Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adopt an Actor

Splotchy recently recommended that we all adopt an actor, preferably a character actor, and promote his work from time to time. Lulu and Johnny Yen promptly stepped up, and now I'm announcing my pick.

At first I was going to adopt Strother Martin. He's appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows, and you probably know him as the Captain in Cool Hand Luke. He's been dead for 27 years. While "adopting" a dead actor was ok according to Splotchy, I decided to go for another character actor whose work never ceases to entertain me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dick Miller.

Dick Miller has appeared in 165 movies and TV shows according to his IMDB entry. I became a fan of his watching him in Roger Corman movies when I was a kid. His most notable roles are the flower-eating guy in the original Little Shop of Horrors, deranged beatnick artist/killer Walter Paisley in Bucket of Blood, and his appearances in the Gremlins movies. He usually has a small role and steals whatever scene he's in. He was the gun shop clerk in The Terminator "Only what you see pal" and the occult bookstore guy (named Walter Paisley!) in The Howling.

He played Monster Joe in Pulp Fiction, but his scene was cut.


Splotchy said...

Cool choice!

I still haveta catch Bucket of Blood at some point. It sounds pretty entertaining.

Wow, Strother Martin really cleans up well.

I never saw Cool Hand Luke. I'm more used to seeing him all dirty and nasty in Sam Peckinpah movies like The Wild Bunch and The Ballad of Cable Hogue.

Johnny Yen said...

Oh man! Great pick! He's the quinessential character actor-- I knew exactly who he was immediately, but had no idea of his name!

Looking him up, I see he's in a couple of camp classics: Big Bad Mama and The Trip!

Loved Strother Martin! Do you remember when he was the guest host on Saturday Night Live in the late seventies? They did a sketch in which Bill Murray has been sent to French camp. As Martin tries to break him (to get him to say le chat instead of "cat"), Martin says "What we have here is a failure to communicate bilingually. My dad, brothers and I, who had seen Cool Hand Luke a bunch of times were laughing our asses off.

Looking up the cast of Cool Hand Luke a couple of years ago, I discovered that Dennis Hopper and Harry Dean Stanton played a couple of the prisoners.

Bubs said...

Johnny, Cool Hand Luke also had Ralph Waite (the dad from the Waltons) and Anthony Zerbe. A character actor's dream movie.

Dick Miller is absolutely one of my all time favorites.

Splotchy, years ago a friend of mine and I suggested a special award for character actors, and we thought it should be named "The Strother".

Johnny Yen said...

Anthony Zerbe!

He was in a movie I just Netflixed, a great Walter Mathau movie, The Laughing Policeman. Another great character actor in that, Bruce Dern. Lou Gossett Jr., too.

Looking up Zerbe on IMDB, I was reminded that he had a bunch of different roles on the old Mission: Impossible. He was also had an appearance on a short-lived Bill Bixby series I loved, The Magician. Wild, Wild West, Hawaii Five-0, The FBI-- this guy was everywhere!

Splotchy said...

"The Strother" is a great name for an award.

Hey, all this talk about about Strother Martin, I feel I just have to say "L.Q. Jones".

There, I said it.

timdrussell said...

I liked Mr. Miller in a great two-parter of Deep Space Nine, "Past Tense".

Dino aka Katy said...

good idea. I will have to do some research as to who adopt I am thinking Pumuckl

Bubs said...

katy, I like that cartoon character, thanks!

tim, he turns up all over the place doesn't he?

Splotchy, LQ Jones would have been my next choice, followed by Dean Stockwell and Wings Hauser.

justacoolcat said...

I'm in with Albert Finney.