was Hattie Lillis “Dimples” Dix (the daughter of Alexander/Albert Franklin Dix and Helen Lillis “Nellie” Beach). Hattie was born in Alabama, to New York-born parents. Alexander was a Baptist minister, and was the son of Daniel L. Dix and Dyanthia Butterfield. Helen was the daughter of William Beach and Susanna Roop.

Philip’s maternal grandfather was named Louis A. McDonald. Louis was born in Ashland, Mississippi, to a Tennessee-born father and a North Carolina-born mother. It appears that Louis was listed as “Black” on the 1880 U.S. Census, and possibly other records as well.

Philip’s maternal grandmother was Martha A. “Mattie” Williamson (the daughter of Noah Williamson and Sarah/Sallie Saunders). Martha was born in Indiana, to a father from Indiana and a mother from Kentucky.

Sources: Genealogy of Philip Baker Hall (focusing on his father’s side) –

Philip’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage records of Philip’s paternal great-grandparents, William Baker Hall and Sarah Saniscah Johnson –

Philp’s paternal grandmother, Hattie Lillis “Dimples” Dix, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Philip’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Death record of Philip’s maternal grandfather, Louis A. McDonald –

8 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    Philip’s maternal grandmother was Martha A. “Mattie” Williamson (the daughter of Noah Williamson and Sarah/Sallie Saunders). Martha was born in Indiana.

  2. andrew says:

    his patrilineal line traces back to Northern Ireland:

  3. follers says:

    I didn’t include it in his entry because I just wasn’t sure enough, but I believe Philip Baker Hall’s maternal grandfather, Louis A. McDonald, who was listed as “White” on the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses, was the same man who was listed as “Black” in 1880.

    • andrew says:

      Considering his facial features, it could be even be possible. About Tom Sizemore…what makes you think that?

    • madman says:

      Seems likely. The birthplace of Philip’s maternal grandfather an his parents are the same as those of the Louis on the 1880 census. Philip’s grandfather left his family in the 1910’s and went to Detroit, where he lived as a lodger on the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Assuming this is his death record, he died in december 1930 and was born in Ashland, Mississippi, which isn’t far from Hudsonville, Mississippi, where the black Louis McDonald lived.

      The divorce of Philip’s maternal grandparents might explain why little information is available about them.

    • andrew says:

      Didn’t he look a bit like Douglas Wilder?

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