Kenneth McMillan

Kenneth McMillan Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: July 2, 1932

Death Date: January 8, 1989

Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York

This craggy-faced, rotund supporting player, often in brutal or overbearing roles was memorable as the bullying, racist fire chief in "Ragtime" (1981), and as costume shop boss to Valerie Harper on the TV series "Rhoda" (CBS, 1977-1978).

Kenneth McMillan was nearly 30 when he won his first important theatre role. Born in Brooklyn, he had earned his high school diploma from the High School for the Performing Arts, but was unable to find work as an actor after graduation. He studied with Uta Hagen at the HB Studios while working -- and being promoted -- at Gimbel's department store in New York.

He was managing three floors at the Herald Square Store when he auditioned for and won a role in a play in 1960. Two years later, he toured with "Sweet Bird of Youth" and thereafter made his living as an actor. On Broadway, McMillan was Donny the junk shop owner in "American Buffalo" (1977), and a frequent player for Joseph Papp at the American Shakespeare Festival, particularly memorable as Falstaff in "Henry IV Part I" (1981).

McMillan broke into films playing a cafeteria owner in "Serpico" (1973) and a borough police commander in "The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three" (1974). He was a cabbie in Claudia Weill's "Girlfriends" (1978) and an antagonist to Jodie Foster in "Carny" (1980). McMillan was a police detective content to be corrupt in "True Confessions" (1986), and was also memorable as a railroad station chief caught between safety and Jon Voight in "Runaway Train" (1985).

In the 70s and 80s, McMillan was a frequent player on TV, often the craggy, crusty, ill-tempered guy with a heart of gold, such as his role as Jack Doyle on "Rhoda," as well as his turn as Suzanne Pleshette's mentor on "Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs" (CBS, 1984), and as the father of a family of cops in "Our Family Honor" (ABC, 1985-1986).

He was hardly benevolent as Bull Connor, turning the hoses and dogs on the Civil Rights protestors in the miniseries "King" (NBC, 1978). McMillan was the police sergeant who thinks he has a killer, but the town thinks otherwise in "A Death in Canaan" (CBS, 1978), and played in numerous other TV longforms.

McMillan's last screen performance was as the dotty veterinarian in "Three Fugitives" (1989). At the time of his death, he was also teaching acting classes in Los Angeles.

Credits

Three Fugitives

Actor
Horvath
Movie
1989

Top of the Hill

Actor
Movie
1989

Favorite Son

Actor
Miniseries
1988

Frank's Place

Guest Star
Series
1987

Malone: El Justiciero

Actor
Movie
1987

MaloneStream

Actor
Hawkins
Movie
1987
29%

Acceptable Risks

Actor
Don Sheppard
Movie
1986

Armed and DangerousStream

Actor
Captain Clarence O'Connell
Movie
1986
10%

Our Family Honor

Actor
Patrick McKay
Show
1985

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Actor
Show
1985

Our Family Honor

Actor
Patrick McKay
Movie
1985

Cat's Eye

Actor
Cressner
Movie
1985

Runaway TrainStream

Actor
Eddie MacDonald
Movie
1985
83%

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Coach Kevin Cauldwell
Series
1984

When She Says No

Actor
Mr. Michaels
Movie
1984

Concrete Beat

Actor
Marion Kaiser
Movie
1984

Reckless

Actor
John Rourke Sr
Movie
1984

The Pope of Greenwich VillageStream

Actor
Barney
Movie
1984
77%

DuneStream

Actor
Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Movie
1984
44%

ProtocolStream

Actor
Senator Norris
Movie
1984
33%

Packin' It In

Actor
Howard Estep
Movie
1983

Murder One, Dancer 0

Actor
Lt. Herbie Quinlan
Movie
1983

Dixie: Changing Habits

Actor
Tony Marchesso
Movie
1983

Compañeros

Actor
Movie
1982

The Clairvoyant

Actor
Detective Cullum
Movie
1982

In the Custody of Strangers

Actor
Albert C. Caruso
Movie
1982

Eyewitness

Actor
Mr. Deever
Movie
1981
75%

Heartbeeps

Actor
Max
Movie
1981

True Confessions

Actor
Frank Crotty
Movie
1981

RagtimeStream

Actor
Willie Conklin
Movie
1981
83%

Joe Dancer III

Actor
Movie
1981

Magnum, P.I.Stream

Guest Star
Joe Hatten
Series
1980

BorderlineStream

Actor
Malcolm Wallace
Movie
1980

CarnyStream

Actor
Heavy St. John
Movie
1980
57%

Hide in Plain Sight

Actor
Sam Marzetta
Movie
1980

Little Miss Marker

Actor
Brannigan
Movie
1980

Salem's LotStream

Actor
Constable Parkins Gillespie
Miniseries
1979

Salem's Lot

Actor
Constable Parkins Gillespie
Movie
1979

Chilly Scenes of Winter

Actor
Pete
Movie
1979
91%

King

Actor
Miniseries
1978

BloodbrothersStream

Actor
Banion
Movie
1978

Breaking Up

Actor
Vancrier
Movie
1978

Oliver's Story

Actor
Jamie Francis
Movie
1978

A Death in Canaan

Actor
Sgt. Tim Scully
Movie
1978

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye

Actor
Softy McNamara
Movie
1977

The Rockford FilesStream

Guest Star
Morry Hawthorne
Series
1974

Rhoda

Actor
Jack Doyle
Series
1974

The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeStream

Actor
Borough Commander
Movie
1974
98%

KojakStream

Guest Star
Lt. George O'Mara
Series
1973