John Hillerman reportedly died from heart disease.
TMZ reported Wednesday that the Magnum, P.I. favorite suffered from hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
That was further complicated by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, according to a spokesperson at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Texas.
Hillerman died at his home in Houston, Texas, on November 9.
He was best known for playing the stuffed-shirt Higgins to Tom Selleck’s freewheeling detective Thomas Magnum in the 1980s TV series.
‘He had an outstanding sense of humor and was one of the most well-read people I ever met. You couldn’t play Scrabble with him,’ Hillerman’s nephew Chris Tritico said as he announced his uncle’s passing.
Besides playing manager of the Hawaiian estate that Magnum used as home base, Hillerman was known for his 1970s roles as arrogant radio show detective Simon Brimmer on the Ellery Queen series and the difficult boss on the sitcom One Day At A Time.
When Hillerman decided to retire about 17 years ago, the actor born in Denison, Texas, returned to his native state and was content leaving Hollywood behind, said his nephew.
As for that quasi-British accent that Hillerman used on Magnum and elsewhere, his nephew said that was honed during several decades of playing varied roles on the New York stage before he turned to TV and movies.
He appeared in a number of TV series, including Valerie, The Love Boat and The Betty White Show and in films including The Last Picture Show and High Plains Drifter.