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Thread: John Hillerman (aka Higgens) Died

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    John Hillerman (aka Higgens) Died

    John Hillerman, Snooty Sidekick on ‘Magnum, P.I.,’ Dies at 84

    By MATTHEW HAAGNOV. 9, 2017

    John Hillerman, left, with Tom Selleck on the set of “Magnum, P.I.” Credit CBS, via Photofest

    John Hillerman, the Texas-born actor who played a likably snobbish British caretaker on the hit television show “Magnum, P.I.” and had supporting roles in celebrated 1970s movies like “Chinatown” and “Blazing Saddles,” died on Thursday at his home in Houston. He was 84.

    His publicist, Lori De Waal, confirmed his death. She did not specify the cause.

    After 30 years of acting on Broadway and in Hollywood, Mr. Hillerman landed a career-defining role in 1980 as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, the stuffy perfectionist and foil to the free-spirited detective Thomas Magnum, played by Tom Selleck, on the CBS series “Magnum, P.I.” Higgins, the haughty major-domo of the beachfront property where Magnum lived, was grouchy with a sarcastic wit, not unlike the detective Mr. Hillerman had played on the mid-1970s show “Ellery Queen.”

    “Magnum, P.I.” became a runaway success and ran for eight years. It made Mr. Selleck a star and a tabloid mainstay, solidifying his Hollywood career. But Mr. Hillerman found his supporting role equally rewarding.

    “It isn’t so long ago that I was a struggling actor living in New York,” Mr. Hillerman said in a 1985 interview as he sipped a glass of wine on his penthouse balcony in Honolulu, “and the only thing I could overlook was my rent.”

    His portrayal of Higgins won him an Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a drama, a Golden Globe Award and many fans in England, who adored his character. Mr. Hillerman said he felt terrible when he responded to their fan mail and had to let them down.
    Continue reading the main story

    “I hate to disappoint you,” he said he would reply, “but I’m a hick from Texas.”


    John Benedict Hillerman was born on Dec. 20, 1932, in Denison, Tex., about 60 miles north of Dallas, to Christopher and Lenora Hillerman. He was the middle child of three and the only boy. He is survived by his sister Jo Ann Tritico.

    He displayed independence at a young age. By age 12 he was driving by himself, and within a few years he was traveling to Dallas to see operas and staying alone in hotels.

    But he did not at first see himself onstage. It was not until he was stationed in Fort Worth with the Air Force that he decided to audition for a community theater production of “Death of a Salesman.”

    “When I stepped onstage, I experienced the greatest high I’ve ever had in my life,” he recounted in a 1987 interview. “And I said to myself, ‘Hillerman, until this moment, you have been bored.’ ”

    He had found his passion. Before he left the Air Force, he had appeared in nearly two dozen plays. He moved to the East Coast and, during 11 years in New York and then four in Washington, he had more than 100 stage roles. But after all those years, he had only $700 in the bank and decided to move to Los Angeles to find better-paying work.

    He instantly landed a role in a TV movie but struggled for two years after that to find something else. He eventually reconnected with a friend from New York, the director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast Mr. Hillerman in a number of his films, including “The Last Picture Show” (1971) and “Paper Moon” (1973).

    Through the late 1970s, Mr. Hillerman appeared frequently on TV. He played Simon Brimmer, a rival sleuth to the title character, on “Ellery Queen,” and John Elliot, the sarcastic ex-husband of Betty White’s character, on “The Betty White Show.” He also played the boss of Ann Romano (played by Bonnie Franklin) on “One Day at a Time.’’

    The role that changed his life came shortly after that. Mr. Selleck had been cast in “Magnum, P.I.,” but CBS was not impressed with the English actors who auditioned for the role of Higgins. As Mr. Hillerman recounted in 1984, Mr. Selleck’s agent recommended him, and he was offered the role two hours after the audition.

    “It’s the best gig I’ve ever had,” he said that year. “You’re looking at this rare thing: a happy actor.”
    Correction: November 10, 2017

    An earlier version of this obituary misstated the year of Mr. Hillerman’s birth. He was born on Dec. 20, 1932, not 1922. (As the obituary correctly noted, he was 84.)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/o...ies-at-84.html
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    I forget he was also in Blazing Saddles:

  3. Thanked Nickdfresh for this KICKASS post:

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    No one cares about your ghey 80's shows.



    Here we see how 80's America would allow a diseased, filthy, sociopathic ALIEN into their household but not a black person - unless they were a serial rapist in a sweater
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    Alf was awesome!

    We let Fred Sanford and George Jefferson in too, dumbass.
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    And Florida Evans!
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    I used to watch the show as a young guy, and tried to watch it from the start not long ago, but just couldn't get into it again, funny how some shows you can re-watch, and others, its just 'meh'......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    Alf was awesome!
    Alf was cool, and wanted to bang the teen chick, but the rest of the cast was terrible.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bug View Post
    I used to watch the show as a young guy, and tried to watch it from the start not long ago, but just couldn't get into it again, funny how some shows you can re-watch, and others, its just 'meh'......
    It was very much of its time.

    Like, the idea and the image of it was kind of cool, but it was definitely one of those "seen one episode, seen 'em all" shows. You never hear anybody taking about a specific Magnum P.I. episode or anything along those lines.

    I always liked the theme song a bit better than the show, truth be told.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    Alf was awesome!

    We let Fred Sanford and George Jefferson in too, dumbass.
    Don't forget JJ, muthafucka!!


    DY-NO-MIIIIIIIITE!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    Alf was awesome!

    We let Fred Sanford and George Jefferson in too, dumbass.
    That was the 70's dumbass.

    ALF was Reagan 80's white America.

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    The Jeffersons was 1975-1985, you retarded fake social worker.

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    90's drama is where it was at, dumbasses


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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Halen View Post
    The Jeffersons was 1975-1985, you retarded fake social worker.
    Socialologist, dumbass.

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    Jesus fucking Christ

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