How Howard Hamlin comes dressed to kill on ‘Better Call Saul’



Ask Patrick Fabian if he gets recognized more often in public as a result of the popularity of his Monday AMC dramedy “Better Call Saul” and you’ll get a laugh.

“I do. I always kind of have,” the 52-year-old Pittsburgh-area native says. “One, because I kind of look like that guy that went to high school with you, in a way. And then also because I’ve sort of littered people’s televisions for the last 20 years.”

Indeed, a look at Fabian’s IMDb page reveals a working actor whose career stretches back to the early ’90s, from roles in series such as “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” to parts in current shows such as “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Elementary” and of course, his regular gig as HHM law partner Howard Hamlin in “Saul” (which has its third season finale this Monday, June 19).

For Fabian, playing the driven Howard has turned out to be a dream job, not only because of the fine writing on the series and the fact that he’s working for two of the industry’s most respected executive producers in Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, but also because it puts him into some mighty fine threads.

“(Costume designer) Jennifer Bryan puts me in these beautiful suits which I am pretty sure cost more than my salary on the show,” he says. “Honest to God, if you put yourself in one you’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m never taking this off.’ ”

“I remember this – this is such an actor thing – it’s the beginning of the whole show,” he continues, “and … you’re getting fitted and all this stuff and you’re half paying attention. You’re excited, you’re blinded by all the fun, and Jennifer Bryan’s like, ‘I’m sorry, your shirts aren’t ready yet.’ And I immediately go to the actor’s self-deprecation, like, ‘Well of course my shirts aren’t ready. I’m only number five on the call sheet. They going to kill me anyways. I guess Sears wasn’t open on Sunday.’ You know?

“And the next part of her sentence was, ‘They’re finished selling them in Genoa.’ ” he says. “They’re hand-made in Italy.”


Name: Patrick Fabian

Birth date: Dec. 7, 1964

Birthplace: Pittsburgh

Education: Bachelor’s in performance from Penn State; Master’s in performance from Cal State-Long Beach

Family: Lives in Los Angeles with wife Mandy, two daughters and two dogs

TV credits include: “Bodies of Evidence,” “Silk Stalkings,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Melrose Place,” “Boston Common,” “Townies,” “Mr. Rhodes,” “Star Trek Voyager,” “General Hospital,” “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Timecop,” “Friends,” “Dharma & Greg,” “Arli$$,” “Time of Your Life,” “Nash Bridges,” “The Education of Max Bickford,” “Providence,” “Without a Trace,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Just Shoot Me!,” “Crossing Jordan,” “24,” “Will & Grace,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “Everwood,” “CSI: Miami,” “Reba,” “Ugly Betty,” “Veronica Mars,” “Pushing Daisies,” “NCIS,” “Bones,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Criminal Minds,” “Scorpion,” “Grimm”

Movie credits include: “For Love and Glory” (TV, 1993), “Weapons of Mass Distraction” (TV, 1997), “Helter Skelter” (TV, 2004), “Must Love Dogs” (2005), “The Last Exorcism” (2010), “Tales of Everyday Magic” (2012), “Killing Vivian” (2013)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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