Martin Sam Milner (December 28, 1931 – September 6, 2015) was an American film, stage, radio, and television actor. Milner is known for his performances on two television series: Route 66, which aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, and Adam-12, which aired on NBC from 1968 to 1975.
Milner in 1960
Martin Sam Milner
December 28, 1931
|Died||September 6, 2015 83) (aged|
|Resting place||Eternal Hills Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory, Oceanside, California U.S.|
|Alma mater||North Hollywood High School, University of Southern California|
Judith Bess "Judy" Jones (m. 1957)
Milner was born on December 28, 1931 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Mildred (née Martin), a Paramount Theater circuit dancer, and Sam Gordon Milner, who worked as a construction hand and later a film distributor. His father was a Polish Jewish immigrant. The family left Detroit when he was a young child and moved frequently before settling in Seattle, Washington, by the time he was nine. There he became involved in acting, first in school, and then in a children's theater group at the Cornish Playhouse.
When Milner was a teenager, he moved with his family to Los Angeles where his parents hired an acting coach and later an agent for him. Milner had his first screen test and began his film career with his debut in the Warner Bros. film Life with Father (1947) in the role of John Day, the second oldest son of Clarence Day, played by William Powell, and Vinnie Day, portrayed by Irene Dunne. Less than two weeks after that film was completed in August 1946, Milner contracted poliomyelitis. He recovered within a year and had bit parts in two more films before graduating from North Hollywood High School in 1949. He immediately landed a minor role in the film Sands of Iwo Jima starring John Wayne.
Milner attended the University of Southern California where he studied theater. He dropped out after a year in the fall of 1950 to concentrate on acting. He made his first television appearance in 1950 as a guest star in episode 28 titled "Pay Dirt" on The Lone Ranger. That same year, he began a recurring role as "Drexel Potter" on the ABC sitcom The Stu Erwin Show.
He had several more roles, both minor and major, in war films in the 1950s, including another John Wayne picture called Operation Pacific (1951) and Mister Roberts (1955), with William Powell and Henry Fonda, James Cagney and Jack Lemmon. On the set of Halls of Montezuma (1950), he met and befriended actor Jack Webb. Soon thereafter, he began intermittent work on Webb's radio series Dragnet.
In 1952, Milner began a two-year stint in the United States Army. He was assigned to Special Services at Fort Ord on California's Monterey Bay Peninsula, where he directed training films. He also emceed and performed in skits in a touring unit show to entertain the soldiers. Milner was encouraged by fellow soldier David Janssen to pursue an acting career when his time in the Army ended. He also served at Ft Ord at the same time as future actors Clint Eastwood and Richard Long. While in the Army, Milner continued working for Jack Webb, playing "Officer Bill Lockwood" (briefly the partner of "Sgt. Friday") and other characters on the Dragnet radio series on weekends. He also appeared on six episodes of Webb's Dragnet television series between 1952–1955.
After his military service ended, Milner had a recurring role on The Life of Riley from 1953 to 1958. He also made guest appearances on numerous television shows including episodes of The Bigelow Theatre, The Great Gildersleeve, TV Reader's Digest, Science Fiction Theatre, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, NBC Matinee Theater, The West Point Story, The Twilight Zone (episode: "Mirror Image"), and Rawhide.
Milner was under contract at Burt Lancaster’s production company, Hecht-Lancaster. He also acted in films, the most notable of which are The Long Gray Line (1955), Mister Roberts (1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), as jazz guitarist Steve Dallas in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Compulsion (1959) and 13 Ghosts (1960). He was one of the stars of Valley of the Dolls (1967), based on the Jacqueline Susann best-seller.
In 1960, Milner won the role of Tod Stiles on the CBS television series, Route 66, which ran from 1960 to 1964. Created by Stirling Silliphant, Route 66 is about two regular but distinctly different young men in a car touring the United States.
After the sudden death of his father left him penniless, Milner's character, Tod, travels across the United States in a Chevrolet Corvette, taking a variety of odd jobs along the way and getting involved in other people's problems. Tod's traveling partner on his escapades is his friend Buz Murdock (played by George Maharis), a former employee of his father's. During the series' third season, Milner got a new co-star, Glenn Corbett, who was brought in to replace Maharis - Tod's new traveling partner was Lincoln "Linc" Case, an Army veteran who had a dark past, and Corbett remained in the role for the remaining season and a half.
Route 66 was a different sort of television program, as the travels of Tod and his traveling partners were shot on location. Thus, Milner spent nearly four years traveling the country for the series, sometimes taking his wife and children along.
Milner and Webb had a long-established working relationship by the time it came to cast Adam-12. Milner appeared in numerous episodes of both the radio and television versions of the seminal Jack Webb series Dragnet. Milner had also worked with Webb in the films Halls of Montezuma (1950) and Pete Kelly's Blues (1955). This led to the role for which Milner is best known.
In 1968, Milner returned to television as seven-year LAPD veteran uniform patrol Officer Peter Joseph "Pete" Malloy in the Webb-produced police drama, Adam-12. Kent McCord played his partner, rookie Officer James A. "Jim" Reed. The NBC series ran from 1968 to 1975. Like Webb's Dragnet, it was based on real Los Angeles Police Department procedures and cases.
Milner was Webb's choice for "cop behind the wheel" Pete Malloy in part because his relative youth and prior acting credits and because of his on-camera driving experience from his days on Route 66. He guest starred in three episodes of Emergency! between 1972 and 1976, during and after Adam-12's run on NBC, the best known and first of which was the pilot episode The Wedsworth-Townsend Act.
After Adam-12, Milner starred as Karl Robinson in a television series version of The Swiss Family Robinson (1975–1976), produced by Irwin Allen. Most of his following work was as a television guest star, including action-adventure series MacGyver (as James MacGyver, MacGyver's father), Airwolf, Murder, She Wrote and RoboCop: The Series. In 1983, Milner hosted a morning radio wake-up show on AM 600 KOGO, San Diego.
Milner also portrayed the victim in the premiere episode of Columbo titled "Murder by the Book". In 1990, Milner teamed up again with Kent McCord in the cable TV-movie Nashville Beat (1990), originally shown on the now-defunct The Nashville Network. The story, partly written by McCord, had McCord as an LAPD detective who teams up with his old partner, Milner, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1992, he guest-starred on five episodes of ABC's Life Goes On. After retiring from acting, Milner co-hosted a radio show about fishing called "Let's Talk Hook-Up" on San Diego-area sports station XETRA AM 690 (now XEWW). In 1998, Milner decided to pay an homage of sorts to the series which made him a star, Route 66, with the documentary film Route 66: Return to the Road With Martin Milner, which featured Milner in a 1961 Corvette on a journey from Chicago to Santa Monica on the highway.
Personal life and death
In May 1956, Milner met singer and actress Judith Bess Jones at a Hollywood dinner party. They were married on February 23, 1957, in Waukegan, Illinois. They had four children.
In February 2003, Milner's eldest daughter Amy, who appeared in an episode of Adam 12, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She died in December 2004.
On September 6, 2015, Milner died of heart failure at his home in Carlsbad, California, at age 83. Milner's remains were cremated by Eternal Hills Memorial Park's mortuary in Oceanside, California.. His memorial service was held by law enforcement and community members six days later.
|1947||Life with Father||John Day|
|1948||The Wreck of the Hesperus||Nathaniel|
|1949||The Green Promise||Joe - 4H Club Member||Uncredited|
|1949||Sands of Iwo Jima||Pvt. Mike McHugh|
|1950||Our Very Own||Bert|
|1951||Halls of Montezuma||Whitney|
|1951||Operation Pacific||Ens. Caldwell|
|1951||Fighting Coast Guard||Al Prescott|
|1951||I Want You||George Kress Jr.|
|1952||The Captive City||Phil Harding|
|1952||Belles on Their Toes||Al Lynch||Uncredited|
|1952||My Wife's Best Friend||Buddy Chamberlain|
|1952||Springfield Rifle||Pvt. Olie Larsen|
|1952||Battle Zone||Corp. Andy Sayer|
|1952||Torpedo Alley||Undetermined Role||Unconfirmed / Uncredited|
|1953||Last of the Comanches||Billy Creel|
|1953||Destination Gobi||Elwood Halsey|
|1954||Dial M for Murder||Policeman Outside Wendice Flat||Uncredited|
|1955||The Long Gray Line||Jim O'Carberry||Uncredited|
|1955||Mister Roberts||Shore Patrol Officer|
|1955||Francis in the Navy||W.T. 'Rick' Rickson|
|1955||Pete Kelly's Blues||Joey Firestone|
|1956||On the Threshold of Space||Lt. Mort Glenn|
|1956||Screaming Eagles||Pvt. Corliss|
|1956||Pillars of the Sky||Waco|
|1957||Man Afraid||Shep Hamilton|
|1957||Desk Set||Bit Part||Uncredited|
|1957||Gunfight at the O.K. Corral||James Earp|
|1957||Sweet Smell of Success||Steve Dallas||Credited as Marty Milner|
|1958||Too Much, Too Soon||Lincoln Forrester|
|1958||Marjorie Morningstar||Wally Wronkin|
|1960||The Private Lives of Adam and Eve||Ad Simms / Adam|
|1960||13 Ghosts||Benjamen Rush|
|1960||Sex Kittens Go to College||George Barton||Associate producer|
|1965||Zebra in the Kitchen||Dr. Del Hartwood|
|1966||Ski Fever||Brian Davis|
|1967||Valley of the Dolls||Mel Anderson|
|1968||Three Guns for Texas||Const. Clendon MacMillan|
|1975||The Swiss Family Robinson||Karl Robinson|
|1998||Route 66: Return to the Road with Martin Milner||Himself||Video Documentary|
|1950||The Lone Ranger||Dick McHenry||"Pay Dirt"|
|1950–1951||The Stu Erwin Show||Drexel Potter||8 episodes|
|1951||The Bigelow Theatre||T.K.O.||Episode: "T.K.O."|
|1952–1955||Dragnet||Stephen Banner||6 episodes|
|1953–1957||The Life of Riley||Bruce
|1954–1955||Schlitz Playhouse of Stars||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1955||The Great Gildersleeve||Brick||Episode: "Water Commissioner's Water Color"|
|1956||NBC Matinee Theater||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1956||TV Reader's Digest||US Army Recruit||Episode: "The Old, Old Story"|
|1956||The Charles Farrell Show||Episode: "Love and Kisses"|
|1956||Telephone Time||Episode: "The Churchill Club"|
|1956||Science Fiction Theatre||Britt||Episode: "Three Minute Mile"|
|1956||Crossroads||Charles Mitchell||2 episodes|
|1956||Navy Log||Monk Jacob||"Incident at Formosa"|
|1956–1957||The West Point Story||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1958||Wagon Train||Matt Trumbell||Episode: "The Sally Potter Story"|
|1958–1959||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1958–1959||The Millionaire||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1959||Rawhide||Johnny Doan||Episode: "Incident with an Executioner"|
|1959||Playhouse 90||Episode: "Judgment at Nuremberg"|
|1959||Steve Canyon||Sgt. Ernest Bigelow||Episode: "Operation Firebee"|
|1959||Hotel de Paree||Pat Williams||Episode: "Vein of Ore"|
|1959||U.S. Marshal||Deputy Bob Baxter||Episode: "Trigger Happy"|
|1960||The Twilight Zone||Paul Grinstead||Episode: "Mirror Image"|
|1960–1964||Route 66||Tod Stiles||116 episodes|
|1965||Memorandum for a Spy||Television film|
|1965||Starr, First Baseman||Joe Starr||Television film|
|1965||Slattery's People||State Representative Scott Fleming||Episode: "Question: What's a Requiem for a Loser?"|
|1965||Gidget||Kahuna||Episode: "The Great Kahuna"|
|1965||Laredo||Clendon MacMillan||Episode: "Yahoo"|
|1965–1966||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1965–1966||The Virginian||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1966||A Man Called Shenandoah||Neal Henderson||Episode: "Requiem for the Second"|
|1966||12 O'Clock High||Maj. Dimscek||Episode: "Six Feet Under"|
|1967||The Rat Patrol||Sgt. Roberts||Episode: "The Wild Goose Raid"|
|1967||Run for Your Life||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1967||Felony Squad||Thomas Glynn||Episode: "Hit and Run, Run, Run"|
|1967||Insight||Sherm||Episode: "Fat Hands and a Diamond Ring"|
|1968||Land's End||Eric||Television film|
|1968||Dragnet||Officer Pete Malloy||Episode: "Internal Affairs: DR-20"|
|1968–1975||Adam-12||Officer Pete Malloy||174 episodes|
|1971||Columbo||Jim Ferris||Episode: "Murder by the Book"|
|1971||The D.A.||Officer Pete Malloy||Episode: "The People vs. Saydo"|
|1972||Hollywood Squares||Himself||Celebrity Guest Star|
|1972–1976||Emergency!||Officer Pete Malloy||3 episodes|
|1973||Runaway!||John Shedd||Television film|
|1974||Hurricane||Maj. Hymie Stoddard||Television film|
|1975–1976||The Swiss Family Robinson||Karl Robinson||20 episodes|
|1976||Flood!||Paul Burke||Television film|
|1977||SST: Death Flight||Lyle Kingman||Television film|
|1977||Police Story||Grady Dolin||Episode: "Stigma"|
|1978||Black Beauty||Tom Gray||Miniseries|
|1978||Little Mo||Wilbur Folsom||Television film|
|1979||Crisis in Mid-Air||Dr. Denvers||Television film|
|1979||The Last Convertible||Sergeant Dabric||Miniseries|
|1979||Password Plus||Himself||Game Show Contestant / Celebrity Guest Star|
|1979||The Seekers||Philip Kent||Television film|
|1980||The Littlest Hobo||Don Porter||Episode: "Sailing Away"|
|1981||Fantasy Island||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1981||The Ordeal of Bill Carney||Peter Belton||Television movie|
|1985||Airwolf||Arthur Barnes||Episode: "Severance Pay"|
|1985–1996||Murder, She Wrote||Various roles||5 episodes|
|1988||MacGyver||Coach Turk Donner||Episode: "Thin Ice"|
|1989||Nashville Beat||Captain Brian O'Neal||Television movie|
|1990||MacGyver||James MacGyver||Episode: "Passages"|
|1992||Life Goes On||Harris Cassidy||5 episodes|
|1994||RoboCop: The Series||Russell Murphy||2 episodes|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Detective Halloran||Episode: "Murder Blues", (final appearance)|
- Willis & Monush 2006, p. 368.
- "Profile". FamilySearch. United States: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- Willis & Monush 1998, p. 283.
- Tugend, Tom (September 16, 2015). "Remembering Marty Milner". The Jewish Journal. Los Angeles: TRIBE Media Corp. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- Bryant, Adam (September 7, 2015). "Adam-12, Route 66 Star Martin Milner Dies at 83". TV Guide. New York City: NTVB Media (magazine) CBS Interactive (CBS Corporation) (digital assets). Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Barnes, Mike; Byrge, Duane (September 7, 2015). "Martin Milner, Star of 'Adam-12' and 'Route 66,' Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- McLellan, Dennis (September 7, 2015). "Martin Milner dies at 83; 'Adam-12' and 'Route 66' star". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tronc, Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- "The Players of Adam-12". The Daily Courier. Prescott, Arizona: Western Newspapers. October 18, 1972. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Milner Grew Up In the Business". Lewiston Evening Journal. Lewiston, Maine: Sun Media Group. November 10, 1960. pp. 7–A. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- Dagan, Carmel (September 7, 2015). "Martin Milner, Star of 'Adam-12,' 'Route 66,' Dies at 83". Variety. Los Angeles: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
- "Martin. Milner also starred in Gidget with Sally Field and Don Porter, as the 'Big Kahuna' in an early episode by the same name. Milner". The Daily Courier. Prescott, Arizona: Western Newspapers. September 20, 1970. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Clint Eastwood Used the GI Bill". Military.com. United States: Monster Worldwide. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Brown, Laurel (September 7, 2015). "Adam-12 and Route 66 star Martin Milner dies at age 83". Daily Mail. London: DMG Media. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- Gates, Anita (September 7, 2015). "Martin Milner, Clean-Cut Star of 'Route 66' and 'Adam-12,' Dies at 83". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
- Sackett, Susan (1993). Prime-time hits: television's most popular network program. Billboard Books. ISBN 978-0823083923.
- "Marriage Announcement". Chicago Tribune. Chicago: Tonc, Inc. February 24, 1957. p. 34.
- Shain, Percy (June 23, 1968). "Milner's Back!". The Boston Globe. Boston: Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. pp. TV–2.
- "Actor Martin Milner seeks help for ill daughter in Encinitas". North County Times. Escondido, California: The San Diego Union-Tribune. July 11, 2004. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "Obituaries - 12/23/04". North County Times. Escondido, California: The San Diego Union-Tribune. December 23, 2004. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "Martin Milner, 'Route 66' and 'Adam-12' Star, Dies". ABC News. New York City: ABC. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
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