John Hillerman

Active - 1971 - 1996  |   Born - Dec 20, 1932 in Denison, Texas  |   Genres - Mystery, Comedy, Drama, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Natty, mellifluous character actor John Hillerman may have spoken on screen with a pure Mayfair accent, but he hailed from Denison, Texas. Hillerman first gained notice for his fleeting appearances in the films of Peter Bogdanovich: The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up Doc (1973), At Long Last Love (1975). He was also a semi-regular for director Mel Brooks, prominently cast in Blazing Saddles (1975) and History of the World, Part I (1981). A veteran of dozens of television series, John Hillerman was cast as the insufferable criminologist Simon Brimmer on Ellery Queen (1975), the star's director (and ex-husband) in The Betty White Show (1975), and most memorably as the ultra-correct Jonathan Quayle Higgins II, major domo to never-seen mystery writer Robin Masters, on Magnum PI (1980-88).

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