Life and career
The son of a gas station owner acquired already during his service in the U.S. Air Force acting experiences in a theater group. End of the 1950s he started a professional career on the stage. Only later he stepped in front of the camera in appearance. In the 1970s Hillerman played supporting roles in several films, among others, by Peter Bogdanovich as The Last Picture Show, Roman Polanski's Chinatown and Mel Brooks ' Blazing Saddles.
His breakthrough came Hillerman on television with the role of Simon Brimmer in the series Ellery Queen (1975-1976), a modernized version of the book series of the same name. In 1978, he starred in the successful television series Little House in the episode Harriet's tabloid newspaper publisher Sterling Murdoch. Even greater success was Hillerman granted the role of Jonathan Higgins, the British sidekicks Tom Sellecks in the long-lived detective series Magnum. For this illustration, he won both a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy. The figure of the vain but likeable Higgins embodied Hillerman as a guest star in yet another three series: Murder, She Wrote, Simon & Simon and Back to the past. Six years after he played Higgins in Murder, She Wrote, Hillerman embodied in the sequence An empire trembles the figure of Edgar Greenstreet.