Now We’ll Never Know If Higgins Was Really Robin Masters: John Hillerman Has Died At 84

John Hillerman

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.

Houston—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.

Butler-Turned-Governor-Turned-Baboon Voice-Turned TV Exec Robert Guillaume Has Died

Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillaume, center, seen receiving an Emmy award for his Benson character on the show Soap presented by Loni Anderson, left, and RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left.

Los Angeles— Actor Robert Guillaume died at his home last Tuesday at the age of 89. He died from complications from prostate cancer, which he had been fighting for 25 years. 

Best known for his Emmy-award winning work playing Benson DuBois, first on “Soap” in the late 1970s, then on his own series, “Benson,” which ran from 1979 to 1986, Guillaume also appeared in such TV shows as “Sports Night,” and “The Robert Guillaume Show.” 

On the big screen, Guillaume was in such films as “Lean on Me,” “The Lion King” as the voice of Rafiki, “RECOiL” and “Big Fish.”

He is survived by his second wife, Donna, three daughters and one son. He had one other son who died in 1990.

Truly, Our Lives Will Never Be The Same: Hugh Hefner Has Died

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, left, was close friends with fellow publisher Brian DiMaio, right. This photo shows the two in the earliest days of Playboy magazine pouring over possible mascots. DiMaio liked the frog in the top hat. Hefner preferred the rabbit. In the end they compromised and put a bow tie on the rabbit.

Los Angeles—Hugh Hefner, the journalistic visionary who founded “Playboy” magazine and the “Playboy” empire, who influenced millions upon millions of adolescent boys over the course of his incredible lifetime, died Wednesday from natural causes. He was 91.
 
Truly, what can be said about this man, who shaped and defined what it meant to be a real man in the last half of the 20th century. And so we do our best to immortalize him with this prose: 
 
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
 
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            This arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
 
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

France Literally Doesn’t Know What To Do With Itself: Jerry Lewis Has Died At 91

Jerry Lewis

From 1945 to 1946 Jerry Lewis, bottom, teamed up with RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, top, to form a comedy duo called DiMaio and Lewis. Some say the act didn’t work because both members thought they were supposed to be performing the role of the straight man.

Las Vegas—Former comedy partner to Dean Martin and Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon host Jerry Lewis died at his home on Sunday. The big screen funnyman and icon in France was 91.

He teamed with Dean Martin for ten years before an acrimonious split in 1956. Making a name both solo and with Dino, Lewis appeared in such films as “The King of Comedy,” “The Nutty Professor,” “RECOiL” and “Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River.”

On the small screen, Lewis appeared in such TV shows as “Wisely,” “Mad About You” and “The Simpson.”

He is survived by his second wife, SanDee, five sons and an adopted daughter. 

Neglectful Parent, Toy Company Executive John Heard Dies At 71

John Heard

John Heard, left, met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right, early in his career on the set of C.H.U.D. where DiMaio played the role of a C.H.U.D.

Palo Alto, CA— Actor John Heard, best known as the dad who left Macauley Culkin home alone in the film “Home Alone” died Friday. He was 71.

Besides being a textbook horrible parent in “Home Alone” as well as “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” he also appeared in such films as “Big,” as a cheating racquetball playing toy company executive “Cat People,” “RECOiL” and “My Fellow Americans.”

On TV, he appeared in such shows as “Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster,” “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town” and “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.”

He was married and divorced three times, and has two surviving children. His son, Max, died last December.