Dick Miller

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Dick Miller
Dick Miller as Walter Paisley.png
Miller in A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Born (1928-12-25) December 25, 1928 (age 89)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Alma materNew York University PhD in psychology[1]
OccupationActor
Years active1955–present
Spouse(s)
Lainie Miller (m. 1959)
Military career
Service/branch United States Navy

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

Life and career[edit]

Miller was born in The Bronx, New York, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. Miller served a tour of duty in the United States Navy. Miller attended the City College of New York as well as Columbia University.[2] He performed on Broadway and also worked at the Bellevue Hospital Mental Hygiene Clinic and the psychiatric department of Queens General Hospital.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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, three seasons as the generous bartender Lou Mackie on Fame, 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.[4]

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. 2014 appeared in the documentary film over his life That Guy Dick Miller.[4]

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."[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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. Officer Paisley also appeared in Night of the Creeps.

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.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Lainie Miller in 1959.[9]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Films Role Director Notes
1956 It Conquered the World First Sergeant Roger Corman
1957 Naked Paradise Mitch
Not of This Earth Joe Piper
Rock All Night Shorty
Sorority Girl Mort
Carnival Rock Benny
1958 War of the Satellites Dave Boyer
1959 A Bucket of Blood Walter Paisley
1960 The Little Shop of Horrors Burson Fouch
1962 The Premature Burial Mole
1963 The Terror Stefan
1966 Wild Wild Winter Rilk Lennie Weinrib
The Wild Angels Rigger Roger Corman
1967 The Dirty Dozen MP at Hanging Robert Aldrich Uncredited
A Time for Killing Zollicoffer Phil Karlson
The Trip Cash Roger Corman
1972 Night Call Nurses Mr. Jensen Jonathan Kaplan
1973 The Young Nurses Cop Clint Kimbrough
Fly Me Taxi Driver Cirio Santiago
The Student Teachers Coach Harris Jonathan Kaplan
The Slams Taxi Driver
1974 Truck Turner Fogarty
Big Bad Mama Bonney Steve Carver
Summer School Teachers Sam Barbara Peeters
1975 Capone Joe Pryor Steve Carver
Crazy Mama Wilbur Janeway Jonathan Demme
White Line Fever Birdie Jonathan Kaplan
Darktown Strutters Officer Hugo William Witney
1976 Hollywood Boulevard Walter Paisley Joe Dante
Moving Violation Mack Charles S. Dubin
Cannonball Bennie Buckman Paul Bartel
1977 New York, New York Palm Club Owner Martin Scorsese
Mr. Billion Bernie Jonathan Kaplan
1978 Starhops Jerry Barbara Peeters
I Wanna Hold Your Hand Sergeant Brenner Robert Zemeckis
Piranha Buck Gardner Joe Dante
Corvette Summer Mr. Lucky Matthew Robbins
1979 The Lady in Red Patek Lewis Teague
Rock 'n' Roll High School Police Chief Allan Arkush
11th Victim Investigator Ned Jonathan Kaplan
1941 Officer Miller Steven Spielberg
1980 The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood New York Cop Alan Roberts
Used Cars Man in Bed Robert Zemeckis
Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype Irsil and Orson Charles B. Griffith
1981 The Howling Walter Paisley Joe Dante
Smokey Bites the Dust Glen Wilson Charles B. Griffith
Heartbeeps Factory Watchman Allan Arkush
1982 National Lampoon's Movie Madness Dr. Hans Kleiner Bob Giraldi Segment: "Success Wanters"
1983 Heart Like a Wheel Mickey White Jonathan Kaplan
Get Crazy Susie's Dad Allan Arkush
All the Right Moves Teacher in Auditorium Michael Chapman
Twilight Zone: The Movie "Walter" the Bar Owner Joe Dante Segment: "It's a Good Life"
Space Raiders Crazy Mel Howard R. Cohen
1984 Gremlins Murray Futterman Joe Dante
The Terminator Gun 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 Project X Max King Jonathan Kaplan
Amazon Women on the Moon Danny Clayton Various
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
Bruce Timm
Voice only
Matinee Herb Denning Joe Dante
Fallen Angels Carl Tom Hanks Episode: "I'll Be Waiting"
Fallen Angels Morris Hornbeck Jonathan Kaplan Episode: "Since I Don't Have You"
1994 Batman: The Animated Series Boxcars 'Boxy' Bennett Bruce Timm Voice
2 Episodes
Pulp Fiction Monster Joe Quentin Tarantino Deleted scene
1995 Demon Knight Uncle Willy Ernest R. Dickerson
1998 The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy Peddler Joe Dante
Small Soldiers Joe
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action Security Guard
2005 Justice League Unlimited Oberon Bruce Timm Voice
Episode: "The Ties That Bind"
2006 Trapped Ashes Max Joe Dante Segments: "Wraparound"
2009 The Hole Pizza Delivery Guy Uncredited
2014 Burying the Ex Grumpy Cop
That Guy Dick Miller Himself Elijah Drenner Documentary

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://dickmiller.net/biography.htm
  2. ^ a b "Dick Miller Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011.
  3. ^ Gingold, Michael (10 March 2015). Shaw, Jay, ed. "Dick Miller in person for retrospective including "THAT GUY" docu, "GREMLINS" reunion, Fango appearance & more!". Fangoria. Archived from the original on 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c ""THAT GUY DICK MILLER" kicks off exclusive engagement; Dick Miller to attend". Fangoria. 3 March 2015. Archived from the original on 12 July 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  5. ^ Alan Frank, The Films of Roger Corman: ‘shooting My Way Out of Trouble’ (BT Batsford, 1998), [1].
  6. ^ David J. Hogan, Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film (McFarland, 1997), 221.
  7. ^ Reynold Humphries, The American Horror Film: An Introduction (Edinburgh University Press, 2002), 133.
  8. ^ John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1980s (McFarland & Co., 2007), 364.
  9. ^ Vatnsdal, Caelum (16 May 2012). "Dick Miller talks working with Corman, Scorsese, and getting peed on by a monkey". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 6 September 2018.

External links[edit]