RIP: Gremlins star Dick Miller has passed away at 90

Tonight is a sad night as we have just received word that Dick Miller has passed away at the age of 90. Miller is perhaps best known in my eyes for his collaborations with director Joe Dante, appearing in most of his films including but not limited to, THE HOWLING, PIRANHA, GREMLINS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, EXPLORERS, INNERSPACE, THE 'BURBS, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, MATINEE, and SMALL SOLDIERS.  

But Dick Miller was more than just "that guy" in Dante's films, starring in such non-Dante classics as THE TERMINATOR, ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, 1941, AFTER HOURS, CHOPPING MALL, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, and TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT to name a few. 

Here's his mini-bio via IMDB:

A native of the Bronx, New York, Richard "Dick" Miller served in the U.S. Navy for a few years and earned a prize title as a middleweight boxer. He settled in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, where he was noticed by producer/director Roger Corman, who cast him in most of his low-budget films, usually playing unlikeable sorts, such as a vacuum-cleaner salesman in Not of This Earth (1957). His most memorable role would have to be that of the mentally unstable, busboy/beatnik artist Walter Paisley, whose clay sculptures are suspiciously lifelike in A Bucket of Blood (1959) (a rare starring role for him), and he is also fondly remembered for his supporting role as the flower-eating Vurson Fouch in Corman's legendary The Little Shop of Horrors (1960). Miller spent the next 20 years working in Corman productions, and starting in the late 1970s was often cast in films by director Joe Dante, appearing in credited and uncredited walk-on bits as quirky chatterboxes, and stole every scene he appeared in. He has played many variations on his famous Walter Paisley role, such as a diner owner (Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)) or a janitor (Chopping Mall (1986)). One of his best bits is the funny occult-bookshop owner in The Howling (1981). Being short (so he never played a romantic lead or a threatening villain) with wavy hair, long sideburns, a pointed nose and a face as trustworthy as a used-car dealer's, he was, and is to this day, an immediately recognizable character actor whose one-scene appearances in countless movies and TV shows guarantee audience applause.

Below you can find director Joe Dante's tweets regarding the passing of Dick Miller. Heartbreaking stuff here, guys. I've loved Miller since watching GREMLINS, GREMLINS 2, and EXPLORERS on repeat throughout my childhood. What was your favorite Dick Miller role? Let us know below.

Source: Variety



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