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Dick Miller
Dick Miller 2015.jpg
Miller at the Chiller Theatre Expo in 2015
Richard Miller

(1928-12-25)December 25, 1928
Died January 30, 2019(2019-01-30) (aged 90)
Toluca Lake, California, U.S.
Alma mater City College of New York
Columbia University
New York University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1955–2019
Sheila Elaine Halpern (m. 1967)
Children 1
Military career
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy

Richard Miller (December 25, 1928 – January 30, 2019) was an American character actor who appeared in more than 180 films, including many produced by Roger Corman. He later appeared in the films of directors who began their careers with Corman, including Joe Dante, James Cameron, and Martin Scorsese, with the distinction of appearing in every film directed by Dante. He was known for playing the beleaguered everyman, often in one-scene appearances.

Miller's main roles in films included Gremlins, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Explorers, Piranha, The Howling, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, Not of This Earth, Chopping Mall, Night of the Creeps, The Terminator, The 'Burbs, Small Soldiers and Quake.

Early life

Miller was born on Christmas Day, 1928, in The Bronx, New York, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Rita (Blucher), an opera singer, and Ira Miller, a printer. He served a tour of duty in the United States Navy. Miller attended the City College of New York, Columbia University, and New York University, eventually attaining a PhD in psychology. He was a writer before turning to acting.


While working as a graduate psychologist, Miller 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 townspeople and also a separate role as an Indian. In an action scene his townsperson character shoots his Indian character, as related in the documentary Corman's World.

His movie roles 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 film's length. He also appeared in Rod Stewart's video for the song "Infatuation" in 1984, with Mike Mazurki and Kay Lenz.

His television credits include as a Townsman on the 1963 TV Western Gunsmoke (S9E8's "Carter Caper"), in Combat!, as a young soldier in the 5th-season episode "The Outsider"; Police Squad! (a 1980s crime spoof series with Leslie Nielsen); V: The Final Battle as Dan Pascal; three seasons as the generous bartender Lou Mackie on Fame; 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 as the voice of the gangster Chuckie Sol in the animated feature film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. He 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. In 2014 he appeared in a documentary of his life, That Guy Dick Miller. He is also credited for appearing in a Sega CD video game, Prize Fighter, as corner man for the main character.

Walter Paisley

Dick Miller as Walter Paisley
Miller in A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Miller portrayed several fictional characters named Walter Paisley. As he noted, "I've played Walter Paisley five times now, I think." By 2011, the character name had 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 1976, Miller played a character named Walter Paisley— 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. This time, Paisley is the owner of an occult bookshop. Two years later, the name appeared again for another Miller character, the owner of a diner in the third segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. 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. Miller played a variation on the role one last time in his final posthumously released film Hanukkah. Two other actors have portrayed the A Bucket of Blood character: Anthony Michael Hall in the 1995 television remake; and James Stanton in a musical produced by Chicago's Annoyance Theatre.

Personal life

Miller married Lainie (Sheila Elaine Halpern) on October 6, 1967, and they had one child together, Barbara. Miller died of a heart attack on January 30, 2019, just over a month after his 90th birthday, while being treated for pneumonia in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles.


Year Title Role Director Notes
1955 Apache Woman Tall Tree Corman, RogerRoger Corman
1956 The Oklahoma Woman The Bartender
Gunslinger Jimmy Tonto
It Conquered the World Sergeant Neil
1957 Naked Paradise Mitch
Not of This Earth Joe Piper
The Undead The Leper
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
1961 Atlas Greek Soldier Uncredited
Capture That Capsule Ed Nowak Will Zens
1962 The Premature Burial "Mole" Corman, RogerRoger Corman
1963 The Terror Stefan
X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes Heckler Uncredited
1965 The Girls on the Beach First Waiter William Witney Uncredited
Ski Party Taxi Driver Alan Rafkin Uncredited
Beach Ball Cop #1 Weinrib, LennieLennie Weinrib
1966 Wild Wild Winter Rilk
The Wild Angels Rigger Corman, RogerRoger Corman
1967 Dragnet 1967 Harry Johnson Webb, JackJack Webb Episode: The Shooting
The Dirty Dozen MP At Hanging Aldrich, RobertRobert Aldrich Uncredited
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Gangster Dressed As A Cop Corman, RogerRoger Corman Uncredited
A Time for Killing Zollicoffer Karlson, PhilPhil Karlson
The Trip Cash Corman, RogerRoger Corman
1968 The Wild Racers Pit Crew Mechanic Daniel Haller
Roger Corman
The Legend of Lylah Clare Reporter At Press Party Robert Aldrich Uncredited
1972 Night Call Nurses Mr. Jensen Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
1973 The Student Teachers Coach Harris Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
The Slams Taxi Driver
Executive Action Rifleman, Team B David Miller
The Young Nurses Cop Kimbrough, ClintClint Kimbrough
Fly Me Taxi Driver Santiago, CirioCirio Santiago
1974 Truck Turner Fogarty Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
Big Bad Mama Bonney Carver, SteveSteve Carver
Candy Stripe Nurses The Spectator Alan Holleb
Summer School Teachers Sam Peeters, BarbaraBarbara Peeters
1975 Capone Joe Pryor Carver, SteveSteve Carver
Death Race 2000 Chicken Gang Paul Bartel Uncredited
White Line Fever "Birdie" Corman Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
Darktown Strutters Officer Hugo Witney, WilliamWilliam Witney
Crazy Mama Wilbur Janeway Demme, JonathanJonathan Demme
1976 Hollywood Boulevard Walter Paisley Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Cannonball Bennie Buckman Bartel, PaulPaul Bartel
Moving Violation Mack Charles S. Dubin
Vigilante Force The Pianist George Armitage
1977 Mr. Billion Bernie Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
New York, New York The Palm Club Owner Scorsese, MartinMartin Scorsese
Game Show Models The Game Show Host David N. Gottlieb
1978 Starhops Jerry Peeters, BarbaraBarbara Peeters
I Wanna Hold Your Hand Sergeant Brenner Zemeckis, RobertRobert Zemeckis
Corvette Summer "Mr. Lucky" Robbins, MatthewMatthew Robbins
Piranha Buck Gardner Dante, JoeJoe Dante
1979 The Lady in Red Patek Teague, LewisLewis Teague
Rock 'n' Roll High School Police Chief Arkush, AllanAllan Arkush
11th Victim Ned, Investigator Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan TV movie
1941 Officer Miller Spielberg, StevenSteven Spielberg
1980 The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood New York Cop Roberts, AlanAlan Roberts
Used Cars Man In Bed Zemeckis, RobertRobert Zemeckis
Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype Irsil / Orson Charles B. Griffith
1981 The Howling Walter Paisley Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Smokey Bites the Dust Glen Wilson Charles B. Griffith
Heartbeeps Factory Watchman Arkush, AllanAllan Arkush
1982 National Lampoon's Movie Madness Dr. Hans Kleiner Giraldi, BobBob Giraldi ("Success Wanters")
White Dog Animal Trainer Samuel Fuller
Police Squad! Vic Joe Dante Episode: "Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh)"
Vortex Bit Part Beth B
Scott B
The Aftermath Broadcaster Steve Barkett
Ted V. Mikels
1983 Heart Like a Wheel Mickey White Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
Twilight Zone: The Movie Walter, The Bar Owner Dante, JoeJoe Dante (segment "It's a Good Life")
Space Raiders Mel "Crazy Mel" Howard R. Cohen
Get Crazy Susie's Dad Arkush, AllanAllan Arkush
All the Right Moves Teacher In Auditorium Chapman, MichaelMichael Chapman
Lies The Producer Jim Wheat
Ken Wheat
1984 Swing Shift Wallflower At The Swing Shift Jamboree Jonathan Demme Uncredited
Gremlins Murray Futterman Dante, JoeJoe Dante
The Terminator Gun Shop Clerk Cameron, JamesJames Cameron Cameo
1984-1987 Fame Lou Mackie Various Recurring
30 Episodes
1985 Explorers Charlie Drake Dante, JoeJoe Dante
After Hours Pete, Diner Waiter Scorsese, MartinMartin Scorsese
1986 Chopping Mall Walter Paisley Wynorski, JimJim Wynorski
Night of the Creeps Walt Dekker, FredFred Dekker
Armed Response Steve Ray, Fred OlenFred Olen Ray
1987 Project X Max King Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
Face Like a Frog Max Cruikshank, SallySally Cruikshank
Innerspace Cab Driver Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Amazon Women on the Moon Danny Clayton Various (segment "The French Ventiloquist's Dummy" [TV cut & DVD only])
1988 Under the Boardwalk Official Fritz Kiersch
Angel III: The Final Chapter Nick Pellegrini Tom DeSimone
Dead Heat Cemetery Security Guard Goldblatt, MarkMark Goldblatt Uncredited
1989 The 'Burbs Vic, The Garbageman Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Far from Home Sheriff Bill Childers Meiert Avis
Ghost Writer Club Manager Kenneth J. Hall
1990 Gremlins 2: The New Batch Murray Futterman Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Mob Boss Mike Ray, Fred OlenFred Olen Ray
1990-1991 The Flash Fosnight Various 6 Episodes
1991 Motorama Horseshoe Player Barry Shils
1992 Evil Toons Burt Ray, Fred OlenFred Olen Ray
Body Waves Mr. Matthews P.J. Pesce
Unlawful Entry Impound Clerk Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan
1992 Quake The Storekeeper
1993 Matinee Herb Denning Dante, JoeJoe Dante
Fallen Angels Carl Hanks, TomTom Hanks Episode: "I'll Be Waiting"
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Chuckie Sol Radomski, EricEric Radomski
Timm, BruceBruce Timm
Fallen Angels Morris Hornbeck Kaplan, JonathanJonathan Kaplan Episode: "Since I Don't Have You"
1994 Rebel Highway Roy Farrell Joe Dante and Allan Arkush 2 episodes
Batman: The Animated Series Boxcars "Boxy" Bennett Bruce Timm Voice, 2 episodes
Pulp Fiction Joe "Monster Joe" Tarantino, QuentinQuentin Tarantino (scenes deleted)
Mona Must Die Father Stilicato Donald Reiker
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Mike Lane Robert Singer Episode: "Church of Metropolis"
1995 Demon Knight Uncle Willy Dickerson, Ernest R.Ernest R. Dickerson
Number One Fan The Night Manager Jane Simpson
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Vin Badiyi, RezaReza Badiyi Episode: "Past Tense - Part I"
Frakes, JonathanJonathan Frakes Episode: "Past Tense - Part II"
1997 The Second Civil War Eddie O'Neill Dante, JoeJoe Dante TV movies
1998 The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy The Peddler
Small Soldiers Joe, The Truck Driver
2001 Route 666 The Bartender William Wesley
2003 Looney Tunes: Back in Action Security Chief Dante, JoeJoe Dante
2005 Justice League Unlimited Oberon Bruce Timm Voice, episode: "The Ties That Bind"
2006 Trapped Ashes Max Dante, JoeJoe Dante Segments: "Wraparound"
2007 Trail of the Screaming Forehead Eddie Larry Blamire
2009 The Hole Pizza Delivery Guy Dante, JoeJoe Dante Uncredited
3rd Shift: Michael's Lament The Sculptor Christopher D. Grace
2014 Burying the Ex Grumpy Cop Dante, JoeJoe Dante
That Guy Dick Miller Himself Elijah Drenner Documentary
2015 The Adventures of Biffle and Shooster Walter Michael Schlesinger
Schmo Boat Michael Schlesinger Short
2019 Hanukkah Rabbi Walter Paisley Eben McGarr Posthumous release; Final film role

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dick Miller para niños

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