Michael J. Pollard, a beloved actor of the silver screen since the late 1950s, has passed away. His death was announced via Facebook today by filmmaker Rob Zombie, who directed Pollard in the 2003 ultra-violent horror film HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. According to an obituary posted by The New York Times, a friend of Pollard’s by the name of Dawn Walker stated that the actor died on Thursday in a Los Angeles hospital due to cardiac arrest. He was 80-years-old at the time of his passing.
“Another member of our House of 1000 Corpses family has left us,” Zombie wrote. “The great Michael J Pollard has died. I have been a huge fan of Michael since I first saw him on the Star Trek “Miri”. He was amazing in everything from Bonnie and Clyde to Little Fauss and Big Halsy from Dirty Little Billy to The Four of the Apocalypse. 20 years ago he was one of the first actors I casted in 1000 Corpses. He was a hoot and will be missed.”
Among his many roles, Pollard is best remembered for his Oscar-nominated role as the simple-minded and scrappy sidekick C.W. Moss in 1967’s BONNIE AND CLYDE. For me, I’ll always remember him as Bug Bailey of Warren Beatty‘s DICK TRACY, an unsung gem of the comics-to-film genre, in my humble opinion.
Born in Passaic, New Jersey, Pollard was a student of the Actor’s Studio in New York, and in time had appeared in a number of television programs, including ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, ROUTE 66, THE LUCY SHOW, GUNSMOKE, LOST IN SPACE, and of course, the STAR TREK episode “Miri,” in which he played Jahn. On the film side of the spectrum, Pollard enjoyed a number of small roles for films like HEMINGWAY’S ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN and SUMMER MAGIC, in which Pollard appeared as Digby Popham.
In addition to his roles on the big and small screen, Pollard also enjoyed being a member of the big stage, and made his mark by creating the role of Hugo Peabody for the original 1960 production of BYE BYE BIRDIE, one of the most treasured stage productions of all time.
We here at JoBlo wish Michael Pollard‘s family, friends, and fans our sincerest condolences. We wish him well on his journey to the Great Hereafter, and will honor his memory by continuing to enjoy his contributions to film for years to come.