On September 6, we all lost a good friend. Martin Milner was 83 years old. Whether you recognize the name or not, his face is surely familiar.
He began acting at a very young age, in the 1947 film “Life with Father” in the role of John Day, the second oldest son of Clarence Day. My husband and I still watch that film from time to time. John Day was an ambitious child who was interested in making money by selling “medicine” to friends. His wide-eyed innocence and the excitement in his voice makes you want to buy a bottle of it! When his father (played by William Powell) finds out he’s been selling the medicine, he tells John that he will not get his allowance until all of the medicine has bought back – John obviously does some math in his mind and declares, “But I’ll be 21 years old!” It’s a very cute movie and I highly recommend it.
Route 66 aired on CBS from 1960-64. Clean-cut Yale graduate Tod Stiles and his working-class buddy Buz Murdock (played by George Maharis) traveled all over the country in Tod’s Corette convertible getting their kicks.
The role I remember best is that of “Pete Malloy” in the hit series “Adam 12” (1968). Pete was a veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department assisted by rookie cop Jim Reed, who was played by Kent McCord.
We didn’t see much of Martin Milner then for a while. He played in my favorite TV series “Murder, She Wrote” from time to time. He played the role of “Lt. Clint Phelps”, who served in the USAF with Jessica’s husband, Frank Fletcher.
Of course, he played in many familiar movies as well, from westerns to city streets, he nailed every role he was challenged with playing.
I appreciate Martin Milner’s standards as an actor. He didn’t use his fame to push an agenda. He didn’t take a role that would damage his integrity or character. He seemed like the sort of guy you could just sit down and have a cup of coffee with, didn’t he?
Here’s a list of all the great performances of Martin Milner:
I will miss Martin Milner. Aren’t we thankful we can re-visit those great performances on DVD? 🙂