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Morgan Paull, RIP

ASHLAND, ORE.–Character actor Morgan Paull, who worked regularly in movies and TV from the 1970s into the 1990s, died here July 17, after having been diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was 67.
Science fiction movie fans may recall his performance in the opening scene of “Blade Runner” as detective Holden, whom Harrison Ford’s character replaces. MSTies will remember him as gangster Salvatore Mistretta in the movie in episode 512- MITCHELL.

His Variety obit is here.

A site called interviewed him in May, and even brought up MST3K:

Well one b-movie that has a huge cult following is MITCHELL…

I’m surprised to hear that… I didn’t think anybody ever saw MITCHELL.

In the 1990’s there was a show called MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER where one guy and two puppets watch low budget movies and make fun of them: and the best episode was when they set their sites on MITCHELL…

I didn’t know about that. And that was again Andy McLaglen. I’m playing an Italian hood and the producers are all against this. They said, “He doesn’t look Italian.” And there are Northern Italians who are blonde… I had light brown hair, you know. And he sold them on me for this thing. I think my name was “Mistrada” or something.

And you die on screen once again, this time on a motorcycle…

That little motorcycle scene he wanted in close-up and it was really dicey because the guy actually shot a blood pellet and hit me in the forehead. You know, if they hit you in the eye, you’ve lost your eye. And I said, “Andy, what are you trying to do to me here?”

But Mort was the best guy in the business… It took him three takes before he fired off the shot and it hit right where it was supposed to hit me. But, you know, that’s one of those things that can go bad. And Andy I trusted for everything… You had to… He was my meal ticket.

And there are other great actors in this including Martin Balsam, John Saxon…

And Merlin Olsen and a girl who I was just in love with at the time, Linda Evans. And her husband was always lurking around; he wanted to see what’s going on because she’s so gorgeous. And he didn’t want her out of his site… It was very inhibiting for everybody. So Andy said, “Tell him to park in Malibu… We gotta do this thing!”

21 Replies to “Morgan Paull, RIP”

  1. lancecorbain says:

    Had no idea those two parts were the same actor. The “Mitchell Memories” were great to read, thanks for posting this! I’m pretty sure he got some screen time on the “making of” doc included on the Blade Runner Final Cut set as well, but haven’t watched it for awhile. Sad news.


  2. ck says:

    Funny about Linda Evans’ husband hovering around keeping an
    eye on her. Kind of reminds you of the jealous boyfriend in
    My Favorite year at the restaurant, where Peter O’Toole takes
    off with her.


  3. DeeJay says:

    I don’t think he was talking about John Derek. He was always pushing for his wives to take their clothes off in front of the camera. I think Linda Evans had already remarried by then. I’m not sure because IMDb lists the divorce as right around the time Mitchell came out.


  4. Cubby says:

    DeeJay, I suppose it all depends on when they actually filmed it. If it was when she was still married to John Derek, it adds an intentional extra layer of comedy to Crow’s line, when Mitchell looks past Linda, “Where’s John Derek?”


  5. Happenstance says:

    Huh. I never followed his career closely, but immediately recognized the name: he’s the only non-“big name” actor in Dr. Bradford Crane’s collection of hilariously incompetent scientists in Irwin Allen’s “The Swarm”…and the one who actually saves the day. After finding the key to wiping out the bees (ye olde “mating frequency” bit*), his underwritten character deliberately stays behind to die in a bee attack for absolutely no discernible reason.

    *not part of the vastly-superior novel by Arthur Herzog, which has very little in common with that stank movie

    He wasn’t the sort of actor who stood out, but he played a key role in one of the very worst movies ever made. And I’ll always respect him for that.


  6. Kenneth Morgan says:

    You might also remember him as Jensen, Gen. Patton’s assistant in “Patton” who gets killed in the battle against Rommel’s troops, and whose loss Patton genuinely mourns.


  7. snowdog says:

    Linda Evans’ husband couldn’t have been all that jealous if he allowed her to be filmed in bed with Joe Don Baker and a bottle of…. uuughgh…. baby oil.


  8. snowdog says:

    RIP Morgan Paul – Godspeed and “Go Ahead On” *

    *Yes, I know that’s the wrong Joe Don Baker movie, but my mind blanks out “Mitchell” every time I see it.


  9. Brandon says:

    I like that he talked about how wrong the “getting shot off a motorcycle” shot was executed.


  10. J.C. says:

    RIP Mistretta. Or Gallano. Or Mistretta. Or Gallano. Or Mistretta.


  11. MikeH says:

    Can’t believe how many Hollywood people are dropping off the face of the earth. I still love the brief time he was in Blade Runner. RIP


  12. This Guy says:

    Is this part of the test?


  13. Neptune Man says:

    I am deeply sorry to hear that. My sympathies.


  14. radioman970 says:

    Nice looking fella. I’ll bet he had a huge chance with Linda for real and not just pretend like JDB. .. :p wouldn’t even have to PAY! lol


  15. Cubby says:

    If by chance anyone hasn’t read the whole cultfilmfreaks interview, I think it’s well worth your time. I really enjoyed his Harrison Ford anecdote, and I don’t think it’s just because I remember Petrocelli.

    (If you are curious about Petrocelli and you have Netflix streaming, check out the Barry Newman film The Lawyer. It is either the pilot or it inspired the show, and has the same motifs. Morgan Paull isn’t in it, so it’s totally a sidebar here.)


  16. eegah says:

    Wow, he was offered the part of Han Solo? Interesting.


  17. Hey Holden. I told Deckard to talk to Gallano.


  18. stef says:

    But who’s going to talk to Gallano now?!?


  19. schippers says:

    You’re not helping, Leon. Why is that?

    Morgan Paull, you will be missed by this fan of Blade Runner.


  20. I am honored that you posted my interview with Morgan Paull. He was such a nice man. The podcast interview is available at the bottom of the blog interview link with even more info. Also to note: the last email I sent to Morgan was a link to a clip from MITCHELL: MSTK. He had never seen or heard what became of MITCHELL. To him, that film was simply forgotten. So he did get to see a little bit of MSTK. It was the scene where they added the dog growling to Morgan. On my podcast interview, Morgan goes into detail about the motorcycle death scene.


  21. Tom McNamara says:

    Morgan, I will miss you, my friend. I’ll miss your emails–the cartoons, political observations, and the stuff only a Hollywood guy could get. I am sure Don will give you a warm embrace when you get home.


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