Wednesday, November 15, 2017

John Hillerman, 1932-2017 R.I.P.

I must say, I absolutely love this photo of John Hillerman!

Emmy-winning actor John Hillerman, best known for playing Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum P.I. from 1980-1988, has died at the age of eighty-four, after being in declining health for the last few years.

I only saw two or three episodes of the popular show Hillerman is most associated with. I had first seen him in his recurring role as radio detective Simon Brimmer, in Ellery Queen (1975-1976). It wasn't until a couple of years later that I saw him as Howard Johnson in 1974's Blazing Saddles.

I also enjoyed Hillerman's role of John Elliot, Betty White's ex-husband on the short-lived (fourteen episdoes!) sitcom, The Betty White Show (1977-1978).

Hillerman appeared in several other movie and TV roles during a career of approximately forty years, of course, but I'm only mentioning a few for lack of time. (Besides, I've given you all a lot of lengthy posts lately!)

 With Jim Hutton in a scene from Ellery Queen.

Higgins on Magnum, P.I. was British, but Hillerman (pictured here
with "Magnum" himself, Tom Selleck) was born and raised in Texas!

Hillerman usually appeared with a mustache, but he's lacking one
here in an appearance on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman!

 For a time, Hillerman advertised Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts.

With co-star Betty White on her 1977-1978 sitcom.

 With David Huddleston and Cleavon Little in Mel Brooks' classic comedy, Blazing Saddles.

Hillerman sometime well after his 1999 retirement.

(I will probably have another "Comical Wednesday" post one week from today!)

Thanks for your time.

14 comments:

  1. This isn't an actor I remember, I'm afraid. Although I did see Blazing Saddles all those years ago!

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    Replies
    1. I must admit, he played many parts and I only saw him in a few... but I enjoyed his work.

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  2. Only thing I ever saw him in was Blazing Saddles that I can recall.

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    Replies
    1. I mostly saw him in some of his lesser-known stuff.

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  3. I never watched Magnum P.I. and don't remember him from Blazing Saddles, but I know I saw him on commercials and other shows. He had a distinctive voice.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Yes, quite unique.

      In Blazing Saddles, Hillerman played ice cream parlor owner Howard Johnson, whose establishment boasted of having one flavor. As the official town greeter, he gave the welcoming speech for black sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), who came into view as Johnson was saying "It is my privilege to extend the laurel and hearty handshake to our new... n****r."

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  4. I enjoyed his performances every time I saw him.

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  5. I enjoyed him in Blazing Saddles and Magnum, P.I., too. He was one of those actors who was effective by being understated. I just watched Blazing Saddles recently and always laugh a the laurel . . . and hearty handshake.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder how many people get the "laurel and hearty" joke. Probably a lot fewer today than when Blazing Saddles came out in 1974.

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    2. I've wondered the same. And if you have to explain it, it's never as funny.

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  6. I remember this guy I loved Magnum!!

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    Replies
    1. He was very memorable, no matter what role he was playing.

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