Happy birthday to Dick Miller, born December 25, 1928.
Richard “Dick” Miller is an American character actor who has appeared in over 100 films, particularly those produced by Roger Corman, and later in films of directors who started 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.
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. He performed on Broadway and also worked at the Bellevue Hospital Mental Hygiene Clinic and the psychiatric department of Queens General Hospital. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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