Hillerman, John B., SSgt

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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Primary Unit
1953-1957, Carswell Air Force Base
Service Years
1953 - 1957
Staff Sergeant

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 Unit Assignments
US Air ForceUS Air Force
  1953-1957, US Air Force
  1953-1957, Carswell Air Force Base
 Colleges Attended 
University of Texas at Austin
  1950-1952, University of Texas at Austin
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Hillerman was born in Denison, Texas, the son of German Americans Lenora Joan (née Medlinger) and Christopher Benedict Hillerman, a gas station owner. His father was the grandson of immigrants from Germany and France. His mother was the daughter of immigrants from Austria and Germany. Young Hillerman grew up in Denison and attended St. Xavier's Academy. After graduation, he attended the University of Texas at Austin for three years where he majored in journalism. In 1953, he joined the United States Air Force, serving for four years and achieving the rank of Sergeant. During his years of military service, he worked with various theatrical groups, and upon his discharge he moved to New York City to study at the American Theatre Wing. In 1957, he began his career in professional theater as the resident juvenile at Chautauqua Playhouse in Middleton, Ohio.

Hillerman appeared on Broadway in 1959 and worked in live performances in a variety of venues before making his motion picture debut in 1970. He had roles in such noteworthy films as The Last Picture Show (1971), What's Up, Doc? (1972), High Plains Drifter (1973), Paper Moon (1973), Blazing Saddles (1974), and Chinatown (1974). His other roles include Lucky Lady (1975), and a small appearance in the comedy film Up the Creek (1984).

In 1975, he was a co-star in Ellery Queen as Simon Brimmer, a radio detective who hosted a live radio show and tried to outsmart Ellery Queen (Jim Hutton). From 1976 to 1980, he had a recurring role as Mr. Conners on the television series One Day at a Time, and he co-starred as Betty White's ex-husband on the short-lived The Betty White Show in 1977.

He is probably best remembered for his role as former British Army Sergeant Major Jonathan Quayle Higgins III ("Higgins") on the television series Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988). The English accent that Hillerman used as Higgins in Magnum P.I. and in other roles is not natural. Hailing from Texas, Hillerman had to learn this accent, which he developed by watching and listening to the performances of Laurence Olivier.

In 1982 John Hillerman played in the T.V. pilot of Tales of the Gold Monkey, where he played a German villain by the name of "Fritz the Monocle".

In 1984, he hosted the David Hemmings directed puzzle video Money Hunt: The Mystery of the Missing Link. In 1990, Hillerman returned to television to perform for one season as Lloyd Hogan in the series The Hogan Family. That same year, Hillerman portrayed Dr. Watson to Edward Woodward's Sherlock Holmes in Hands of a Murderer.

In 1993, he appeared in Berlin Break for one season. He played the role of Mac Mackenzie, a former spy and currently the proprietor of "Mac's", a bar in West Berlin considered to be neutral territory during the Cold War. He teamed up with two jobless spies as investigators: Valentin Renko (Nicholas Clay), an ex-KGB agent, and Willy Richter (Kai Wulff), an ex-BND (West German secret service) operative. The show also featured Jeff MacKay (who played "Mac" MacReynolds in Magnum P.I.).

Hillerman retired in 2009, and now resides in his home state of Texas.
Awards and nominations

    Hillerman was nominated for the Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV in 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1988 for his role in Magnum, P.I. He won the award in 1982.

    Hillerman was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 for his role in Magnum, P.I. He won the award in 1987.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hillerman http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0384916/
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