Michael J. Pollard: Face You Never Forget

Michael J. Pollard may not be a household name, but anyone that ever saw him in a film or television show instantly will recognize his face.

He always reminded me of a kid that had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and his face said that he knew no excuse to extricate himself from the situation.

Pollard was born Michael John Pollack Jr. in Passaic New Jersey on May 30, 1939.  He has been acting since 1959 and is still active 53 years later in 2012.

He was married to Beth Howland, who television fans will remember her playing Vera on the Alice situation comedy. They were married from 1961-1969.

Since Pollard was only 5′ 6″ he had to play youthful roles into his 20’s.

One of the most hilarious shows I have seen him in is the April 30,1962 episode of Andy Griffith, when he played Barney Fife’s cousin Virgil who could do nothing right. He was 22 when this episode was filmed.

For more information on that episode:


Fate intervened when he was cast as Jerome Krebs the weird cousin of Maynard G. Krebs on the Dobie Gillis Show, portrayed by Bob Denver, when Denver was going to be drafted in the Army. However, Denver soon returned when he was classified 4-F, which resulted in the dismissal of Pollard from the series.

Once again fate handed Pollard more bad news, when after starring as Hugo Peabody in the Broadway version of Bye Bye Birdie the role was given to Bobby Rydell, when the role was changed to require a singer.

Pollard played a 14-year-old despite being 27 in a Star Trek episode, when he played Jahn in the “Miri” episode.

He played C.J. Moss in the Bonnie and Clyde film in 1967 and would receive an Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Three years later he starred in Little Fauss and Big Halsey with Robert Redford. Another memorable role was when he played the homeless man who thought Bill Murray was Richard Burton in the 1988 film Scrooged.

Michael J. Pollard Picture

This more recent photo of Pollard shows he is the same Michael J. Pollard, just a little older. He is still very busy at 73 having released Sunburnt Angels in 2011, completed The Woods this year and is filming The Next Cassavetes presently.

Even though Pollard is not that well-known, actor Michael J. Fox inserted the J in the middle of his name out of respect to Michael J. Pollard.

He made his first television appearance in 1959 appearing in the DuPont Show of the Month in the “Human Comedy” episode. He made his film debut the same year in It Happened To Jane but was uncredited.

This list compiled by the Internet Movie Database shows that Pollard has been a prolific actor for many years and his resume will bring back memories of the television shows we grew up with and a few of the movies we remember seeing him in.


Pollard will probably always be known as the man, who has a familiar face but very few will be able to remember his name.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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