Actor Michael J. Pollard, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as the getaway driver in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde,” has died at the age of 80.
Pollard died of cardiac arrest at a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday, his friend Dawn Walker told the Hollywood Reporter.
Best known for his role as C.W. Moss in “Bonnie Clyde,” starring alongside Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, Pollard also made memorable appearances on several TV shows, including “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” the original “Star Trek” series, “Gunsmoke,” “I Spy” and “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Rob Zombie, who directed Pollard in the 2003 film “House of 1000 Corpses,” posted his condolences on Facebook on Friday.
“I have always loved his work and his truly unique on-screen presence,” Zombie said. “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.”
Known for playing eccentric and strangely humorous misfits, the cherub-faced actor was a favorite among many of his peers. Actor Michael J. Fox “adopted the “J” in homage to the legendary character actor,” according to Fox’s Parkinson’s disease research foundation website.
The late film critic Roger Ebert once lavished praise on Pollard for his scene-stealing performance in Carl Reiner’s autobiographical film “Enter Laughing.”
“There is something about Pollard that is absolutely original and seems to strike audiences as irresistibly funny and deserving of affection,” Ebert wrote. “If he works at it and gets a break or two, there will be no stopping him. Really. All he needs is visibility, and people will become addicted.”
Pollard is survived by his son, Axel Emmett, and daughter, Holly.