Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Martin Milner

I have no complaints on any level. I'm pretty happy about the way everything has turned out. -Martin Milner
Martin Sam Milner
December 28, 1931 – September 6, 2015
On September 6, 2015, Martin Milner died of heart failure at his home in CarlsbadCalifornia at the age of 83.
Martin Milner was born on December 28, 1931 to film distributor Sam Gordon Milner and Paramount Theater circuit dancer Mildred E. "Jerre" Martin in DetroitMichigan, on December 28, 1931. The family left Detroit when he was very young, and moved frequently before settling in Seattle, by the time he was nine. It was in Seattle that he became involved in acting, first in school, and then in a children's theater group at the Cornish Playhouse.
When Milner was a teenager, he moved with his family to Los Angeles where his parents hired an acting coach and later an agent for the budding star. Milner had his first screen test and began his film career with his debut in the 1947 film Life with Father, in the role of John Day, the second oldest son of Clarence Day played by William Powell. Less than two weeks after filming for Life with Father ended in August 1946, Milner contracted poliomyelitis. He recovered within a year and had bit parts in two more films before graduating from North Hollywood High School in 1949. He immediately landed a minor role in the film Sands of Iwo Jima starringJohn Wayne. He also had a role in Richard Fleischer's Compulsion, featuring Orson Welles

It established him as an actor with the look of an innocent juvenile, which would serve him well for ten years. It was the first of several war films in which he would have both minor and major roles in the 1950s, including another John Wayne picture called Operation Pacific in 1951 and Mister Robertswith Henry FondaJames Cagney and Jack Lemmon in 1955. It was on the set of Halls of Montezuma in 1950 that he met and befriended actor Jack Webb. Soon thereafter, he began intermittent work on Webb's radio series Dragnet.
Milner attended the University of Southern California where he studied theater. He dropped out after a year in the fall of 1950 to concentrate on acting.[6] He made his first television appearance in 1950 as a guest star in episode 28 titled "Pay Dirt" on The Lone Ranger. That same year, he began a recurring role as "Drexel Potter" on the television sitcom The Stu Erwin Show.
In 1952, Milner began a two-year stint in the United States Army. He was assigned to Special Services at Fort Ord on California's Monterey Bay Peninsula, where he directedtraining films. He also emceed and performed in skits in a touring unit show to entertain the soldiers. Milner was encouraged by fellow soldier Clint Eastwood to pursue an acting career when his time in the Army ended. While in the Army, Milner continued working for Jack Webb, playing "Officer Bill Lockwood" (briefly the partner of "Sgt. Friday") and other characters on the Dragnet radio series on weekends. He also appeared on six episodes of Webb's Dragnet television series between 1952 and 1955.
After his military service ended, Milner had a recurring role on The Life of Riley from 1953 to 1958. He also made guest appearances on numerous television shows including episodes of The Bigelow TheatreThe Great GildersleeveTV Reader's DigestScience Fiction TheatreWestinghouse Desilu PlayhouseNBC Matinee TheaterThe West Point StoryThe Twilight Zone (episode: Mirror Image) and Rawhide. Milner also acted in films, the most notable of which are The Long Gray Line (1955), Mister Roberts(1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), as jazz guitarist Steve Dallas in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Compulsion (1959) and 13 Ghosts(1960).

In 1960, Milner won the role of Tod Stiles in CBS television series, Route 66, from 1960 to 1964. Created by Stirling SilliphantRoute 66 is essentially about two regular, but distinctly different young men in a car touring the United States. After the sudden death of his father left him unexpectedly penniless, Tod wandered the United States with his friend Buz Murdock (George Maharis) in Tod's Chevrolet Corvette, taking a variety of jobs and getting involved in other people's problems. Maharis was eventually replaced by Glenn Corbett as Linc Case, but Milner starred throughout the show's run. Since the show was filmed almost entirely on location, Milner spent nearly four years traveling the country, sometimes taking his wife and children along. 
Years before Adam-12, Milner appeared in numerous episodes of both the radio and television versions of the seminal Jack Webb seriesDragnet. Milner then became the star of Adam-12 (Milner had also worked with Webb in the 1950 film Halls of Montezuma and the 1955 film Pete Kelly's Blues.) This ongoing working relationship eventually led to the role for which Milner is best known
In 1968, Milner returned to television as seven-year LAPD veteran uniform patrol Officer Peter Joseph "Pete" Malloy in the Jack Webb-produced police drama, Adam-12Kent McCord played his partner, rookie Officer James A. "Jim" Reed. The popular NBC series ran from 1968 to 1975. Like Webb's Dragnet, it was based on real Los Angeles Police Department procedures and cases, and was hailed for its realistic, positive portrayal of ordinary police officers.
Milner was Webb's hands-down choice for "cop behind the wheel" Pete Malloy, in part because his relative youth and prior acting credits, and also (in Milner's words) because of his on-camera driving experience from his days on Route 66.
Milner guest starred in three episodes of Emergency! between 1972 and 1976, during and after Adam-12's run on NBC, the best known and first of which was the pilot episodeThe Wedsworth-Townsend Act.

After Adam-12 Martin Milner starred as Karl Robinson in a television series version of The Swiss Family Robinson (1975–1976), produced by Irwin Allen. Most of his following work was as a television guest star, most notably in action-adventure series MacGyver (as James MacGyver, MacGyver's father), AirwolfLife Goes On and RoboCop: The Series.
Milner also has the distinction of having portrayed the victim in the premiere episode of Columbo titled "Murder by the Book". In 1990, Milner re-teamed with Kent McCord, his co-star from Adam-12, in the cable TV-movie Nashville Beat (1990), originally shown on the now-defunct The Nashville Network. The story, partly written by Kent McCord, had McCord as an LAPD detective who teams up with his old partner, Milner, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1992, he guest starred on five episodes of ABC's Life Goes On.
After retiring from acting, Milner co-hosted a radio show about fishing called "Let's Talk Hook-Up" on XTRA 690.

Good Night  Mr. Milner

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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