Dick Miller

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For the American basketball player, see Dick Miller (basketball).
Dick Miller
Dick Miller as Walter Paisley.png
Miller in A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Born Richard Miller
(1928-12-25) December 25, 1928 (age 85)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1955–present

Richard "Dick" Miller (born December 25, 1928) is an American character actor who has appeared in over 100 films, particularly those produced by Roger Corman, and later in films of directors who started their careers with Corman, including James Cameron and Joe Dante, with the distinction of appearing in almost every film made by Dante. Miller's main roles have been in films such as Gremlins, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Explorers, Piranha, The Howling, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, Chopping Mall, Night of the Creeps, The Terminator, The 'Burbs, Pulp Fiction and Small Soldiers.

Life and career[edit]

Miller was born in The Bronx, New York and attended the City College of New York as well as Columbia University.[1] He performed on Broadway and also worked at the Bellevue Hospital Mental Hygiene Clinic and the psychiatric department of Queens General Hospital.[1] In 1952, he moved to California seeking work as a writer. One of his earliest acting roles was in Apache Woman (1955). He played one of the town's people and also a separate role as an Indian. In an action scene his town person character shot his Indian character, as related in the documentary Corman's World.

Richard Miller is also credited for being in a Sega CD video game called Prize Fighter in which he plays the role of a corner man for the main character.

His roles in movies include White Line Fever, The Terminator, All The Right Moves, Night of the Creeps, Small Soldiers, It Conquered the World, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, the Tales from the Crypt movie Demon Knight, Amazon Women on the Moon, Chopping Mall, The Howling, Piranha and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. His best known role was in the movies Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch as Murray Futterman. He appeared in Pulp Fiction as Monster Joe, but his scene and a few others were deleted because of the length of the film. He also appeared in Rod Stewart's music video for the song "Infatuation" in 1984, with Mike Mazurki and Kay Lenz.

His television credits include V: The Final Battle as Dan Pascal, and appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the season 1 episode "The Big Goodbye" as the newspaper stand man in the holodeck, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the season 3 two-part episode "Past Tense" as Vin, Time of Your Life, as a prison guard in Soap (1979) and he voiced the gangster Chuckie Sol in the animated feature film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Miller has also directed television shows, including "The Fix" a 1986 episode of the series Miami Vice.

In 2000, Miller was featured alongside former collaborators including Roger Corman, Sam Arkoff and Peter Bogdanovich in the documentary SCHLOCK! The Secret History of American Movies, a film about the rise and fall of American exploitation cinema.[2]

Walter Paisley[edit]

Miller has portrayed several fictional characters named Walter Paisley. As Miller notes, "I've played Walter Paisley five times now, I think."[3] As of 2011, the character name has actually appeared seven times on film and once in a theatrical production, with Miller providing six of these portrayals.

The name first appeared in the Roger Corman film A Bucket of Blood. In that film, Paisley is a busboy who becomes an artist of sorts by killing his subjects and covering them in clay.[4] In 1976, Miller once again played a character named Walter Paisley—this time a talent agent—in another Corman production, Hollywood Boulevard, directed by Allan Arkush and Joe Dante.

Dante cast Miller as another character named Walter Paisley in the 1981 film The Howling.[5] This time, Paisley is the owner of an occult bookshop. Two years later, the name popped up again for another Miller character, the owner of a diner in the third segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie.[6] 1986's Chopping Mall featured a janitor named Walter Paisley, and the 1994 made-for-TV remake of Shake, Rattle and Rock! had Miller playing a character named Officer Paisley.

Additionally, two other actors have portrayed the A Bucket of Blood character. Anthony Michael Hall played the character in the 1995 television remake, while James Stanton portrayed the character in a musical produced by Chicago's Annoyance Theatre.

Partial filmography[edit]

Year Films Role Director Notes
1956 It Conquered the World First Sergeant Roger Corman
1959 A Bucket of Blood Walter Paisley
1960 The Little Shop of Horrors Burson Fouch
1963 The Terror Stefan
X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes Heckler Uncredited
1966 The Wild Angels Rigger
1967 The Dirty Dozen MP at Hanging Robert Aldrich Uncredited
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Gangster Dressed as a Cop Roger Corman Uncredited
The Trip Cash
1974 Summer School Teachers Sam Barbara Peeters
1975 Capone Joe Pryor Steve Carver
White Line Fever Birdie Jonathan Kaplan
1977 New York, New York Palm Club Owner Martin Scorsese
1978 I Wanna Hold Your Hand Sergeant Brenner Robert Zemeckis
Piranha Buck Gardner Joe Dante
1979 Rock and Roll High School Police Chief Allan Arkush
1941 Officer Miller Steven Spielberg
1980 Used Cars Man in Bed Robert Zemeckis
1981 The Howling Walter Paisley Joe Dante
1983 All the Right Moves Teacher in Auditorium Michael Chapman
Twilight Zone: The Movie Bar Owner Joe Dante Segment: "It's a Good Life"
1984 Gremlins Murray Futterman
The Terminator Pawn Shop Clerk James Cameron
1985 Explorers Charlie Drake Joe Dante
After Hours Diner Waiter (Pete) Martin Scorsese
1986 Night of the Creeps Walt Fred Dekker
Armed Response Steve Fred Olen Ray
Chopping Mall Walter Paisley Jim Wynorski
1987 Amazon Women on the Moon Danny Clayton Joe Dante
Carl Gottlieb
Peter Horton
John Landis
Robert K. Weiss
Innerspace Cab Driver Joe Dante
1988 Dead Heat Cemetery Security Guard Mark Goldblatt Uncredited
1989 The 'Burbs Vic the Garbage Man Joe Dante
1990 Gremlins 2: The New Batch Murray Futterman
Mob Boss Mike Fred Olen Ray
1992 Evil Toons Burt
1993 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Chuckie Sol Eric Radomski Voice Only
Bruce Timm
Matinee Herb Denning Joe Dante
Fallen Angels - "I'll Be Waiting" Carl Tom Hanks
Fallen Angels - "Since I Don't Have You" Morris Hornbeck Jonathan Kaplan
1994 Pulp Fiction Monster Joe Quentin Tarantino Deleted Scene
1995 Demon Knight Uncle Willy Ernest R. Dickerson
Gilbert Adler
1998 Small Soldiers Joe Joe Dante
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action Security Guard
2009 The Hole Pizza Delivery Guy Uncredited
2014 That Guy Dick Miller Himself Documentary

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dick Miller Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  2. ^ Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001) at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Alan Frank, The Films of Roger Corman: ‘shooting My Way Out of Trouble’ (BT Batsford, 1998), [1].
  4. ^ David J. Hogan, Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film (McFarland, 1997), 221.
  5. ^ Reynold Humphries, The American Horror Film: An Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2002), 133.
  6. ^ John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1980s (McFarland & Co., 2007), 364.

External links[edit]