Veteran character actor Dick Miller, perhaps most famous for the line, "There's a real Gremlin in my cab!" from the 1984 movie "Gremlins," has died at age 90. In spite of his advanced age, THR reports Miller's death was "sudden."
Born on December 25, 1928, in the Bronx, Miller served in the Navy and worked on Broadway before moving to L.A. He made his debut in the Roger Corman western "Apache Woman" (1955), a film in which he played both a townsman and a Native American — one of whom killed the other. It would lead to a lifelong friendship and collaboration with the director.
Family photo from "That Guy Dick Miller"
On the set of "Gremlins" with Jackie Joseph
After starring as Walter Paisley in the Corman cult classic "A Bucket of Blood" (1959), Miller would play characters of the same name five more times throughout his career, a longstanding in-joke.
Among his more than 100 roles, it was Murray Futterman in "Gremlins" for which he was invariably recognized; he was so beloved by director Joe Dante that he was cast in almost every Dante project. Dante remembered him on Twitter as "one of my best friends and most treasured collaborators."
...We hit it off and every script thereafter I always looked for a role for Dick--not just because he was my friend but because I loved watching him act! But he leaves behind over 100 performances, a bio & a doc--not bad for a guy who hardly ever enjoyed a starring role. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/sqXgMIZb6k
Other memorable projects for Miller were "Piranha" (1978), "The Howling" (1981), "The Terminator" (1984), and the TV series "Fame" (1984-1987). He was an interviewee in the doc "Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies' (2001) and the subject of the 2014 doc "That Guy Dick Miller."
Miller is survived by his wife of 59 years, Lainie; a daughter; and a granddaughter.