Michael J. Pollard, an Oscar Nominee for 'Bonnie and Clyde,' Is Dead at 80.


Category:  Entertainment

Via:  john-russell  •  10 months ago  •  4 comments

Michael J. Pollard, an Oscar Nominee for 'Bonnie and Clyde,' Is Dead at 80.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

A familiar face in movies and on television, he rose to fame in 1967 as the outlaw couple's dimwitted accomplice, earning an Oscar nomination.

Michael J. Pollard, who rose to fame in the 1967 hit film ''Bonnie and Clyde'' as C.W. Moss, the dimwitted gas station attendant who became a criminal accomplice, and went on to a long career as a Hollywood character actor, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 80.

A friend, Dawn Walker, said in an interview that the cause was cardiac arrest.

Mr. Pollard had been a familiar face on television since the late 1950s. He most often played likable but socially inept characters, and usually ranked fairly far down on the cast list. In two separate shows, he played the cousin of a beloved supporting character -- Jerome Krebs, cousin to Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver) on ''The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,'' and Virgil, cousin to Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), on ''The Andy Griffith Show.''

He also had a memorable role in the first season of the television series ''Star Trek,'' in 1966, playing a creepy, mischievous teenage cult leader on a planet of children.

But his performance in ''Bonnie and Clyde,'' which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor, raised his profile -- and changed the way Hollywood saw him.

In a 1968 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Pollard noted that directors had once been frustrated by his slow, somewhat eccentric way of delivering lines, but that the success of ''Bonnie and Clyde'' had changed that.

''They say, 'Just do your thing, Michael, whatever it is,''' he said. ''Same thing I've been doing for 10 years, man.''

''His thing'' was evident in a scene in ''Bonnie and Clyde'' in which Mr. Pollard, who is supposed to be driving the getaway car for the two outlaws, ends up parking the car.

''We made that up,'' Mr. Pollard told the film critic Roger Ebert in 1969. ''See, I can't drive a car. There was this guy teaching me, but I couldn't learn. So here I was stuck in the parking place, and Penn'' -- Arthur Penn, the director -- ''said, 'O.K., do it that way.'''

The writer Nora Ephron said it was Mr. Pollard's face that grabbed one's attention. ''Potato face,'' she wrote in 1970 in The New York Post. ''And a little like a cherub blowing friendly winds on old-fashioned maps. A little hilarious.''

He told Ms. Ephron that he thought his face was weird. ''When it was young it bothered me,'' he said. ''But then I became an actor and everyone started saying, 'What a face. Wow.' I believed all my publicity.''


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1  seeder  JohnRussell    10 months ago

He was pretty much a one hit wonder as an actor, but it was in a great movie. 

RIP Mr. Pollard. 

2  Kavika     10 months ago

RIP Mr. Pollard and it was a great movie.

Paula Bartholomew
3  Paula Bartholomew    10 months ago

When Michael J. Fox tried to register with SAG, he had no middle name and there was already an actor by the name of Michael Fox.  He took a cue from Mr. Pollard and added his middle initial to his own name and was hence known as Michael J. Fox.

RIP Mr. Pollard.

4  Enoch    10 months ago

He was great in that movie.

The loss of anyone always diminishes us all.

On another note, when Mrs. E. and I first saw Bonnie and Clyde Mrs. E. wanted to know if she and I would get royalties. After all, they were using our biography for the story line.

Peace, Abundant Popcorn and Other Non-Movie Blessings.



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