Veteran Actor Dick Miller Dies at 90
Hey, just what you see, pal!
The prolific character actor, who had a six-decade career and starred in more than 175 movies and made 2,000 TV appearances, has died of natural causes, aged 90.His passing was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by a family spokesperson and followed a month after his 90th birthday party. He leaves behind his wife Lainie, daughter Barbara and grand-daughter Autumn.
Perhaps best known amongst movie fans of a certain age for a streak of films made in the eighties: The Howling, Gremlins (1&2), The ‘Burbs, Innerspace, After Hours, Night of The Creeps and, memorably, as the unfortunate pawn shop owner who inadvisedly tells Arnie ‘ You can’t do that!’ in The Terminator.
Born in the New York on Christmas Day in 1928, Richard ‘Dick’ Miller served in the U.S. Navy and earned a prize title as a middleweight boxer. He then attended the City College of New York and Columbia University and began his acting career performing on Broadway between stints of work in local hospital psychiatric clinics.
He moved out to California in 1952 where he commenced his film and TV vocation in earnest after being spotted by Roger Corman who began casting him in ‘unsavoury’’ roles.
Although well known for his working relationships with Corman and director Joe Dante, he also worked with a wealth of cinema’s greatest names including James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and John Sayles. His roles encompassed the sixties (Not of This Earth, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Dirty Dozen, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre), seventies (Death Race 2000), the aforementioned eighties and on into the nineties (Matinee, Tales From The Crypt: Demons Knight)
As well as film, Miller also graced the small screen in a huge number turns in prime time TV which featured such fan favourites as Police Squad, Moonlighting and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Though never in the top tier of the cast list, his presence in many fondly recalled films, and a handful of classics, ensures that his grouchy twinkle and gravelly drawl will be well remembered and much missed.
What are your favourite Dick Miller roles/movies and what was it that he brought to the screen that appealed so much? Let others know in the discussion thread.
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