Michael J. Pollard Dies: Oscar-Nominated ‘Bonnie And Clyde’ Actor Was 80

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Michael J. Pollard has died at the age of 80.

The veteran thespian, who was Academy Award-nominated for his role as dimwitted sidekick D.W. Moss in the iconic 1967 movie, Bonnie and Clyde, passed away after going into cardiac arrest on November 20 in Los Angeles.

Filmmaker Rob Zombie, Michael’s director for the 2003 film, House of 1000 Corpses, announced his death on Facebook.

“We have lost another member of our HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES family. I woke up to the news that Michael J. Pollard had died. I have always loved his work and his truly unique on screen presence. He was one of the first actors I knew I had to work with as soon as I got my first film off the ground. He will be missed.”

Zombie, who also endured the passing of Michael’s co-star Sid Haig this past September, mentioned one of Pollard’s achievements, for which there were many. His IMDb page is filled with credits, from Jahn on television’s Star Trek to Hugo in Broadway’s Bye Bye Birdie. His Star Trek role meant stepping into the shoes of a teenage cult leader on a planet of children.

The man from Passaic, New Jersey was a Hollywood regular, performing roles in all kinds of projects during his career. He showed up in Lost In Space, Dobie Gillis, and The Andy Griffith Show.

“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,” reported The New York Times.

The source pointed out that certain directors were not enamored of his acting method since he had what was called a “slow, somewhat eccentric way of delivering lines.” However, when he was put to task on Bonnie and Clyde, he was no longer an obstacle for the filmmaker.

“They say, ‘Just do your thing, Michael, whatever it is.’ Same thing I’ve been doing for 10 years, man,” said Michael.

For eight years, the enduring actor was wed to actress Beth Howland of Alice and The Mary Tyler Moore Show fame. The pair had one child together before divorcing.

In 2008, Michael J. Pollard took part in the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Warren Beatty
Featured image credit: Alberto E. RodriguezGetty Images

In 2008, Michael spoke at the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to his Bonnie and Clyde co-star Warren Beatty. For his appearance, the dapper actor sported a black leather jacket, a feather tucked into his squat hat, a black scarf, and a gold hoop earring. The impish performer was often likened to a modern day Puck.

His favorite quote said a lot about this popular actor of both the large and small screen.

“Hippies. They make them out to be bad. I’m not bad. I love everybody. Well, I like everybody.”

RIP Michael J. Pollack.