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Also Known As: Richard Miller, Richard Miller Died:
Born: December 25, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, TV producer, broadcaster, TV director, disc jockey, commercial artist, hospital worker, semi-pro football player

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Almost inexplicably but profoundly beloved cult veteran character player who has over 135 features on his resume. Miller was a regular in the drive-in fodder churned out by American International Pictures in the 1950s and 60s. Producer-director Roger Corman, legendary master of the genre quickie, gave Miller his first film assignment in "Apache Woman" (1955). Though lean and tough-looking, the Bronx New York native would have looked less improbable and more imposing playing an Indian brave named Tall Tree had he been a few inches taller. The ever economical Corman also cast him as a cowboy and a posse member in the same film. Miller became part of AIP's stock company and soon earned the nickname "One-Take Miller" for his admirable habit of showing up on the set already knowing his lines.Hailed by the British film researchers of "Film Dope" as "the loser's loser", Miller earned his cultish credentials with an indelible starring performance in "A Bucket of Blood" (1959), Corman's spoof of the beatnik art scene. Miller's Walter Paisley was a coffee shop busboy turned celebrated sculptor-cum-serial killer who wins acclaim by presenting the corpses of his victims encased in clay. VARIETY accurately...

Almost inexplicably but profoundly beloved cult veteran character player who has over 135 features on his resume. Miller was a regular in the drive-in fodder churned out by American International Pictures in the 1950s and 60s. Producer-director Roger Corman, legendary master of the genre quickie, gave Miller his first film assignment in "Apache Woman" (1955). Though lean and tough-looking, the Bronx New York native would have looked less improbable and more imposing playing an Indian brave named Tall Tree had he been a few inches taller. The ever economical Corman also cast him as a cowboy and a posse member in the same film. Miller became part of AIP's stock company and soon earned the nickname "One-Take Miller" for his admirable habit of showing up on the set already knowing his lines.

Hailed by the British film researchers of "Film Dope" as "the loser's loser", Miller earned his cultish credentials with an indelible starring performance in "A Bucket of Blood" (1959), Corman's spoof of the beatnik art scene. Miller's Walter Paisley was a coffee shop busboy turned celebrated sculptor-cum-serial killer who wins acclaim by presenting the corpses of his victims encased in clay. VARIETY accurately observed that "Dick Miller's ability to sustain a sense of poignancy while acting conceited and committing atrocities is responsible for a large part of the picture's appeal." His other roles for Corman include playing an unfortunate vacuum cleaner salesman in "Not of This Earth" (1956), a college student accused of impregnating a co-ed in "Sorority Girl" (1957), and an unlikely rocket scientist in "War of the Satellites" (1958).

Miller became a good luck charm and directorial private joke after Corman left AIP and formed New World Pictures in 1970. There the actor began associating with some future major players including Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante and Jonathan Kaplan. Miller was a regular in a number of Kaplan-directed potboilers including "The Student Teachers" (1973) as a unsympathetic gym teacher and the Isaac Hayes Blaxploitation vehicle "Truck Turner" (1974). He was also featured in a more upscale biopic of female racecar driver Shirley Muldowney, in Kaplan's "Heart Like a Wheel" (1983). By the end of 1994, Miller had appeared in eight of Kaplan's films and ten of Dante's.

Miller continued working regularly throughout the 80s and into the 90s in both film and TV. He appeared in James Cameron's "The Terminator" (1984) as the pawn shop clerk who provides Schwarzenegger with weapons, and popped up in Scorsese's "After Hours" (1985) as a waiter in an all-night restaurant. Miller's other feature credits include Dante's "Matinee", the animated "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" (both 1993), Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" (1994), and "Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight" (1995).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

4.
 Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Security Guard
5.
 Route 666 (2001) Barleader
7.
 Small Soldiers (1998) Joe
8.
 Second Civil War, The (1997) Eddie O'Neill
10.
 Runaway Daughters (1994) Detective Farrell
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in the Bronx
:
Entered the Navy by lying about his age
:
Won naval boxing championship, lightweight division
:
Played semi-professional football after leaving the navy
:
Worked as a commercial artist
:
Employed by the Bellevue Mental Hygiene Clinic in Manhattan
:
Employed by the psychiatric department of Queens General Hospital in Queens NY
:
Worked as a disc jockey in NYC; hosted "The Dick Miller Show" on WMCA and WSR
1950:
Co-hosted (with Bobby Sherwood) "Midnight Snack" on the local CBS affiliate; reputedly TV's first live late-night talk show
:
Met actor Jonathan Haze ("The Little Shop of Horrors" 1960) at the Bird in the Hand Restaurant and became fast drinking buddies
:
Began performing on the Broadway stage
:
Wrote, produced, and directed live TV shows out of NYC
1952:
Moved to California to seek work as a writer
:
Introduced to Roger Corman by Jonathan Haze
1955:
Feature acting debut in Corman's Western "Apache Woman" playing an Indian, a cowboy, and a posse member; first of numerous collaborations with producer-director Corman at American International Pictures
1956:
First starring role in a feature, "Rock All Night", as a sharp-tongued barfly
1959:
Starred in his signature role of Walter Paisley, the anti-hero of Roger Corman's horror comedy, "A Bucket of Blood"
1970:
Feature screenwriting debut as co-scripter of Jerry Lewis' "Which Way to the Front"
1972:
Appeared in Jonathan Kaplan's "Night Call Nurses" at New World Pictures; first of eight film collaborations (as of 1994) with director Kaplan (released 1974)
1974:
Co-scripted "T.N.T. Jackson", a Filippino-shot "blaxploitation" favorite
1976:
Reprised the role of Walter Paisley in Joe Dante and Allan Arkush's "Hollywood Boulevard"; first of ten film collaborations (as of 1994) with Dante
1984:
Appeared in the recurring role of a sleazy motel clerk in the daytime soap "General Hospital" (date approximate)
:
Joined the cast of the high school drama "Fame", then in first-run syndication, as Mr. Lou Mackie
1986:
Directed "The Fix", an episode of the trendy cop series "Miami Vice"
1995:
Guest starred in a two-part episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9"
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Education

City College of New York: New York , New York -
Columbia University: New York , New York -

Notes

Sometimes credited as Richard Miller, especially in some films from the 1950s and early 60s.

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