Saturday, January 5, 2008

In Praise of Michael J. Pollard

Just trying to fill a void here, folks - - Just trying to address an injustice.

Not too long ago I was searching around the web for anything about actor Michael J. Pollard.

A fansite, an interview, whatever.

I was shocked and saddened to see so very little out there.
How can it be?!?

Here's a small attempt to turn that around.

Mr. Pollard has been showing up in movies and on TV for almost 50 years now, and as far back as I can remember it's always been a great treat for me to see him appear on the screen.

From the quiet silliness of the late fifties, into the swinging sixties and sordid seventies, it didn't matter what the genre was or the caliber of the production, Michael J shows up and I'm happy.

That trend continued on through his oddball eighties roles and the 'Hey, I'm Still Working' nineties - - I confess I've only seen one of his flicks from this century - - there's still much to explore, Pollard-wise...

Follow links to:
- The Michael J. Pollard entry at IMDb

- His Broadway stage credits listed at IBDB

- More details on his list of credits at film

- A small bio page at allmovie, another at Yahoo! Movies,
and one at TCM.Com

(clicking on images will either ENLARGE the image, or in many cases take you to the IMDb page for that appearance.)

4/10/68 ▶
Attending the Academy Awards ceremony, with his
'Bonnie And Clyde' co-stars.

Pollard was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, but lost to George Kennedy for his performance in
'Cool Hand Luke'.

Image above ⬆ by Peter Max, 1969.

Hey, so if you have any thoughts or anecdotes about Michael J or his movies, please feel free to add comments to this post.

Any photos or references to other Pollard info to share? Send 'em along, too.

The more the merrier.

- - And Mr. Pollard, if you're out there reading this,
** thank you **
for all your work over the many years.

It's appreciated and greatly enjoyed.

Hope to see you out there again soon!

Portrait below ⬇ by Nashville artist Mike Barnett.

Below: ⬇ 'A New Kind of Hero'
- - A mini-documentary about Pollard shot on location during production of the 1969 film 'Hannibal Brooks', in which he
co-starred with Oliver Reed.
Reed and director Michael Winner also appear in this 9-minute featurette.

ADDENDUM, 2/12/08, 4/21/08, 6/27/08: Another few MJP images found, which brings up the notion of making additions to this on-going 'bank' of Pollard-mania as things present themselves. Stay tuned.

- - and if YOU have any Michael J. Pollard photos, articles, interviews, memories, etc, to share, please feel free to drop an e-mail or post a comment! Thanks.

Looks like the motorcycle shot was used for a poster in 1968. ➤
Y'know, like the ones you'd find at the mall or in that groovy head shop, and then pin up on your bedroom wall.

▼ Gene Shalit's capsule movie review appeared in the December 1st, 1970 issue of LOOK magazine. ▼

(click on image to ENLARGE)

At left, 3 images from a Pollard TV
guest-appearance on 'Honey West' in 1965.

◀ In the episode 'The Princess and The Paupers', MJP is on the right as Jingles, a member of up & coming rock band
The Paupers, in performance at a swinging nightclub on L.A.'s Sunset Strip.

(Next to Pollard is Bobby Sherman, 3 or 4 years prior to 'Here Comes The Brides' and teen heartthrob status. On the left is
Nino Candido, who eventually segued from TV acting to crew work, becoming property master on 'The A-Team', 'My Name Is Earl', and other programs.)

◀ Working on an alibi with 'Honey West' stars Anne Francis and John Ericson.

◀ Oops, Spoiler alert! The guest-star did it! Who knew?!?

With Robert Culp, ▶
from a 1966 episode of 'I Spy';
'Trial by Treehouse'.
- That episode can be viewed at Hulu.

Below; ▼ with actor Kyle Holman in 1989, while filming
'Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland'.
Read an interview with Kyle Holman about the production (and a brief Pollard memory)
at Racks and Razors.Com.

Above; ▲ in Nelson,
British Columbia, along with Daryl Hannah and
Rick Rossovich during production of 'Roxanne', 1986.
Photo by Steve Thornton.

◀ Selling shades,
and hanging with
actress Sally Kirkland. ▼

UPDATE, 10.1.08: A few more photos added, including recent shots from 6/08,
(scroll down) - - and, and, AND!! - - an astonishing audio discovery, one that I'd certainly never heard about prior to finding it recently at Probe is Turning-on the People (Session 209), via Donna Lethal at
Celluloid Slammer.

It's an old novelty 45, released in the election year of 1968 by singer Jim Lowe, some 12 years after his big chart hit with
'The Green Door'...

Listen to:
Jim Lowe -
Michael J. Pollard For President

(Buddah Records 45, 1968)

(click for audio)

Below, ▼ MJP on June 12th, 2008 in Los Angeles, attending the ceremony honoring Warren Beatty for his AFI Life Achievement Award.

Speaking of achievements, all these years and the man still shows serious skills when it comes to the fine art of hat-wearing...

More stuff added, including
◀ this shot from July, 2008 of MJP at a movie theater in Malibu.
(photo by WENN, more at Absolutely.Net.)

A few online video tips...
Among many other credits, Mr. Pollard holds the distinction of being the only actor to appear during the 1960s on TV episodes of both 'Star Trek' and 'Lost in Space', two of the more popular Sci-Fi shows of the decade.

- The 1966 'Lost In Space' episode 'The Magic Mirror' is available for online viewing at Hulu.

- The 1966 'Star Trek' episode 'Miri' is available for online viewing at Fancast.

In addition to the 'I Spy' episode mentioned earlier in this post, a diligent seeker of MJP TV appearances posted online might care to look around on YouTube or similar sites...

◀ Photo by Polly Cole, found at flickr.


Jim Allen said...

Yes! Thank you for this! Pollard is one of my favorite underappreciated actors, from his famous Star Trek turn to his awesome performance in the great Dirty Little Billy, a film as unjustly unrecognized as Pollard himself, it was much in the vein of McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and it's a tragedy that it's not on DVD. Anyone out there have a copy to trade or anything?

Funky16Corners said...

It's funny. Whenever someone starts up with how some current actor is an "indie darling" I always bring up Pollard, in many ways the original "indie darling". Great bridge between the old school character actors and the new wave of the 60's.

Jill from Clevedon U.K said...

I saw a trailer for a forthcoming film and there was Michael J Pollard. It reminded me of the poster I had on my wall when I was a teenager. All my friends had posters of pop stars & I had the lovable Michael J Pollard. I think he is great and will always bring a smile to my face. Whenever I see him in a film or on TV I am spellbound. Thank you for this website. I came on the internet to see what he is doing now. So can someone let us know?

Anonymous said...

Always enjoyed Michael J Pollard in every thing I have ever seen him act in. I was watching an episode of Lost in Space in which he stared in and was wondering what ever happened to him. I have been a fan of his for years. He is one actor I'd sure like to meet someday.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember him being somehow outstanding to me when I was a little kid watching Lost In Space and Star Trek. I have clear memory of trying to ask people about him and them having no idea who I was talking about.

At one point as a teen, maybe a pre-teen, I thought I'd figured out that he was the lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult.

Anonymous said...

pollard knocked me out. irreligious, wierd, not a rubber stamp. I didn't know anyone ever saw him. remember some part in star trek?

Anonymous said...

I just saw "Bonnie And Clyde" last night. You gotta love Michael, with the lovable, impish personna. And kinda cute, too. Perhaps the real-life character was dim-witted, but I prefer Michael's "slightly stoned" take on the role. Just lots of fun.

Donna Lethal said...

DAMN! I just did a little post on him a few weeks ago and didn't even see this treasure trove. MJP lives in my friend's apt complex but we have never seen him!

jeanebellini said...

the only thing i have to add (and didn't seem to find anywhere in here) is the fact that Micheal J Fox put the J in his name is because of Micheal J Pollard. (as much as i liked MJF, this info made me give him a bit more respect;)).

Character actors themselves deserve much more respect than they ever get. Thanks for putting this info together for anyone who might not have been around or have been following Pollard's work over the decades!

KellyK said...

MJP has aged wonderfully, and I hope casting directors will take note and place him in more character roles before we lose this national treasure.

Try the NEW Cheese said...

Truly awesome tribute!! My mom went to grammer school with Pollard & his sister in Clifton, NJ. When I was 5 years old, she took my younger sis and I to the drive-in to see Bonnie & Clyde, and I've been a fan ever since!

SueB9 said...

THANK YOU Michael J. Pollard for your body of work. I always enjoy it when you are on the screen proceeding with thoughtful craft. ScottsdaleSue.

Anonymous said...

Nice site. I've been a MJP fan since the late 60's when I saw him in Lost in Space and Star Trek. When I worked at Suncoast video back in '91 I made a "Michael J Pollard Collection" poster and displayed all of his videos that we sold (7 or 8). I hope to see Michael in more movies or tv shows.

Anonymous said...

Always been a MJP fan. Something I've always remembered and kinda given him credit - in the 60's I remember seeing him on something (maybe Dobie Gillis) wearing a sweatshirt with a picture of Beethoven on it - never saw anything like that before. Now every sweatshirt and t-shirt has something on it, which always reminds me of MJP

Anonymous said...

I attended Collegiate School in Passaic, New Jersey from 1968 to 1974. There was a bust supposedly of Michael in our library. I was told he attended the school also. Does anyone have any info?

Anonymous said...

Found this (and your blog) searching for any info on Pollard. I love the guy. Love him. Any time he pops up in movies, good or bad...he puts a huge smile on my face!!!

And thank you SO MUCH for linking to the MJP for president song! Wow! What a time capsule!

Anonymous said...

What a creep! I ran into him at a party in NYC in the mid 1970's. He was smug, arrogant and obnoxious. That's my memory of Michael J. Pollard.

delorenzo said...

I lived across the street from michael in clifton nj.I was a little kid and i loved star trek and me and my friends would peak in his windows his parents had a poster of him on the wall i think it was from bonnie and clyde.Somewhere around 75 to 77 he was home a lot i think he was going through a lot of things then like drugs and booze.One day i met him and sat on his steps and talked to him for about an hour and he was pretty cool and didnt mind talking to me about star trek and bonnie and clyde he was really nice to me and i was allways talking to his father about him.

Anonymous said...

I remember in the 1970s a friend mentioned he'd seen Michael J. Pollard as a guest on a talk show -- I believe it was Johnny Carson's Tonight Show -- and Pollard refused to say a word during his entire appearance! I keep hoping someone will post a video of that awkward moment on YouTube; I'd love to see it.

Unknown said...

I got to meet Michael j pollard! This may sound crazy, but nowadays he can be found on the metro going to and from Malibu California. I met him a few years ago when I was 15 bussing out to see my friends and he talked to me about his past. I'm glad I found this and I'm glad he is so loved! He's a rad old guy who wears skate boarding shoes and skinny jeans!

Anonymous said...

Wow such a great actor overall. I can remember him in a lot of stuff over the years especially as a kid. He should be cast in a lot of roles from current Hollywood films nowadays but, Hollywood doesn't know the first thing about talent in today's world. Television sucks these days just look at all the reality cr-p. I look forward to seeing such a talented actor and person in future endeavors.

Jae said...

I'm in my 60's...he's always seems to pop up in my minds eye over the years without any prodding, hence I'm here. He is certainly one of the most intriguing people of the 20th century! Thank you for highlighting him, he deserve so much more recognition. I hope he finds this comforting to know :)

Unknown said...

Now in my early 60s I remember watching any film I could that he was in..Loved the guy..Good to know he's still around..All the best from Scotland Michael j

Unknown said...

Michael J. Pollard, simply put, he had "IT" and from recent photos, it seems he still does. The face, the expressions, the mannerisms, unique, one in a million, someone who comes along once in a lifetime, how fortunate for us, he came along in OUR lifetime. I for one, can't take my eyes off of him when he performs and I never tire of watching him. Hi My wish for him...may he live long and prosper. M. Shannon

Bradley Dean Stephan said...

Thanks, man, that was great! Interesting to learn MJP suggested the Traffic song title: "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"!

Anonymous said...

Just found out today that he died...watching TCM. Been an MJP fan for decades. Thanks for this site, it’s given me some good leads. It’s funny...MJP is one of the names I drop to see if someone is cool enough for me...still haven’t met anyone who has seen Little Fauss and Big what a tragedy! RIP Michael and thanks.

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