Emmy Award winning actor John Hillerman who is best known for playing estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on the hit television series “Magnum, P.I.” died November 9, 2017 in his Houston, Texas home as a result of heart disease at the age of 84.
Known for playing roles as cranky condescending characters, Hillerman appeared in over 70 productions including his 1970 debut as a reporter in an uncredited role in “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!”. His first credited role came one year later as Totts in “Lawman”. His other roles include “What’s Up, Doc?”, “The Sandy Duncan Show”, “High Plains Drifter”, “Paper Moon”, “Maude”, “Blazing Saddles”, “Kojak”, “Mannix”, “Ellery Queen”, “Wonder Woman”, “The Betty White Show”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Lou Grant”, “One Day at a Time”, “Simon & Simon”, “The Love Boat”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, “Valerie”, “Murder, She Wrote”, and his final role in 1996 as Dr. Whitehead in “A Very Brady Sequel”.
He was born Jack Ben Hillerman on December 20, 1932 in Denison, Texas; the son of a gas station owner. After attending the University of Texas in Austin, he enlisted and spent four years in the United State Air Force. It wasn’t until after leaving the Air Force that Hillerman made acting a career. After shedding his Texas accent, Hillerman adopted the British accent for which he became known.
Hillerman’s survivors include sister Jo Ann and seven nieces and nephews.
feature photo credit: CBS Television – Derivative from File:John Hillerman Betty White The Betty White Show 1977.JPG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Hillerman_Betty_White_The_Betty_White_Show_1977.JPG?us