||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2012)|
Milner as Karl Robinson from The Swiss Family Robinson (1975 TV series)
|Born||Martin Sam Milner
December 28, 1931
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Other names||Marty Milner|
|Education||North Hollywood High School|
|Alma mater||San Fernando Valley State College
University of Southern California
|Spouse(s)||Judith Bess "Judy" Jones (m. 1957)|
Martin Sam Milner (born December 28, 1931) is a retired American film, stage, radio, and television actor. Milner is best known for his performances in two popular television series: Route 66, which aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, and Adam-12, which aired on NBC from 1968 to 1975.
Milner was born to film distributor Sam Gordon Milner and Paramount Theater circuit dancer Mildred E. "Jerre" Martin in Detroit, Michigan, on December 28, 1931 (some sources state 1927). 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 polio. 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 starring John Wayne. 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. 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. His first major acting appearance was in the 1947 movie, Life with Father, where he played the second oldest son John Day. He made his first television appearance in 1950 as a guest star in episode 29 entitled "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 directed training 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 Theatre, The Great Gildersleeve, TV Reader's Digest, Science Fiction Theatre, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Matinee Theater, The West Point Story, The 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 Silliphant, Route 66 is essentially about two regular guys 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 bringing 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 series Dragnet. (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-12. Kent 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.
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 other work since then has been as a television guest star, most notably in action-adventure series MacGyver (as James MacGyver, MacGyver's father), Airwolf, Life Goes On, and RoboCop: The Series.
Milner also has the distinction of having portrayed the victim in the premiere episode of Columbo entitled "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.
In May 1956, he met singer and actress Judith Bess "Judy" Jones at a Hollywood dinner party, and asked for her phone number. They were married on February 23, 1957, in Waukegan, Illinois. They had four children together: Amy, Molly, Stuart and Andrew. In February 2003, Milner's eldest daughter Amy was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Amy died of the disease in December 2004. In his retirement, Milner is the owner of a productive California walnut farm.
|1947||Life with Father||John Day|
|1948||The Wreck of the Hesperus||Nathaniel||Uncredited|
|1949||Sands of Iwo Jima||Pvt. Mike McHugh|
|1950||Our Very Own||Bert|
|1951||Halls of Montezuma||Whitney|
|1951||Operation Pacific||Ens. Caldwell|
|1951||Fighting Coast Guard||Al Prescott|
|1951||I Want You||George Kress Jr.|
|1952||The Captive City||Phil Harding|
|1952||Belles on Their Toes||Al Lynch|
|1952||My Wife's Best Friend||Buddy Chamberlain|
|1952||Springfield Rifle||Pvt. Olie Larsen|
|1952||Torpedo Alley||Undetermined Role||Unconfirmed/uncredited|
|1953||Last of the Comanches||Billy Creel|
|1953||Destination Gobi||Elwood Halsey|
|1954||Dial M for Murder||Policeman Outside Wendice Flat||Uncredited|
|1955||The Long Gray Line||Jim O'Carberry||Uncredited|
|1955||Mister Roberts||Shore Patrol Officer|
|1955||Pete Kelly's Blues||Joey Firestone|
|1955||Francis in the Navy||W.T. 'Rick' Rickson|
|1956||On the Threshold of Space||Lt. Mort Glenn|
|1956||Screaming Eagles||Pvt. Corliss|
|1956||Pillars of the Sky||Waco|
|1957||Man Afraid||Shep Hamilton|
|1957||Desk Set||Bit Part||Uncredited|
|1957||Gunfight at the O.K. Corral||James Earp|
|1957||Sweet Smell of Success||Steve Dallas||Credited as Marty Milner|
|1958||Too Much, Too Soon||Lincoln Forrester|
|1958||Marjorie Morningstar||Wally Wronkin|
|1960||13 Ghosts||Benjamen Rush|
|1960||Sex Kittens Go to College||George Barton||Associate producer|
|1960||The Private Lives of Adam and Eve||Ad Simms/Adam|
|1965||Zebra in the Kitchen||Dr. Del Hartwood|
|1966||Ski Fever||Brian Davis|
|1967||Valley of the Dolls||Mel Anderson|
|1968||Three Guns for Texas||Const. Clendon MacMillan|
|1975||The Swiss Family Robinson||Karl Robinson||
1998 Return to the Mother Road
|1950||The Lone Ranger||Dick McHenry||Episode: "Pay Dirt"|
|1950–1951||The Stu Erwin Show||Drexel Potter||8 episodes|
|1951||The Bigelow Theatre||T.K.O.||Episode: "T.K.O."|
|1952–1955||Dragnet||Stephen Banner||6 episodes|
|1953–1957||The Life of Riley||Bruce
|1954–1955||Schlitz Playhouse of Stars||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1955||The Great Gildersleeve||Brick||Episode: "Water Commissioner's Water Color"|
|1956||Matinee Theater||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1956||TV Reader's Digest||US Army Recruit||Episode: "The Old, Old Story"|
|1956||The Charles Farrell Show||Episode: "Love and Kisses"|
|1956||Telephone Time||Episode: "The Churchill Club"|
|1956||Science Fiction Theatre||Britt||Episode: "Three Minute Mile"|
|1956||Crossroads||Charles Mitchell||2 episodes|
|1956||Navy Log||Monk Jacob||"Incident at Formosa"|
|1956–1957||The West Point Story||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1958||Wagon Train||Matt Trumbell||Episode: "The Sally Potter Story"|
|1958–1959||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1958–1959||The Millionaire||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1959||Rawhide||Johnny Doan||Episode: "Incident with an Executioner"|
|1959||Playhouse 90||Episode: "Judgment at Nuremberg"|
|1959||Steve Canyon||Sgt. Ernest Bigelow||Episode: "Operation Firebee"|
|1959||Hotel de Paree||Pat Williams||Episode: "Vein of Ore"|
|1959||U.S. Marshal||Deputy Bob Baxter||Episode: "Trigger Happy"|
|1960||The Twilight Zone||Paul Grinstead||Episode: "Mirror Image"|
|1960–1964||Route 66||Tod Stiles||116 episodes|
|1965||Memorandum for a Spy||Television film|
|1965||Starr, First Baseman||Joe Starr||Television film|
|1965||Slattery's People||State Representative Scott Fleming||Episode: "Question: What's a Requiem for a Loser?"|
|1965||Gidget||Kahuna||Episode: "The Great Kahuna"|
|1965||Laredo||Clendon MacMillan||Episode: "Yahoo"|
|1965–1966||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1965–1966||The Virginian||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1966||A Man Called Shenandoah||Neal Henderson||Episode: "Requiem for the Second"|
|1966||12 O'Clock High||Maj. Dimscek||Episode: "Six Feet Under"|
|1967||The Rat Patrol||Sgt. Roberts||Episode: "The Wild Goose Raid"|
|1967||Run for Your Life||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1967||Felony Squad||Thomas Glynn||Episode: "Hit and Run, Run, Run"|
|1967||Insight||Sherm||Episode: "Fat Hands and a Diamond Ring"|
|1968||Land's End||Eric||Television film|
|1968||Dragnet||Officer Pete Malloy||Episode: "Internal Affairs: DR-20"|
|1968–1975||Adam-12||Officer Pete Malloy||174 episodes|
|1971||Columbo (TV series)||Jim Ferris||Episode: "Murder by the Book"|
|1971||The D.A.||Officer Pete Malloy||Episode: "The People vs. Saydo"|
|1972–1976||Emergency!||Officer Pete Malloy||3 episodes|
|1973||Runaway!||John Shedd||Television film|
|1974||Hurricane||Maj. Hymie Stoddard||Television film|
|1975–1976||The Swiss Family Robinson||Karl Robinson||20 episodes|
|1976||Flood!||Paul Burke||Television film|
|1977||SST: Death Flight||Lyle Kingman||Television film|
|1977||Police Story||Grady Dolin||Episode: "Stigma"|
|1978||Black Beauty||Tom Gray||Miniseries|
|1978||Little Mo||Wilbur Folsom||Television film|
|1979||Crisis in Mid-Air||Dr. Denvers||Television film|
|1979||The Last Convertible||Sergeant Dabric||Miniseries|
|1979||The Seekers||Philip Kent||Television film|
|1980||The Littlest Hobo||Don Porter||Episode: "Sailing Away"|
|1981||Fantasy Island||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1981||The Ordeal of Bill Carney||Peter Belton||Television movie|
|1985||Airwolf||Arthur Barnes||Episode: "Severance Pay"|
|1985–1996||Murder, She Wrote||Various roles||5 episodes|
|1988||MacGyver||Coach Turk Donner||Episode: "Thin Ice"|
|1989||Nashville Beat||Captain Brian O'Neal||Television movie|
|1990||MacGyver||James MacGyver||Episode: "Passages"|
|1992||Life Goes On||Harris Cassidy||5 episodes|
|1994||RoboCop: The Series||Russell Murphy||2 episodes|
|1997||Diagnosis Murder||Detective Halloran||Episode: "Murder Blues"|
- Willis, John (2006). Monush, Barry, ed. Screen World: 2005 Film Annual. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 368. ISBN 1-557-83668-X.
- Willis, John (1998). Willis, John; Monush, Barry, ed. Screen World 1997 48. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 283.
- Hellmann, Paul T. (2005). Historical Gazetteer Of The United States. Taylor & Francis. p. 538. ISBN 0-415-93948-8.
- "Family hour slot precludes some of 'Swiss Family Robinson' violence". The Baltimore Sun. July 31, 1975. p. B4.
- "The Players of Adam-12". The Prescott Courier. October 18, 1972. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Milner Grew Up In the Business". Lewiston Evening Journal. November 10, 1960. pp. 7–A. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Martin Milner". The Prescott Courier. September 20, 1970. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Marriage Announcement". Chicago Daily Tribune. February 24, 1957. p. 34.
- Shain, Percy (June 23, 1968). "Milner's Back!". The Boston Globe. pp. TV–2.
- "Actor Martin Milner seeks help for ill daughter in Encinitas". nctimes.com. July 11, 2004. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "Obituaries - 12/23/04". nctimes.com. December 23, 2004. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
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