Michael J. Pollard

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Michael J. Pollard
Born Michael John Pollack Jr.
(1939-05-30) May 30, 1939 (age 79)
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1959–present
Spouse(s) Beth Howland (m. 1961; div. 1969)
Children 1

Michael John Pollard (born Michael John Pollack Jr.; May 30, 1939) is a Polish-American actor. He is best known for playing C.W. Moss in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Personal life[edit]

Pollard was born in Passaic, New Jersey, he is the son of Sonia V. (née Dubanowich) and Michael John Pollack.[1] His parents were both of Polish descent, his mother was born in New York and his father was born in New Jersey.[2] Pollard's father supported his wife and Michael, Jr. by working 60 hours a week as a bartender at O'Rourke's Tap Room.[2] Pollard attended the Montclair Actors Studio in New York.[3][4][5]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1959, Pollard had a tiny role as a shoeshine boy in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, "Appointment at Eleven" (Season 5 Episode 3). Pollard also portrayed Homer McCauley, the dramatic lead, in a television adaptation of William Saroyan's novel The Human Comedy, narrated by Burgess Meredith. That same year Pollard appeared in the episode "The Unknown Town" of David Hedison's 16-segment NBC espionage TV series Five Fingers.

Later that same year, Pollard appeared in episode five of CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis as Jerome Krebs, the first cousin of Maynard G. Krebs, played by Bob Denver, who in real life had been drafted into the United States Army. Pollard's character was to have been a replacement for Maynard but disappeared when Denver was classified 4-F and was able to return to the series.[6]

Pollard created the non-singing role of Hugo Peabody in the original Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie.[3] In 1962, Pollard appeared in the short-lived Robert Young comedy/drama series Window on Main Street in the episode "The Boy Who Got Too Many Laughs". That same year he was cast in the role of Virgil, Deputy Barney Fife's socially awkward but talented cousin, on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show.[7]

In 1963, he appeared on an episode of ABC's Channing, a drama about college life starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones. That same year Pollard played the role of Digby Popham in the charming Walt Disney musical Summer Magic, opposite Hayley Mills,[8] he was cast too as Danny Larkin in the 1963 episode "Tell Me When You Get to Heaven" of the ABC drama, Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly as a Roman Catholic priest in New York City.

Pollard played the role of Cyrus in a 1964 episode of the CBS western series, Gunsmoke, one titled "Journey for Three". That year he also appeared as Ted Mooney, son of Mr. Mooney, on The Lucy Show. In 1965, he played the role of "Jingles" in the episode "The Princess and the Paupers" on the ABC crime drama, Honey West, starring Anne Francis.

In 1966, he portrayed Bernie in another NBC espionage series, I Spy, in the episode "Trial by Treehouse" (October 19, 1966), alongside series stars Bill Cosby and Robert Culp with other guest stars Cicely Tyson and Raymond St. Jacques.[9] Also in 1966, Pollard played the (uncredited) role of Stanley, the runny-nosed airplane mechanic, in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.

Pollard is noted for his short stature, which allowed him to play youthful roles well into his twenties. One such notable role included the teenage-leader of an all-child planet in the haunting, iconic episode "Miri" on the original Star Trek series:

... Michael J. Pollard is smarmily effective as, in essence, a cult leader for the kids, and the kids themselves manage a perfect blend of creepy, scary, and silly, the cry of “bonk-bonk on the head” is amusing right up until twenty kids pile onto Kirk and he emerges with blood seeping down the sides of his head.[10]

He also appeared in the memorable first season episode of Irwin Allen's Lost In Space as a nameless Peter Pan-like boy who lives in the dimension behind all mirrors ("The Magic Mirror"[11])[12]

In 1967, he played the supporting role of C. W. Moss[13] in Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde, alongside Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons, for which he received Academy Award[14] and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles. The role led to his joke candidacy in 1968 for President of the United States.[15][16]

Also in 1967, Pollard played the lead role in Derek May's short drama, Niagara Falls.[17] Later that year, he was once again singled out for praise in Carl Reiner's autobiographical comedy Enter Laughing; noted film critic Roger Ebert wrote:

Michael J. Pollard, an unknown before his fascinating entry in Bonnie and Clyde, brings his squint and grin to the part of Marvin, our hero's buddy, and steals every scene. There is something about Pollard that is absolutely original and seems to strike audiences as irresistibly funny and deserving of affection. If he works at it and gets a break or two, there will be no stopping him. Really. All he needs is visibility, and people will become addicted.[18]

In 1969, he played the supporting role of an escaped American POW, "Packy", in the British World War II-themed comedy, Hannibal Brooks, directed by Michael Winner.[19]

1970s–present[edit]

In 1970, Pollard had a starring role as Little Fauss in the cult motorcycle racing movie, Little Fauss and Big Halsy with Robert Redford, Noah Beery Jr., Lucille Benson, and Lauren Hutton.[20][21]

Pollard starred in Dirty Little Billy (1972), a revisionist biography of Billy the Kid at the beginning of his criminal career, set in Coffeyville, Kansas:

This is no typical, Tinseltown western though. It's more like The Making of a Sociopath, with Michael J. Pollard starring as displaced, 17-year-old Billy Bonney, in the days leading up to his evolution into the notorious Billy the Kid ... this is the perfect role for Pollard. And though a little old to play a teenager (he was 33), he hands us a Billy who's perpetually victimized by bad luck, until he finally blows a gasket at the very end and sparks his future.[22]

In 1974, he played the role of a young man dying of cancer, in the season one opening episode, "The Time of His Life", of the trucking (TV) show, "Movin' On." He later had a key supporting role in the 1980 cult film Melvin and Howard about the Melvin Dummar-Howard Hughes Mormon Will controversy.[23] In 1987, Pollard played the role of an inquisitive volunteer firefighter, Andy, in the film Roxanne, starring Steve Martin. The following year Pollard played the role of Herman (the homeless man who thought Bill Murray was Richard Burton) in the movie Scrooged.

In 1989, Pollard had a minor role in Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland and a larger role (as the inventor of super weapons and a super car) in Tango & Cash, which also starred Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone. Also in 1989, he had a two-episode role as the fifth-dimensional imp-villain Mr. Mxyzptlk in the Superboy TV series.[24]

Pollard played Bug Bailey in the popular 1990 film Dick Tracy.[25]

In 1992, he starred in a sixth-season episode of Ray Bradbury Theater, The Handler, in which he portrayed a mortician who tried to give his clients a little extra treatment that he thought they should have.[26] In 1993, he appeared in the horror film Skeeter.[27] In 1997, he played the role of Aeolus in The Odyssey starring Armand Assante.

Pollard has continued to work in film and television into the 21st century, including his appearance as "Stucky" in the 2003 Rob Zombie-directed cult classic House of 1000 Corpses.[28]

Filmography[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1968, DJ-turned-singer Jim Lowe (who hit the top of the charts in 1956 with "The Green Door") recorded "Michael J. Pollard for President" on the Buddah Records label.[15][16]

Legacy[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Michael J. Pollard profile at". filmreference.com. 
  2. ^ a b "The Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940" Passaic City, Passaic County, New Jersey; digital copy of original enumeration page, April 3, 1940. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. FamilySearch, a genealogical on-line database provided as a public service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Michael J. Pollard", actor's profile in Playbill for his role as Hugo Peabody in the original Broadway production Bye Bye Birdie, April 14, 1960. Playbill archive. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  4. ^ Biography, yahoo.com; accessed March 30, 2016.
  5. ^ International Television & Video Almanac, Volume 49, p. 337. Quigley Publishing Company, 2004. Accessed December 3, 2017. "Pollard, Michael J. Actor r.n. Michael J. Pollack b. Passaic, NJ, May 30, 1939, e. Montclair Academy, Actors Studio"
  6. ^ Dobie Gillis Episode Guide Archived July 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., gte.net; accessed May 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "9 bonkers fan theories about classic TV shows". MeTV. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Pickens, JN. "Musical Monday: "Summer Magic" (1963)". Comet Over Hollywood. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Trial By Treehouse - Season 2". The Illustrated Guide to I Spy. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  10. ^ DeCandido, Keith. "Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "Miri"". Tor.com. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Magic Mirror": an essay of analysis, pennyrobinsonfanclub.net; accessed March 30, 2016.
  12. ^ Muir, John Kenneth. "Lost in Space Day: "The Magic Mirror"". John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "C.W. MOSS (MICHAEL J. POLLARD) Character Analysis". Schmoop. 2018. 
  14. ^ "Oscar Ceremony 1968 (Actor In A Supporting Role)". Oscars.org. 1968. 
  15. ^ a b "Michael J. Pollard for President by Jim Lowe (Buddah Label)". 45cat.com. May 1968. 
  16. ^ a b "Jim Lowe (2) – Michael J. Pollard For President". Discogs. 1968. 
  17. ^ Ryan, Terry (September 27, 1969). "Derek May: a cosmic weatherman". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  18. ^ Ebert, Roger (30 September 1967). "Enter Laughing (1967)". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. 
  19. ^ "Hannibal Brooks (1969) Directed by Michael Winner". LETTERBOXD. Retrieved 28 March 2018. 
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger (15 June 1969). "INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT REDFORD". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. 
  21. ^ Ebert, Roger (19 October 1969). "INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL J. POLLARD". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. 
  22. ^ Puchalski, Steven (1996). "DIRTY LITTLE BILLY (1972)". Shock Cinema. Shock Cinema Magazine. 
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (13 February 1981). "Melvin and Howard (1981)". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times. 
  24. ^ "DC Comics Encyclopedia: Mister Mxyzptlk". PediaPress. p. 835. Retrieved 9 April 2018. 
  25. ^ "Dick Tracy Trading Cards: Bug Bailey". The Trading Card Database. Retrieved 29 March 2018. 
  26. ^ "Ray Bradbury Theater – The Handler (10/27/92)". Genre Snaps. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Joe Bob Briggs. "Skeeter (1993)". JoeBobBriggs.com. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  28. ^ Lemire, Christy. "'House of 1,000 Corpses' depressing". DeseretNews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 14 April 2003. 
  29. ^ "Steve Winwood". stevewinwood.com. 
  30. ^ "Michael J. Fox Biography". The Michael J Fox Foundation. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  31. ^ Inside the Actor's Studio. October 30, 2005. No. 4, season 12.

External links[edit]