The Texan played the stuffy (but lovable) character on the Tom Selleck starrer, winning an Emmy in 1987, and appeared in ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Blazing Saddles.’
John Hillerman, the actor who made a career out of playing snooty types, including Tom Selleck’s fastidious estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum, P.I., died Thursday. He was 84.
Hillerman, who received four Emmy nominations in consecutive years for portraying Higgins and won in 1987, died at his home in Houston, family spokeswoman Lori De Waal told the Associated Press. She said the cause of death had not been determined.
His Higgins character was a natural extension of a part he played on the TV detective show Ellery Queen: Simon Brimmer, a radio personality and affected gent who fancied himself a savvy sleuth. Ironically, Hillerman, who often played condescending characters with more than a touch of the Tory Brit — the Mayfair accent — was a Texan from a tiny railroad town, the son of a gas station owner.
Hillerman also appeared as Higgins on episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Simon & Simon.
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Hillermans’ fake English accent on Magnum PI was so believable that even the Queen was surprised when it was learned that Hillerman was from Texas.
From what I recall the Cast all liked and respected one another.
He displayed a bit of that (TX) accent in “Blazing Saddles” don’t forget!