Robert David Hall Trades Death for Birth on This Week’s ‘CSI’

Robert David Hall CBS photo by Andrew MacPherson

With its final episode of this season just about to go into production, the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is “like a battleship cruising through the ocean.  We still seem to have full steam.”  At least, that is the opinion of the show’s Robert David Hall.  And he’s certainly not alone, as “CSI” continues to be a strong ratings performer in its 11th year, and is listed among the formidable TVByTheNumbers’ Renew/Cancel Index as Certain to Be Renewed for the 2011-2012 season.

“We recently did our 250th episode and had a little party on set.  Billy Peterson came to visit us,” he adds, referring to the former “CSI” star.  “They took pictures, cut a cake.  The executives came out, and the crew…We were all shaking our heads, like, ‘250 episodes?'”

For Hall, this week’s (4/7) episode, penned by show creator Anthony Zuiker, offered a rare chance to get his medical examiner character, Doc Robbins, out of the lab — and then some.  “After all these years of dealing with death, I actually got to deliver a baby,” Hall says.  But, this being “CSI,” you know it’s not going to be a balloons-in-the-maternity ward kind of occasion.  In fact, the young mother has just committed suicide.

“Dr. Robbins acts very quickly, to deliver the baby right there…It’s based on something that really happened with Daniel Holstein, a pathologist who is an advisor and sometimes writer on the show.  There was a situation just like this in Los Angeles,” says Hall, who shares the segment with George Eads.  “At the end of the scene I’m actually holding a live baby.  Acting is one thing, but holding an infant in a scene is a great responsibility,” says Hall, whose own son is grown.

MEANWHILE:  Next up for Hall is a return to focusing on his infectious, Americana-style music.  He has two local gigs this weekend, and musician pals, including his “Things They Don’t Teach You in School” album producer, Chris Wall, in from Austin, Texas.  Hall, who lost his brother Steven to liver cancer just over a week ago, is especially valuing having good work and good friends right now.  The actor told us last year that it was Steven’s encouragement, and his corageous battle against the disease, that motivated him to finally get out and pursue his life-long dreams of music-making.  As he notes, “It’s so important to honor your dreams.”