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.

“I Love An Underdog:” A TDQ Q&A With Actor Michael Sun Lee

Michael Sun Lee

Michael Sun Lee

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with actor Michael Sun Lee. Michael spoke to us about his role on the Netflix series, “Fuller House,” how his work in theater has influenced him and what motivated him to get into show business. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with actor Michael Sun Lee: 

The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be in show business?

Michael Sun Lee: My basic need for Self-Expression.

 TDQ: Who was your favorite actor growing up?

MSL: Sylvester Stallone. I love an underdog.

TDQ: What was your favorite TV show growing up?

MSL: “Magnum P.I.”

TDQ: Who are your influences?

MSL: All of my acting teachers, directors, writers I have gotten to work with – particularly in theater.

TDQ: What was the best advice you ever got?

MSL: “Embrace The Unknown”
TDQ: What was the worst advice you ever got?

MSL: “Proceed with Caution.”

Harry Takayama on “Fuller House”

Michael Sun Lee playing Harry Takayama on Fuller House.

TDQ: Tell us about your role as the grown up Harry Takayama on “Fuller House”

MSL: We see Harry all grown up, find out what he does for a living, and why he is back to see Stephanie.

TDQ: How was it fitting in with the main cast of the show, who have known each other for nearly 30 years?

MSL: All of the “Fuller House” people were amazing to me – I felt welcome, supported and part of something great.

TDQ: You’ve played police officers and detectives in a lot of the projects you’ve work on, including “NCIS Los Angeles” and “Hawaii Five-0.” What do you think casting directors see in you that would make a good cop?

MSL: I think because have a very straight foward, no-nonsense sensibility and carry myself with a certain integrity and authenticity.

And I look like a cop.

 TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years? 

MSL: I see myself as a more present, patient, loving and authentic person.

Learn more about Michael on his Facebook page. And follow Michael on Twitter.

 

 

Glen A. Larson, To Whom Countless TV Fans Owe A Debt That Can Never Be Repaid, Has Died

Glen A. Larson

Glen A. Larson, left, and RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, right, at Robin’s Nest estate discussing the possibility of making RECOiL a TV series instead of a movie. Larson’s advice: “An hour and a half of RECOiL is plenty.”

Santa Monica, CA— Prolific television writer and the creator or co-creater of some amazing shows Glen A. Larson died Friday after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 77.

If you watched any television whatsoever between 1975 and 1985, odds are good you saw something he wrote or produced.

Larson was the showrunner and creator or co-creator of such 70s and 80s television gems as “Magnum, PI,” “Manimal,” “Knight Rider,” “Quincy, ME,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Fall Guy.” First getting his start as a singer in the musical group “The Four Preps,” he also wrote many of the songs used as his series’ theme songs. Take a minute to go watch the opening to the “Fall Guy,” and sing along to “The Unknown Stuntman.” We’ll wait, go ahead.

Larson was also adept at adapting films or film genres to being successful on TV. He helped bring galaxy-hopping sic-fi in the same vein as “Star Wars” to TV, with shows like “Galactica” and “Buck Rogers.” In his final years, he was working feverishly to adapt “RECOiL” into a TV series.

He is survived by his third wife, Jeannie, and his nine children: James, Kimberly, Christopher, Glen, Michelle,David, Caroline, Danielle and Nicole. Continue reading

Her Dreams Were Her Ticket Out; Actress Marcia Strassman Dies At 66

Marcia Strassman

Marcia Strassman, fourth from left (third from right), met RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, far right, when DiMaio was touring with Daryl Hall, second from right, and John Oates, second from right, playing backing keyboard.

Sherman Oaks, CA—Marcia Strassman, who gained fame for pretending to laugh at her TV husband’s jokes/stories on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 66.

Strassman first garnered national attention as Nurse Cutler in six episodes of “M*A*S*H” during the show’s early run. Besides starring with Gabe Kapler in “Kotter,” she also appeared in “Magnum, PI,” “The Love Boat” and “Booker.”

On the big screen, Strassman appeared as Rick Moranis’ wife in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and its sequel, the equally-beliveable “Honey, I Blew up the Kid,” as well as the films “Another Stakeout,” “RECOiL” and “Earth Minus Zero.”

Strassman is survived by her brother, sister and daughter, Elizabeth Collector. Continue reading

“We Often Just Go Off on An Adventure And See Where Our Hearts Lead Us!” A TDQ Q&A With Actress Sondra Currie

Sondra Currie

You guys might not know this but here at The Daily Quarterly we consider ourselves a bit of a loner. A one-man wolf pack. But when we interviewed Sondra Currie we knew she was one of our own. And our wolf pack grew by one.

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with actress Sondra Currie. Sondra spoke to us about working on our favorite TV show of all time, “Magnum, PI,” as well as how the entertainment industry has changed over her career and her latest project, “Ganymede Pan.” Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with actress Sondra Currie:

The Daily Quarterly: Who were your favorite actresses growing up?

Sondra Currie: Katharine Hepburn & Marilyn Monroe. Now, it’s Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

TDQ: What made you want to be in show business?

SC: It was in my DNA. My mom, Marie Harmon, was an actress.  It was the only thing I knew.

TDQ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

SC: Study, study, study, and always look forward.  There’s a pearl in everything and I never, ever waste my time.

TDQ: What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

SC: Well, I think the worst was when an agent tried to convince me that I had to be “nice” to a producer to get a specific part. Terrible advice to give any young actress. And this agent also said, “I can’t handle you unless I really know you.” I think he was sued somewhere down the line. I do believe we have the power to just say “get your grubby paws off me.”

TDQ: Who are your influences?

SC: The Dahli Lama, Nelson Mandela, Marianne Williamson, Geraldine Page, Julie Harris and Angelina Jolie. Also, again Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave. There are a lot of them. I like mentors who, when faced with an obstacle, go around it or over it and stand tall. My Dad used to say to me, “You stand up, Currie. Dust yourself off and let them watch your smoke!”

TDQ: You played Zach Galifinakis’ mom in “The Hangover” trilogy. How did your work on that series compare to other movies you’ve made?

SC: Well it was heaven, to be able to be with “a family” for that length of time. And then it was so successful. I’m bribing all the Goddesses that, eventually, we have a Hangover Part 4! I always have a great time when I’m working. That’s what I love to do. It can be on film or in a play or in class at The Actors Studio.

TDQ: You’ve also worked on such classic TV shows as “Magnum, PI,” “Airwolf” and “Tales of the Gold Monkey,” three of our all-time favorites. How has the industry evolved since you acted on those shows, and, more importantly, did you get to fly in any of the aircraft in those awesome shows?

SC: No, I never got to fly. I’m so happy I got to be around and experience the camaraderie of those days. It was so much more personal and people were always lending a hand.

Sondra Currie

Sondra Currie may look like the matriarch next door but she can still play a space general in Ganymede Pan.

TDQ: Tell us about your upcoming pilot, “Ganymede Pan.”

SC: The universe is in grave danger! There are only five habitable colonies left and there’s a psychotropic substance that can mutate into any thing the “Golden Children” want. So, it depends on who controls them, of course. I play General Tai and I can be very lethal. I’m 2nd in charge and so far, you’re really not sure if I’m good or bad. “Ganymede Pan” is a renegade special forces pilot who I kidnap and bring him back into my force. It’s possible they have had a relationship but I have the upper hand for now. We have some fun aliens and other great bad guys! Continue reading