John Miljan (1893 - 1960) Transparent

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Lead, SD, USA
Death: Died in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Occupation: Hollywood Actor
Managed by: Fred Petrich
Last Updated:
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About John Miljan


An actor since the age of 15, John Miljan entered films in 1923. Miljan was handsome enough for leading roles, but realized early on that he'd have a longer screen career as a villain, usually an oily "other man" type. The archetypal Miljan performance can be seen in 1927's The Yankee Clipper. In the course of that film, he (a) feigned an injury to avoid heavy work on board ship, (b) fomented a mutiny, then pretended to fight off the mutineers, and (c) hoarded water for himself while the rest of the crew was dying of thirst--and all the while he pledged undying love for the heroine, who stupidly swallowed his line until the last reel. He made his talkie debut in the promotional trailer for The Jazz Singer (1927), ingratiatingly inviting the audience to see the upcoming landmark production. While he continued playing bad guys in the sound era, he was just as often seen as military officers and police inspectors. His slender frame and authoritative air enabled him to play such roles as General Custer in DeMille's The Plainsman (1936) and a character based on General Wainwright in Back to Bataan (1945). John Miljan remained in harness until 1958, two years before his death. ~ Hal Erickson

Listing of some of John Miljan's films:

  • The Lone Chance (1924)
  • Silent Sanderson (1925)
  • The Devil's Circus (1926)
  • The Unholy Night (1929)
  • The Unholy Three (1930)
  • The Sea Bat (1930)
  • Iron Man (1931)
  • The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)
  • Whistling in the Dark (1933)
  • What! No Beer? (1933)
  • Young and Beautiful (1934)
  • The Ghost Walks (1934)
  • Charlie Chan in Paris (1935)
  • Mississippi (1935)
  • The Oklahoma Kid (1939)
  • Emergency Squad (1940)
  • The Fallen Sparrow (1943)
  • I Accuse My Parents (1944)
  • Back to Bataan (1945, uncredited)
  • The Ten Commandments (1956) - The Blind One
  • The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958) - Chief Tomache
  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982 - archive footage)
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John Miljan's Timeline

1893
November 8, 1893
Lead, SD, USA
1927
October 28, 1927
Age 33
New York, USA
1932
1932
Age 38
1960
January 24, 1960
Age 66
Los Angeles, CA, USA