Kenneth McMillan Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 July 1932Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of Death 8 January 1989Santa Monica, California, USA  (liver failure)
Height 5' 6½" (1.69 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Character actor Kenneth McMillan was born on July 2, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to becoming an actor, McMillan was a manager at Gimbels Department Store. At age 30, McMillan decided to pursue an acting career. He attended the LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and took acting lessons from Uta Hagen and Irene Dailey. He made his film debut at age 41 with a small role in Sidney Lumet's superbly gritty police drama Serpico (1973). Portly and ruddy-faced, with an often aggressive and cantankerous demeanor, McMillan was usually cast as gruff, hostile and unfriendly characters. McMillan's most notable parts include the borough commander in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), a cowardly small-town sheriff in Tobe Hooper's excellent miniseries Salem's Lot (1979), William Hurt's bitter paraplegic father in Eyewitness (1981), a racist fire chief in Ragtime (1981), a wily old safecracker in The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), the vile and grotesquely obese Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune (1984), Aidan Quinn's pathetic drunken father in Reckless (1984) and a sleazy high-roller gambler in "The Ledge" episode of the hugely enjoyable horror anthology Cat's Eye (1985).

Moreover, McMillan was equally adept at comedy, giving especially funny and engaging performances as a baseball club manager in Blue Skies Again (1983), Meg Ryan's corrupt police chief father in Armed and Dangerous (1986), and a dotty senile veterinarian in Three Fugitives (1989). McMillan had a steady recurring role as Valerie Harper's irate boss on the situation comedy Rhoda (1974). Among the television series McMillan guest-starred on are Dark Shadows (1966), Ryan's Hope (1975), Kojak (1973), Starsky and Hutch (1975), The Rockford Files (1974), Moonlighting (1985), Magnum, P.I. (1980) and Murder, She Wrote (1984). Outside of his substantial film and television credits, McMillan also frequently performed on stage at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He acted in the original Broadway productions of "Streamers" and "American Buffalo". He won an Obie for his performance in the off-Broadway play, "Weekends Like Other People". Kenneth McMillan died of liver disease at age 56 on January 8, 1989 in Santa Monica, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (1)

Kathryn McDonald (20 June 1969 - 8 January 1989) (his death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Often played gruff, hostile and unfriendly characters
Aggressive and cantankerous demeanor

Trivia (6)

Father of actress Alison McMillan
Had dropped out of school to work in a factory when he ran into his junior high school English teacher. She took him to audition for the LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts in New York City. He went in for acting and ended up a dance major.
His first television appearance was on a variety where he performed two musical numbers. Barry Manilow was the piano player.
Studied acting at the High School for the Performing Arts with teachers Uta Hagen and Irene Dailey.
Worked as a manager at Gimbels Department Store prior to becoming an actor.
His wife Kathryn McDonald was a former Broadway stage dancer.

Personal Quotes (3)

I don't look to take the role of the villain and in fact I've played many sympathetic characters. I certainly don't want to be typecast as the 'loudmouth' type. But it seems that the audiences remember me as the bad guy. I suppose that's because villainous roles stand out -- they're showy roles. If you're going to make a sympathetic character stand out, you really have to tap dance for the viewers.
There's a lot of, and in this town especially, phoniness. I think that most people don't have anything to say. I think everybody is highly overpaid for what they do. I'm saying that people believe they are equipped to write screenplays, act, produce, direct and they don't really have visions. I want to ask, "Why are you doing this? Why are you cluttering up the business?" If people knew how painful it was, I think that less people would do it. Certainly less actors. I think actors don't realize, at the beginning especially, what you have to go through -- and I'm not talking about rejection and all of that -- I'm talking about the attitude where you have to lay it out there. That's what we find interesting.
Who says acting isn't being yourself? I am not a hypocrite. I have my megalomania. There's a part of me that's still in the crib, wanting to control and rule everything. When I get into the biggest problems is when I get arrested development. I don't tell you it's someone that's not me. I mean, I think I'm weird or at least I can be. And I think I can be crazy and I can be cruel. I know it. I've seen it. I see many people deny that about themselves.

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