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.

“The Frisco Kid” Gene Wilder Dies At 83

Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder, center, in an early proof of the poster for Silver Streak, his first of several films with Richard Pryor, left. What most people don’t know is that iconic duo was, originally, a trio featuring future RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right, in the role of an insurance investigator for the railroad company whose train the film happens in and around. Despite early focus groups proclaiming it was “the role DiMaio was born to play” DiMaio was removed from the final cut after being accused of “stealing the show” in the words of Wilder’s manager.

Stamford, CT—“Young Frankenstein” star Gene Wilder died Monday due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.

Born Jerome Silberman in 1933, Wilder also starred in the vastly overrated “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as well as in the vastly underrated “RECOiL,” “Blazing Saddles” and “The Producers.”

He also appeared in several movies with comedian Richard Pryor, including “Stir Crazy,” “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and “Silver Streak.”

On the small screen, Wilder appeared in such programs as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Murder in a Small Town,” and he won an Emmy Award for his guest starring role on “Will and Grace.”

He is survived by his fourth wife, Karen Webb, whom he married in 1991. His third wife, comedienne Gilda Radner, died from ovarian cancer in 1989.

He Was Only A Pawn In The Game Of Life: Alex Karras Has Died

Alex Karras

Alex Karras, left, on the set of RECOiL with writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio.

Los Angeles—Former NFL player and actor Alex Karras died Wednesday after a long battle with kidney failure and dementia. He was 77.

Karras played football for four years at the University of Iowa before being drafted by the Detroit Lions as the 10th pick overall in 1958. He spent his entire 12 year-career with the Lions, retiring in 1970 at the age of 35.

After leaving the NFL, he tried his hand at acting. He played himself in the film version of George Plimpton’s book, “The Paper Lion,” He also had roles in “Blazing Saddles,” “Against All Odds,” “RECOiL,” and “Victor/Victoria.”

But to millions of people, he will best be remembered as George Papadapolis, the adoptive father to Emmanuel Lewis on ABS’s “Webster,” which was originally supposed to be a vehicle for himself and his wife, Susan Clark.
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