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Dick Miller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (2)  | Salary (2)

Overview (3)

Born in The Bronx, New York, USA
Birth NameRichard Miller
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A native of the Bronx, New York, Richard "Dick" Miller served in the U.S. Navy for a few years and earned a prize title as a middleweight boxer. He settled in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, where he was noticed by producer/director Roger Corman, who cast him in most of his low-budget films, usually playing unlikeable sorts, such as a vacuum-cleaner salesman in Not of This Earth (1957). His most memorable role would have to be that of the mentally unstable, busboy/beatnik artist Walter Paisley, whose clay sculptures are suspiciously lifelike in A Bucket of Blood (1959) (a rare starring role for him), and he is also fondly remembered for his supporting role as the flower-eating Vurson Fouch in Corman's legendary The Little Shop of Horrors (1960). Miller spent the next 20 years working in Corman productions, and starting in the late 1970s was often cast in films by director Joe Dante, appearing in credited and uncredited walk-on bits as quirky chatterboxes, and stole every scene he appeared in. He has played many variations on his famous Walter Paisley role, such as a diner owner (Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)) or a janitor (Chopping Mall (1986)). One of his best bits is the funny occult-bookshop owner in The Howling (1981). Being short (so he never played a romantic lead or a threatening villain) with wavy hair, long sideburns, a pointed nose and a face as trustworthy as a used-car dealer's, he was, and is to this day, an immediately recognizable character actor whose one-scene appearances in countless movies and TV shows guarantee audience applause.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <pataygs@voicenet.com>

Spouse (1)

Lainie Miller (October 1959 - ?)

Trade Mark (4)

In many of his movies, he played the character Walter Paisley, his famous role in A Bucket of Blood (1959).
Always cast by director Joe Dante for his movies.
Wavy hair, long sideburns and pointed nose.
Bronx accent

Trivia (12)

His parents, Isidor and Rita Miller, were Russian Jewish immigrants.
According to him, when he would interview for acting jobs at other studios, he would mention that he had been working at American-International. They would respond by saying, "I don't think we can use you".
Has appeared in two completely different, unrelated productions which showed an unpleasant future (in the 2020s) that were both based in California: the film The Terminator (1984) and the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993).
Has stated that he was initially cast as an Indian in Apache Woman (1955). He later filled in as various other Indians, shooting different characters, and also played a cowboy.
Has appeared with Kevin McCarthy in eight films: Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Innerspace (1987), Matinee (1993), The Second Civil War (1997), Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) and Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007).
Has appeared with Belinda Balaski in nine films: Cannonball! (1976), Piranha (1978), The Howling (1981), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Matinee (1993) and The Second Civil War (1997).
Has appeared with Robert Picardo in 11 films: The Howling (1981), Get Crazy (1983), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987), The 'Burbs (1989), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Motorama (1991), Matinee (1993), The Second Civil War (1997) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
Has appeared with Mary Woronov in eight films: Cannonball! (1976), Hollywood Boulevard (1976), The Lady in Red (1979), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), Get Crazy (1983), Chopping Mall (1986), Motorama (1991) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).
Has appeared with Paul Bartel in 11 films: Big Bad Mama (1974), Cannonball! (1976), Hollywood Boulevard (1976), Piranha (1978), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), White Dog (1982), Heart Like a Wheel (1983), Get Crazy (1983), Chopping Mall (1986), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).
Has appeared in every film or television film directed by Joe Dante: Hollywood Boulevard (1976), Piranha (1978), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), The Howling (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Explorers (1985), Innerspace (1987), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) (though Miller's scene was cut), The 'Burbs (1989), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Matinee (1993), The Second Civil War (1997), Small Soldiers (1998), The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (1998), Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), Trapped Ashes (2006), The Hole (2009) and Burying the Ex (2014). Dante also directed him in four television episodes: Police Squad!: Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh) (1982), Amazing Stories: The Greibble (1986), Eerie, Indiana: The Losers (1991) and Rebel Highway: Runaway Daughters (1994).
His favorite movie of his own is the horror cult classic The Howling (1981).
Profiled in "Character Actors in Horror and Science Fiction Films, 1930-1960" by Laurence Raw (2012).

Personal Quotes (2)

[on why movies he made 50 years ago still hold up] I wish I knew. It's funny, looking at a picture that's 50 years old and seeing that it hasn't lost any of the--what's the word?--magic. They had magic. They were cheap. They were inexpensive to make, but they've held up for 50 years.
[on attending film conventions] It's kind of thrilling in my old age to have something. It's a thrill. Everybody asks these questions. They bring up pictures that you've done and that you've forgotten. I don't remember half the pictures that they mention anyway. But it's a fun thing, being at these conventions.

Salary (2)

Apache Woman (1955) $300
TNT Jackson (1974) $500

See also

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