John Hillerman, right, met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left on the set of the 1990 British made-for-television mystery film Hands of a Murderer. As far as the two of them knew up until to day of shooting the pilot DiMaio was to play Sherlock Holmes to Hillerman’s Doctor Watson. At the last moment the gaslighting of Hillerman by director/prankster Stuart Orme was revealed: the role of Holmes was to be played by renown British actor Edward Woodward and not DiMaio. Hillerman expressed great relief saying DiMaio had the worst British accent he had ever heard.
Actor John Hillman, best known for his fantastic portrayal of estate manager and Doberman Pinscher owner Jonathan Quayle Higgins on “Magnum, P.I.” from 1980 to 1988 (documented as one of the very few television shows that never jumped the shark), died last week. He was 84.
He won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for playing Higgins. He also appeared in such TV shows as “Wonder Woman,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “The Bob Crane Show.”
In the big screen, Hillerman appeared in the films “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” “Blazing Saddles,” “RECOiL” and “A Very Brady Sequel.”
He is survived by one sister.