Thursday, November 09, 2017

John Hillerman


John Benedict HillermanDecember 20, 1932 – November 9, 2017
John Hillerman died today at his home in Houston at the age of 84. He was in declining health with the cause of death remaining undisclosed.
Hillerman was born in Denison, Texas, the son of Christopher Benedict Hillerman, a gas station owner, and Lenora Joan (née Medlinger). His father was the grandson of immigrants from Germany and France. His mother was the daughter of immigrants from Austria and Germany.
When he was 10 years old, Hillerman developed an interest in opera; when he was 12, he took a train to see performances when Metropolitan Opera productions were presented in Dallas. Young Hillerman grew up in Denison and attended St. Xavier's Academy.
After graduation, he attended the University of Texas at Austin for three years, majoring in journalism.

In 1953, Hillerman joined the United States Air Force, working in maintenance in a B-36 wing of the Strategic Air Command. He served for four years and achieved the rank of Sergeant. During his years of military service, he worked with various theatrical groups. He said of his early work with a Fort Worth community theater group: "I was bored with barracks life. I got into it to meet people in town. A light went on." On his discharge he moved to New York City to study at the American Theatre Wing. In 1957, he began his career in professional theater.

had "more than 100 leading roles on and off Broadway". He appeared on Broadway in 1959 in both King Henry IV, Part II and The Great God Brown and worked in live performances in a variety of venues before making his motion picture debut in 1970.
Hillerman had roles in 20 films, including The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up, Doc? (1972), High Plains Drifter (1973), Paper Moon (1973), Blazing Saddles (1974), and Chinatown (1974). His other roles include Lucky Lady (1975), At Long Last Love (1975), and a small appearance in the comedy film Up the Creek (1984).

was probably best remembered for his role as former British Army Sergeant Major Jonathan Quayle Higgins III ("Higgins") on the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980–88). Hillerman learned to speak with the English accent of Higgins as "he spent most of his days listening to a recorded Lawrence Olivier recite 'Hamlet.'" He had acted as Magnum's foil and often used Higgins's catchphrase, "Oh my God!" whenever Magnum did something Hillerman's character would probably call, "Utterly ridiculous and stupid!" In 1975, Hillerman was a co-star in Ellery Queen as Simon Brimmer, a radio detective who hosted a live radio show and tried to outsmart Ellery Queen (Jim Hutton). From 1976 to 1980, he had a recurring role as Mr. Conners on the television series One Day at a Time and he co-starred as Betty White's estranged husband on The Betty White Show (1977-1978).
In 1982, Hillerman played in the television pilot of Tales of the Gold Monkey, where he played a German villain by the name of "Fritz the Monocle".
In 1984, he hosted the David Hemmings-directed puzzle video Money Hunt: The Mystery of the Missing Link. In 1990, Hillerman returned to television to perform for one season as Lloyd Hogan in the series The Hogan Family. That same year, Hillerman portrayed Dr Watson to Edward Woodward's Sherlock Holmes in Hands of a Murderer.
In 1993, he appeared in Berlin Break for one season. He played the role of Mac Mackenzie, a former spy and currently the proprietor of "Mac's", a bar in West Berlinconsidered to be neutral territory during the Cold War. He teamed up with two jobless spies as investigators: Valentin Renko (Nicholas Clay), an ex-KGB agent, and Willy Richter (Kai Wulff), an ex-BND (West German secret service) operative. The show reunited him with Jeff MacKay, who portrayed "Mac" MacReynolds in Magnum P.I..

retired in 1999, and resided in his home state of Texas. Since 2010 until his death, he relied on a mobility scooter to get around.


Good Night Mr. Hillerman 

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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