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John Hillerman, snooty caretaker on "Magnum P.I.", dies at 84

Getty Images/Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives
Getty Images/Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives

John Hillerman, the actor best known for playing Tom Selleck’s demanding estate caretaker Jonathan Quayle Higgins III on Magnum, P.I., died died at his home in Houston, on Thursday, according to the New York Times. He was 84. He died of natural causes, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal.

Besides Magnum, P.I., Hillerman had supporting roles in notable 1970s movies, including What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon, Chinatown and Blazing Saddles; and on TV as savvy sleuth Ellery Queen. He also appeared in numerous sitcoms, including The Betty White Show, Valerie’s Family: The Hogans, and One Day at a Time.

In addition to his film and TV career, Hillerman appeared in more 100 stage parts.

Of his Magnum, P.I. role, Hillerman once said, “It’s the best gig I’ve ever had. You’re looking at this rare thing: a happy actor,” according to the Times.

Hillerman retired from acting in 1999.

The actor, known for playing snooty characters with a British accent, was actually a native Texan.

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