John Hillerman, who played Higgins in Magnum, P.I., dead at 84

John Hillerman 's most famous role was as sophisticated British butler Higgins alongside Tom Selleck as relaxed private detective Magnum.
John Hillerman 's most famous role was as sophisticated British butler Higgins alongside Tom Selleck as relaxed private detective Magnum. PHOTO: YOUTUBE/HIGGY SENSEI

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - John Hillerman, most famous for playing Higgins the snooty butler in Magnum, P.I. opposite Tom Selleck, died Thursday (Nov 9) aged 84, his publicist said.

The actor, who also appeared in Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974), and Blazing Saddles (1974), died of natural causes at his home in Houston, Texas, said Lori de Waal, without adding further details.

The Texan's most famous role, which saw him work with a coach to lose his accent, was as sophisticated British butler Higgins alongside Selleck as relaxed private detective Magnum.

His character appeared in eight seasons of Magnum, P.I. one of the most popular shows during the 1980s.

The role won Hillerman - who also featured in Murder, She Write, The Love Boat, and Kojak - an Emmy and a Golden Globe.