On a personal note: I had to interview Patinkin from home; a challenge with a (darling) 6-month-old on my lap. Hearing a squawk or two from my end of the line, Patinkin asked.

Horribly embarrassed, I apologized for having a baby around while in a professional context and he boomed back at me, "Don't ever, EVER apologize! Kids are the best part — just the best part."

He is a father of two grown sons. "I miss them terribly. They're 25 and 21 years old, and I miss them. My wife and I just walk around this empty house." He mentioned that's one of the reasons he's been working so hard — to distract himself.

"I miss their presence, I miss being needed for everything. I mean they're men, and it's great they're living life, and it's thrilling, but it's really an adjustment."

"I always tell my friends, 'enjoy it!' Just enjoy it and don't ever wish the time away."

He went on to give me a few parenting tips about teething (get a corner of a wash cloth wet and toss it in the freezer — they like the wet part and their little hands don't get cold while holding it) and congratulated me numerous times on having a beautiful baby to enjoy.