Michael J. Pollard

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Michael J. Pollard
Born Michael John Pollack, Jr.
(1939-05-30) May 30, 1939 (age 75)
Passaic, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1959–present

Michael John Pollard (born Michael John Pollack, Jr.; May 30, 1939) is an American actor best known for playing the character C.W. Moss in the 1967 crime film Bonnie and Clyde.

Personal life[edit]

Pollard was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He is the son of Sonia (née Dubanowich) and Michael John Pollack.[1] His parents were both of Polish descent.[2] Pollard attended the Montclair Academy and the Actors Studio.[3]

Career[edit]

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.[4] (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".,[5] 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 1965, he played the role of "Jingles" in the episode "The Princess and the Paupers" on the ABC crime drama, Honey West, starring Anne Francis.

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).

Also in 1967, he acted in the Carl Reiner comedy "Enter Laughing," in which he played the role of a friend of the main character, David Kolowitz (Reni Santoni).

In 1969, he played the supporting role of "Packy", an escaped American POW, in the World War II-themed Hannibal Brooks.

In 1970, he had a starring role as Little Fauss in the cult motorcycle racing movie, Little Fauss and Big Halsy with Robert Redford, Noah Beery Jr., Lucille Benson, and Lauren Hutton.

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"[6]).

Adept at comic roles with an odd edge, he had a standout bit part in the classic Norman Jewison Cold War comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.

He starred in the film Dirty Little Billy (1972), set in Coffeyville, Kansas, portraying Billy the Kid at the beginning of his criminal career.

Pollard had a key supporting role in the 1980 cult film Melvin and Howard about the Melvin Dummar, Howard Hughes, Mormon Will controversy.

In 1987, Pollard played the role of the eccentric volunteer firefighter, Andy, in the film Roxanne, starring Steve Martin.

In 1988, Pollard played the role of Herman (the homeless guy who thought Bill Murray was Richard Burton) in the movie Scrooged.[7] 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.[8] 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.

In 1997, he played the role of Aeolus in The Odyssey starring Armand Assante.

Pollard has continued to work in film and television into the 21st century, including his appearance as "Stucky" in the 2003 Rob Zombie-directed cult classic House of 1000 Corpses.

Michael J. Pollard For President[edit]

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.[9] 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.)

Other contributions[edit]

Pollard suggested the title "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" for the Traffic song of the same name.[10]

AMT released a 125 model kit of the Michael J. Pollard "Flower Power 1936 Ford" Item # T218-200.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]