Kenneth McMillan (actor)
July 2, 1932|
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
|Died||January 8, 1989
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Kenneth McMillan (July 2, 1932 – January 8, 1989) was an American actor. McMillan was usually cast as gruff, hostile and unfriendly characters due to his rough image. However, he was cast in some lighter roles that highlighted his more benign side.
McMillan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Margaret and Harry McMillan, a truck driver. Prior to becoming an actor, McMillan was employed at Gimbels Department Store first as a salesman, then as a section manager, and then a floor superintendent managing three floors. At age 30 McMillan decided to pursue an acting career. He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and took acting lessons from Uta Hagen and Irene Dailey. He was married to Kathryn McDonald (20 June 1969 - 8 January 1989) (his death) with whom he had one child, actress Alison McMillan.
McMillan made his film debut at age 41 with a small role in Sidney Lumet's police drama Serpico. The actor played a borough commander in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, but often was cast as characters such as a cowardly small town sheriff in Tobe Hooper's 1979 TV mini-series Salem's Lot, a similar law enforcement officer in the 1987 Burt Reynolds film Malone, William Hurt's bitter paraplegic father in Eyewitness, a wily safe cracker in The Pope of Greenwich Village and a racist fire chief in Ragtime who is memorably told off by the New York police commissioner, James Cagney.
He portrayed the vile and grotesquely obese Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune, the pathetic drunken pop of Aidan Quinn in Reckless and a sleazy high roller gambler in "The Ledge," an episode of the horror anthology film Cat's Eye. Yet he did sometimes end up on the right side of the law, playing Robert Duvall's detective partner in True Confessions and a judge who must rule whether Richard Dreyfuss has the right to die in Whose Life Is It Anyway?.
McMillan was also adept at comedy, giving performances as a baseball club manager in Blue Skies Again, Meg Ryan's corrupt security guard captain dad in Armed and Dangerous and a dotty senile veterinarian in Three Fugitives.
McMillan had a recurring role as Valerie Harper's irate boss Jack Doyle on the TV sitcom "Rhoda." Among the TV shows McMillan did guest spots on are Dark Shadows, Ryan's Hope, as a 53rd precinct lieutenant on Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, Moonlighting, Lou Grant, Magnum, P.I. and Murder, She Wrote.
Outside of his film and TV credits, McMillan also frequently performed on stage at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He acted in the original Broadway productions of Streamers and American Buffalo. He won an Obie for his performance in the Off-Broadway play Weekends Like Other People.
- Serpico (1973; uncredited)
- The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
- The Stepford Wives (1975)
- Dog Day Afternoon (1975; uncredited)
- Girlfriends (1978)
- Bloodbrothers (1978)
- Oliver's Story (1978)
- Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979)
- Little Miss Marker (1980)
- Hide in Plain Sight (1980)
- The Hustler of Muscle Beach (1980; TV)
- Carny (1980)
- Borderline (1980)
- Eyewitness (1981)
- True Confessions (1981)
- Ragtime (1981)
- Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)
- Heartbeeps (1981)
- Partners (1982)
- Blue Skies Again (1983)
- Reckless (1984)
- The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)
- Amadeus (1984; 2002 Director's Cut only)
- Dune (1984)
- Protocol (1984)
- Cat's Eye (1985)
- Runaway Train (1985)
- Armed and Dangerous (1986)
- Malone (1987)
- Three Fugitives (1989)
- Kenneth McMillan Biography (1932-)
- Collins, Glenn (January 10, 1989). "Kenneth McMillan, 56, Actor In Numerous Stage and Film Roles". New York Times.
- Kenneth McMillan, 56, Actor In Numerous Stage and Film Roles