Martin Milner Dead At 83

8 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Authorities provide description of child found dismembered in lagoon.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Milner, whose wholesome good looks helped make him the star of two hugely popular 1960s TV series, Route 66 and Adam-12, has died.Milner, who began his career as a teenager, became famous in 1960 alongside co-star George Maharis in the TV drama Route 66, which found two restless young men roaming the highway that the author John Steinbeck had dubbed “the Mother Road” in a Corvette convertible.The child whose dismembered body was found in the Garfield Park lagoon was most likely African-American and between 2 and 3 years old, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Martin Milner, an actor who broke out of supporting movie roles as the quintessential clean-cut young man to achieve television stardom as one of two road-hungry bachelors in “Route 66” and later as a veteran police officer in “Adam-12,” died on Sunday at his home in Carlsbad, Calif., a veteran actor known for work on TV dramas such as Adam-12 and Route 66, has died, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department confirms to PEOPLE. Serious guy Martin Milner is letting his hair down for his latest role as Harris, a socialist bookshop owner on the ABC series “Life Goes On.” Literally. “My hair is halfway down my back,” Milner said, laughing. “I am not doing the next three shows so I am getting my hair cut. He was the naïve fiancé of a ruthless New York columnist’s sister in “Sweet Smell of Success”; a helpful friend of John Barrymore’s wayward daughter Diana in “Too Much, Too Soon”; a shy young reporter surrounded by murderers in “Compulsion”; and the wide-eyed boy who loses the girl to the sophisticated older man in “Marjorie Morningstar,” based on Herman Wouk’s novel.

The series was said to have been inspired by Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road and featured weekly guest stars including Robert Redford, Alan Alda and Gene Hackman in some of their earliest roles. He went on to appear in John Wayne’s Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949 and Operation Pacific in 1951, before transitioning to TV with several appearances in the classic police procedural Dragnet beginning in 1952.

The series often tackled serious social issues, and its guest stars included major Hollywood names like Joan Crawford, Rod Steiger and Boris Karloff, as well as future notables like Robert Redford and Martin Sheen. Since bypassed in favor of bigger, faster interstates, the highway stretched unbroken from Chicago to the Pacific during the show’s heyday and was venerated as a driving force behind the country’s 20th-century, westward migration. I drive into town and work one or two days.” Milner was just 14 when he made his film debut as the middle son of William Powell and Irene Dunne in the 1947 comedy “Life With Father.” “I was never a child star,” he said. “I was just somebody who got two or three jobs before I was a young adult.” “No one wanted to hire me,” he said. “They could hire an 18-year-old and not have all the child-labor regulations.” At 17, Milner started lying about his age and began working steadily until he was drafted into the Army in 1952. The show was praised as depicting police work in a more realistic manner than previous series, and Milner’s performance inspired generations of future police officers – including LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck. “Adam-12 and Martin Milner embodied the spirit of the LAPD to millions of viewers,” Beck said in a statement Monday. “His depiction of a professional and tough yet compassionate cop led thousands of men and women applying to become LAPD officers, including me.

But ironically, the action often took place off the highway. “The problem was that once you get into Oklahoma and Texas on the route, the scenery is flat and boring,” Milner recounted in a 1997 interview. “Pictorially it just wasn’t very interesting.” Maharis, who became ill with hepatitis and missed part of the third season, left Route 66 at the end of that year amid rumors of a contract dispute. He had met Webb when both were in the cast of the 1950 war film “Halls of Montezuma,” and had appeared in six episodes of Webb’s series “Dragnet” in the early days of his television career. “The really big stars have a drive that made them into superstars,” he said in an interview with The Toronto Star in 1994. “They can’t turn it off when they have that success. Godspeed Martin, you will live forever in our hearts.” Milner is survived by his wife, Judith Bess “Judy” Jones, a former singer and actress whom he married in 1957; daughter Molly, and sons Stuart and Andrew. He said he had no idea “Route” would become a cult series. “We knew it was a quality piece of work,” Milner said. “We didn’t know this sort of cult thing would happen. His father, Sam, was a film distributor, and his mother, Mildred, known professionally as Jerre Martin, was a dancer with the Paramount Theater circuit.

I guess if you live long enough, you become nostalgia.” Milner recently saw some of the old episodes of “Route 66.” A fan from Kentucky sent him all 116 episodes on tape for him to copy. “Some of them … Milner came by his red hair, and freckles, naturally.) Soon afterward, he received a diagnosis of polio, at the height of the epidemic, but he was able to return to the screen two years later, with John Wayne in “Sands of Iwo Jima” (1949). Milner served in the Army from 1952 to 1954, stationed in California, directing training films and appearing in touring shows, and he attended the University of Southern California for a year. In 1975 he starred in his last theatrically released film, “The Swiss Family Robinson,” the third American movie based on that 1812 novel by Johann David Wyss. He became a drive-time disc jockey in San Diego in the 1980s and hosted two fishing shows, “Let’s Talk Hook-Up” (in California) and “Let’s Talk Fishing” (syndicated) into the 2000s.

Others films were Louisa, Our Very Own, Operation Pacific, Battle Zone, My Wife’s Best Friend, Springfield Rifle, The Long Gray Line, Mister Roberts, Gunfight at the O.K.

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