Phil Fish

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Detective Phil Fish was a fictional police officer in the TV series Barney Miller and later spun-off into his own series.[1] He was played by Abe Vigoda.[2]

Fish was an odd character for a television detective: aged, grumpy, and suffering from a variety of maladies for which he constantly needed medication. The most recurring malady was inflamed hemorrhoids where he would bring a donut cushion to his desk chair. The detectives' bathroom was as important to him as his desk.

Fish's wife was Bernice, played by Florence Stanley, who made occasional visits to the squad room and whose name the aging Fish once forgot during breakfast.[3]

After retiring from the 12th precinct, the character of Fish became the center of his own series, Fish, in which he and his wife served as foster parents for a number of troubled children, referred to euphemistically as PINS, or "persons in need of supervision".[4]

His successor at the precinct was Det. Arthur P. Dietrich. Fish visited the 12th precinct once more after his retirement from the force and the end of the series Fish (in the episode "Lady and the Bomb"), but it proved to be a bit of a let-down for him.


  1. ^ Witbeck, Charles (February 4, 1977). "Fish Gets A Show Of His Own". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL). p. 7D. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ Garson, Bob (June 7, 1975). "The Law Takes Time Out to Be Human on ABC's Barney Miller". St. Joseph News-Press. p. S2. Retrieved March 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ Stoehr, Chris (February 4, 1977). "'Fish' Star Abe Vigoda Not Ready for a Cadillac Yet". Milwaukee Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI). p. C2. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ Sharbutt, Jay (February 4, 1977). "Vigoda makes 'Fish' a hit". The Free Lance–Star (Fredericksburg, VA). Associated Press. p. 18. Retrieved March 24, 2012.