Michael J. Pollard
|Michael J. Pollard|
|Born||Michael John Pollack, Jr.
May 30, 1939
Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Pollard was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He is the son of Sonia (née Dubanowich) and Michael John Pollack. His parents were both of Polish descent. Pollard attended the Montclair Academy and the Actors Studio.
In 1959, at twenty, Pollard portrayed Homer McCauley, the dramatic lead, in a television adaptation of William Saroyan's novel, The Human Comedy, production narrated by Burgess Meredith. That same year Pollard appeared in the episode "The Unknown Town" of David Hedison's 16-segment NBC espionage series, Five Fingers.
Later that same year, Pollard appeared in episode five of CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis as Jerome Krebs, the first cousin of Maynard G. Krebs, played by Bob Denver, who in real life had been drafted into the United States Army. Pollard's character was to have been a replacement for Maynard but disappeared when Denver was classified 4-F and was able to return to the series. (On the set, Pollard met co-star Warren Beatty, who later cast Michael in Bonnie and Clyde.)
Pollard created the non-singing role of Hugo Peabody in the Original Broadway cast of the 1960 musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie (lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse). Hugo is a high school student and the boyfriend of Kim McAfee (played by Susan Watson on Broadway), who becomes jealous of Kim's infatuation with rock star Conrad Birdie. In the 1963 film version, Hugo became a singing role which was played by Bobby Rydell.
In 1962, Pollard appeared in the short-lived Robert Young comedy/drama series Window on Main Street in an episode entitled "The Boy Who Got Too Many Laughs"., as well as in episode #2-30 of CBS's The Andy Griffith Show (April 30, 1962), as Barney Fife's clumsy young cousin, Virgil, who stops by for a visit and manages to wreak havoc at the courthouse in fictional Mayberry, North Carolina.
In 1963, Pollard appeared on an episode of ABC's Channing, a drama about college life starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones. That same year Pollard played the role of Digby in the movie Summer Magic, starring Hayley Mills. He was cast too as Danny Larkin in the 1963 episode "Tell Me When You Get to Heaven" of the ABC drama, Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly as a Roman Catholic priest in New York City.
In 1964, he played the role of Cyrus in episode 108, "Journey for Three," of the CBS western series, Gunsmoke.
In 1966, at twenty-six, Pollard played the role of an alien boy in CBS's Lost in Space. That same year, he portrayed Bernie in another NBC espionage series, I Spy, in the episode "Trial by Treehouse" (October 19, 1966), alongside series stars Bill Cosby and Robert Culp with other guest stars Cicely Tyson and Raymond St. Jacques. Also in 1966, Pollard played the role of Stanley the runny-nosed airplane mechanic in the Norman Jewison comedy, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming opposite Jonathan Winters, Brian Keith, and Carl Reiner, among many others.
In Star Trek Season 1 Episode 8 "Miri", at age 27, he played a barely pre-pubescent boy, leader of a band of orphaned children.
In 1967, he played the supporting role of C. W. Moss in Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde alongside Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons, for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles. The role led to his joke candidacy in 1968 for President of the United States (see below).
Pollard is noted for his short stature, which had him playing child roles well into his twenties (including on Star Trek, where he played one of the inhabitants of the planet of children in the episode "Miri") and resulted in a recurring role as the diminutive trans-dimensional imp Mister Mxyzptlk in two episodes of the Superboy television series. He also appeared in the memorable first season episode of Irwin Allen's Lost In Space as a nameless Peter Pan-like boy who lives in the dimension behind all mirrors ("The Magic Mirror").
He starred in the film Dirty Little Billy (1972), set in Coffeyville, Kansas, portraying Billy the Kid at the beginning of his criminal career.
In 1988, Pollard played the role of Herman (the homeless guy who thought Bill Murray was Richard Burton) in the movie Scrooged. 1989 he played 'Owen' the inventor of super weapons and a super car in Tango and Cash, starring Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone.
Actor Michael J. Fox has stated that he adopted the J. in his name as a homage to Pollard. Also in 1989 he played a minor role in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland. Pollard played Bug Bailey in the 1990 film Dick Tracy.
In 1992, he starred in a 6th season episode of Ray Bradbury Theater, The Handler, where he played a mortician who tried to give his clients a little extra treatment that he thought they should have. In 1993, he appeared in the horror film Skeeter.
Michael J. Pollard For President
In 1968, DJ-turned-singer Jim Lowe (who hit the top of the charts in 1956 with "The Green Door") recorded "Michael J. Pollard for President" on the Buddah Records label. The record, which contains sound bites from U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy of New York and Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, extolled Pollard's qualifications for the Oval Office: "Those who saw him as C. W. Moss/ Know this hippie is really boss!" Pollard himself can be heard at the end of the song: "Furthermore, if I'm elected for President...hey, man! President of what...?" The 45 failed to make the record charts, possibly because the use of Kennedy's voice on a comedy record after his assassination was considered to be in poor taste. (Pollard was just 29 years old in 1968, and thus ineligible for the presidency in any case.)
AMT released a 1⁄25 model kit of the Michael J. Pollard "Flower Power 1936 Ford" Item # T218-200.
- Biography at Yahoo Movies
- Dobie Gillis Episode Guide
- The Boy Who Got Too Many Laughs at the Internet Movie Database
- The Magic Mirror: An essay of analysis /
- Inside the Actor's Studio. 2005-10-30. No. 4, season 12.
- Listen here
- Michael J. Pollard at the Internet Movie Database
- Michael J. Pollard at the Internet Broadway Database
- Michael J. Pollard at Internet off-Broadway Database