Michael J. Pollard was an actor best known for his role as gang member C.W. Moss in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde,” for which he received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor. After playing the hapless getaway driver who ultimately got his gang caught, Pollard went on to starring roles in “Little Fauss and Big Halsy” (1970) and “Dirty Little Billy” (1972). Pollard continued to appear in notable movies throughout the 1980s, ‘90s, and ‘00s, including “Scrooged” (1988), “Dick Tracy” (1990), and “House of 1000 Corpses” (2003). He was also a stage actor, including originating the role of Hugo Peabody in the 1960 original Broadway cast of “Bye Bye Birdie.”
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Died: November 21, 2019 (Who else died on November 21?)
Details of death: Died at a hospital in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest at the age of 80.
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Small screen appearances: Pollard’s television appearances include a guest role on the original series of “Star Trek,” playing the leader of a planet of children on the 1966 episode “Miri.” He played Maynard G. Krebs’ cousin on a 1959 episode of “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” and appeared as villain Mr. Mxyzpltk on TV’s “Superboy” in 1989. Other notable television appearances include “I Spy,” “Lost in Space,” “Simon & Simon,” and “Tales from the Crypt.”
What people said about him: “Michael J. Pollard was one of a kind. Made every film he was in better. I met him once on the street in Beverly Hills and tried to pay him a compliment. He growled at me. I mean – literally growled at me. It was a perfect moment.” —screenwriter Larry Karaszewski
“Michael J. Pollard barely said a word in The Russians Are Coming and was hilarious. Then he gave an iconic performance in Bonnie and Clyde. In the years since it was always great to see him pop up in all kinds of films. A unique actor.” —comedian Frank Conniff
“I woke up to the news that Michael J. Pollard has died. I have always loved his work and his truly unique onscreen presence. He was one of the first actors I knew I had to work with as soon as I got my first film off the ground. He will be missed.” —Rob Zombie, who directed Pollard in “House of 1000 Corpses”
Full obituary: The New York Times
- Sid Haig (1939 – 2019), appeared with Pollard in “House of 1000 Corpses”
- Arthur Penn (1922 – 2010), director of “Bonnie and Clyde”
- Glenne Headly (1955 – 2017), appeared with Pollard in “Dick Tracy”