This morning brings about some sad news as we've learned Oscar-nominated actor Michael J. Pollard has passed away at the age of 80. The circumstances surrounding his passing have not yet been made clear. Rob Zombie, who directed the 2003 horror movie House of 1000 Corpses which featured Pollard in the role of Stucky, broke the news on Facebook with a touching message for the late actor. Here's what Zombie wrote about Pollard's passing on the post.
"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."
Included in Zombie's Facebook post is a photo from the set of House of 1000 Corpses. In the pic, Zombie poses alongside Pollard, Sid Haig, and Irwin Keyes. As Keyes passed away in 2015 and Sid Haig died just two months ago, the losses have left Zombie in a state of shock looking back at his time spent working with all three on the set. "I can't believe all three of my friends in this picture are now gone," the filmmaker writes.
Born in New Jersey in 1939, Pollard took an early interest in acting and attended Montclair Academy and Actors Studio in New York. By the late '50s, he had taken on acting roles on television shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Andy Griffith Show. On The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, he took over for Gilligan star Bob Denver, with Jerome Krebs replacing Denver's iconic Maynard G. Krebs for a short period of time. This started what would become a decades-long career as a character actor performing in dozens of roles. In 1966, he took on one of his most memorable roles on an episode of the original Star Trek series as Jahn, the teenage-leader of an all-child planet.
Pollard is perhaps best known for his supporting role as C. W. Moss in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, which starred him alongside Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Estelle Parsons. For his performance, Pollar scored Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor, and was won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles. The movie's success also led to Pollard staging a mock presidential campaign where he created the joke campaign song "Michael J. Pollard for President."
Following Bonnie and Clyde, the character actor would continue to appear in dozens of movie and TV roles over the years. Some of Pollard's other particularly memorable roles include playing a homeless man in Scrooged with Bill Murray, Bug Bailey in the 1990 movie adaptation of Dick Tracy, and the villainous imp Mr. Mxyzptlk on the Superboy TV series. For horror fans, he is also very fondly remembered for his part as Stucky in House of 1000 Corpses, which serves as one of his final acting roles. In a fun note, the actor was also often mistaken for Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea's dad, because the two looked very similar and had a similar cadence. While they could certainly pass as father and son, the two were not related.
With so many performances under his belt and with so much love from the fans who've enjoyed his work over the years, Pollard has created a legacy that will live on forever. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time, and may he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Rob Zombie on Facebook.