Dick Miller

  1. Charles Bronson, Machine Gun Kelly, 1958.     “I walked away from a lot of parts. But this one walked away from me  – and I really wanted it.  It would’ve done  for me the  same thing  it did  for Charley.”  Arriving  in  Hollywood as  a would-be writer, Miller was introduced  to producer-director Roger Corman by an  actor pal  – and well, acting beat working for a living. Dick became the most familiar member of Corman’s rep company (and that of his apprentice, Joe Dante). After ten roles (Apache Woman to  War of  the  Satellites),  he won his  first  lead in the fictional  biopic  of  George “Machine  Gun”  Kelly – and it was another decade before Miller found out why he got dumped for Bronson.  Screenwriter Bobby Campbell kept telling American-International chiefs James Nicholson and Samuel Arkoff that Dick was all wrong  – that his script was tailored  towards his actor brother William. They settled  the matter by giving  Miller… I, Mobster.
  2. Jonathan Haze, The Little Shop of Horrors, 1959.  The Roger Corman regular (187 screen roles in 64 years) was asked to be Seymour Krelborn – except  he asked to be the (really) flower-eating Mr. Fouch. The little classic was a little shoot: 2.5 days for a $22,500 budget. Jack Nicholson, who playd the masochistic dental patient Wilbur Force, recalled being in an audience that laughed so hard, he could barely hear the dialogue. “I didn’t quite register it right. It was as if I had forgotten it was a comedy since the shoot. I got all embarrassed because I’d never really had such a positive response before.  I had to be very quirky because Roger originally hadn’t wanted me I just did a lot of weird shit that I thought would make it funny.”

 Birth year: 1928Death year: 2019Other name: Casting Calls:  2