John Hillerman, who won an Emmy for playing Tom Selleck’s foil Jonathan Higgins on the long-running CBS hit Magnum, P.I., died Thursday, but news not out til Friday at his Houston home. After bit roles in such high-profile films as They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970), The Last Picture Show (1971) and What’s Up, Doc? (1972), High Plains Drifter and Paper Moon (both 1973), Hillerman was in his late 30s when he began to score. He (then) landed a small but memorable role as Howard Johnson in Mel Brooks’ 1974 classic Western spoof Blazing Saddles. CBS’ venerable Hawaii Five-O was heading into its final season, and the network already had a crew working on the islands, so many of them were recruited for a new crime drama set on Oahu with Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. Enter Hillerman as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, a British Army vet who was caretaker of the estate. Higgins was stuffy, stubborn, argumentative — and, ultimately, lovable. Hillerman earned four consecutive Emmy nominations for the role from 1984-87, finally winning the last time. He also won a Golden Globe on his first nom for the role in 1982 and followed it with nominations the next four straight years. After Magnum ended in 1988, Hillerman appeared in the 1989 miniseries Around the World in 80 Days and recurred on sitcom Valerie. His final credit was the 1996 feature A Very Brady Sequel. He was 84.
(A complete article from CNN posted Friday afternoon on the Jewel’s facebook page)
(Source: Eric Pedersen, deadline.com; Image” highlandradio.com with Tom Selleck from “Magnum P.I.”)