skip navigation
John Hillerman

John Hillerman

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

The Nickel Ride / 99 and... 99 And 44/100% Dead: An elderly mobster hires a hit man to eliminate his rival.... more info $16.95was $19.93 Buy Now

Lucky Lady ... In the vein of THE STING, this action/comedy Prohibition-era caper film stars... more info $15.96was $19.93 Buy Now

The Last Picture Show ... Critically acclaimed drama about a group of teenagers growing up in rural Texas... more info $10.75was $14.99 Buy Now

Chinatown ... Landmark movie in the film noir tradition, Roman Polanski's Chinatown stands as... more info $10.95was $14.99 Buy Now

Magnum Pi: The Complete Third... Actors: John Hillerman, Larry Manetti, Roger E. Mosley, Tom Selleck Special... more info $26.95was $34.98 Buy Now

Murder She Wrote: Season... Get ready to open another chapter of TV's most beloved crime series, MURDER, SHE... more info $20.95was $26.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: John Benedict Hillerman Died: November 9, 2017
Born: December 20, 1932 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Dennison, Texas, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Uptight, diminutive, mustachioed, often "veddy" (though faux) British and unfailingly urbane, the Texas-born Hillerman created this classic supporting character for 1970s TV. After making an impression as arrogant 1940s radio show detective Simon Brimmer on the NBC revival of "Ellery Queen" (NBC, 1975-76), he further refined the character as the cold fish boss of Bonnie Franklin during the 1976-77 season of the long-running CBS sitcom "One Day at a Time." (He always addressed Franklin as "M S Romano.") Hillerman fared well trading sarcastic quips with Betty White in the superior but short-lived sitcom "The Betty White Show" (CBS, 1977-78). This clever spoof of the TV business revealed his mastery of the deadpan put-down as Hillerman played the estranged ex-husband and director of an Angie Dickinson-like actress in "Undercover Woman," a fictional cop show. He apotheosized the character as the long-suffering major domo Jonathan Higgins in the hugely popular detective comedy-drama "Magnum, P.I." (CBS, 1980-88).

Uptight, diminutive, mustachioed, often "veddy" (though faux) British and unfailingly urbane, the Texas-born Hillerman created this classic supporting character for 1970s TV. After making an impression as arrogant 1940s radio show detective Simon Brimmer on the NBC revival of "Ellery Queen" (NBC, 1975-76), he further refined the character as the cold fish boss of Bonnie Franklin during the 1976-77 season of the long-running CBS sitcom "One Day at a Time." (He always addressed Franklin as "M S Romano.") Hillerman fared well trading sarcastic quips with Betty White in the superior but short-lived sitcom "The Betty White Show" (CBS, 1977-78). This clever spoof of the TV business revealed his mastery of the deadpan put-down as Hillerman played the estranged ex-husband and director of an Angie Dickinson-like actress in "Undercover Woman," a fictional cop show. He apotheosized the character as the long-suffering major domo Jonathan Higgins in the hugely popular detective comedy-drama "Magnum, P.I." (CBS, 1980-88).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Very Brady Sequel, A (1996) Dr Whitehead
2.
 Hands of a Murderer (1990) Dr John Watson
3.
 Gummibarchen kusst man nicht (1989) Pfarrer--Padre
4.
 Street of Dreams (1988) Raymond Kepler
5.
 Assault and Matrimony (1987) Cyril Combs
6.
 Up The Creek (1983) Dean Burch
7.
 History of the World Part I (1981) Rich Man
8.
 Murder That Wouldn't Die, The (1980) Paul Harrison
9.
 Marathon (1980) Greg Previn
10.
 Institute for Revenge (1979) Vch Ifr
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
Joined the Air Force and achieved the rank of sergeant
1958:
Moved to NYC to pursue his interest in theater (date approximate)
:
Lost his Texan drawl through a year of intensive speech training at the American Theater Wing in NYC
:
Acted on stage for 15 years
:
Early stage role, spear-carrier in "Othello"; met future writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
:
Worked as a company member of the Theatre Club in Washington, DC
1971:
Feature debut, Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show"; first of four collaborations with the filmmaker
1971:
TV-movie acting debut, "Sweet, Sweet Rachel"
1975:
Played pompous radio show detective-cum-amateur criminologist Simon Brimmer in "Too Many Suspects", the TV-movie pilot for the NBC revival of "Ellery Queen"
:
Recreated Simon Brimmer for the 1940s-set mystery series "Ellery Queen"
:
Played the recurring role of Bonnie Franklin's boss during the second season of the popular sitcom "One Day at a Time"
:
Co-starred as the suave, sarcastic director ex-husband of the star of a TV cop show in the sitcom "The Betty White Show"
:
Played the supporting role of Jonathan Higgins, the major domo of the Robin Masters estate, in the long-running detective series "Magnum, P.I."
1982:
TV miniseries debut, "Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last"
:
Hosted the Aloha Floral Parade segment from Hawaii for the "CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade"
1990:
Portrayed Dr. John Watson (to Edward Woodward's Sherlock Holmes) in the CBS TV-movie "Hands of a Murderer"
:
Joined the cast of the sitcom "The Hogan Family" for the final season; played the grandfather Lloyd Hogan
1996:
Had small role in "A Very Brady Sequel"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Texas: - 1949 - 1952
American Theatre Wing: New York , New York - 1958 - 1959

Family close complete family listing

father:
Christopher Benedict Hillerman.
mother:
Lenora Joan Hillerman.
sister:
Rose Mary Hillerman. Born on December 12, 1926.
sister:
Jo Ann Hillerman. Born on September 17, 1935.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute