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Kenneth McMillan
Born July 2, 1932(1932-07-02)
Brooklyn, New York City
Died January 8, 1989 (aged 56)
Santa Monica, California

Kenneth McMillan (July 2, 1932 – January 8, 1989) was an American actor. Portly and ruddy-faced, with an often aggressive and cantankerous demeanor, McMillan was usually cast as gruff, hostile and unfriendly characters.




Personal life

McMillan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Margaret and Harry McMillan, a truck driver.[1] Prior to becoming an actor, McMillan was a manager at Gimbels Department Store. At age 30 McMillan decided to pursue an acting career. He attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and took acting lessons from Uta Hagen and Irene Dailey. He was married to Kathryn McDonald (20 June 1969 - 8 January 1989) (his death) with whom he had one child, actress Alison McMillan.


McMillan made his film debut at age 41 with a small role in Sidney Lumet's gritty police drama Serpico. The actor played a borough commander in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, but often was cast as characters who were less than heroic, such as a cowardly small town sheriff in Tobe Hooper's '79 TV mini-series Salem's Lot, a similar law enforcement officer in the 1987 Burt Reynolds film Malone, William Hurt's bitter paraplegic father in Eyewitness, a wily safe cracker in The Pope of Greenwich Village and a racist fire chief in Ragtime who is memorably told off by the New York police commissioner, James Cagney.

He portrayed the vile and grotesquely obese Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune, the pathetic drunken pop of Aidan Quinn in Reckless and a sleazy high roller gambler in "The Ledge," an episode of the horror anthology film Cat's Eye. Yet he did sometimes end up on the right side of the law, playing Robert Duvall's detective partner in True Confessions and a judge who must rule whether Richard Dreyfuss has the right to die in Whose Life Is It Anyway?.

McMillan was also adept at comedy, giving especially funny and engaging performances as a baseball club manager in Blue Skies Again, Meg Ryan's corrupt police chief dad in Armed and Dangerous and a dotty senile veterinarian in Three Fugitives.

McMillan had a recurring role as Valerie Harper's irate boss Jack Doyle on the TV sitcom "Rhoda." Among the TV shows McMillan did guest spots on are Dark Shadows, Ryan's Hope, Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, Moonlighting, Magnum, P.I. and Murder, She Wrote.

Outside of his film and TV credits, McMillan also frequently performed on stage at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He acted in the original Broadway productions of Streamers and American Buffalo. He won an Obie for his performance in the Off-Broadway play Weekends and Other People.

McMillan died of liver disease at age 56.


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