Friends, it is with an incredibly heavy and sorrowful heart that we share the news that LEGENDARY character actor Dick Miller passed away today at the age of 90. Even though it’s never a pleasant bit of news to share when we lose a beloved icon – I have to say that Dick Miller’s has hit me harder than most. Considered a lucky charm by Director Joe Dante and others, throughout his career with 182 acting roles, Miller was one of those character actors that always made you smile when he showed up in a picture. The first film that I recall seeing him in was 1981’s The Howling, a fantastic werewolf picture that was helmed by Joe Dante – who as you might imagine had something to say about his friend’s passing:
“I’m devastated to report that one of my best friends and most treasured collaborators has passed away. I “grew up” (kinda) watching Dick Miller in movies from the 50s on and was thrilled to have him in my first movie for @RogerCorman… We hit it off and every script thereafter I always looked for a role for Dick–not just because he was my friend but because I loved watching him act! But he leaves behind over 100 performances, a bio & a doc–not bad for a guy who hardly ever enjoyed a starring role.”
Growing up as both a Monster Kid and just having an absolute love of films, I quickly began to enjoy when Dick Miller would appear in something I was watching. While 1955’s Apache is the first credit in his long list of work on the Internet Movie Database – his resume is filled with genre pictures like It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors, and The Dirty Dozen to name just a few of his early roles, often uncredited. Miller frequently could be found in the films of Rorger Corman and his studio – although I will admit I often think of him in those wonderful roles that Joe Dante provided him, like as Murray Futterman from 1984’s Gremlins.
At the age of 90, it’s hard to deny that Dick Miller had an incredibly good run. As well as the fact that he has left us an amazing amount of fantastic films as his legacy. We will be dimming the lights in the Retroist Vault auditorium in his honor – furthermore I hope you’ll take a moment and check out this teaser for the successful Kickstarter campaign for 2014’s The Guy Dick Miller documentary. It will absolutely give you a little heads up on the amount of films that Miller made better by his familiar face and personality.