Martin Milner once had a housewarming party — for a doll house

His wife had always wanted a doll house, so the actor took matters into his own hands.

Martin Milner is known for his role as the experienced, street-weary cop Pete Malloy on the Jack Webb hit Adam-12. Though he starts the series intending to retire after the death of his partner, he's assigned with showing new cop Jim Reed (Kent McCord) the ropes of the LAPD. Of course, since this series lasted for seven seasons, it's a given that Malloy realizes that hey, this rookie has guts, and sticks around to guide him.

Another thing about Malloy: while Reed has a wife and child, Malloy is a bachelor with multiple girlfriends over the course of the show. In real life, Milner couldn't have been more different. Not only was he a devoted husband and father, but according to Corpus Christi Caller-Times, the actor loved "to putter around the house."

"I was very unhandy when we bought our house, shortly after we were married," Milner said. "I proceeded to be unemployed for awhile — and I became handy. It's very satisfying. As a performer, it's hard to assay your own worth. But, as a plumber, you know that if it doesn't leak, you've done a good job. There's no in-between."

Milner found that he loved being handy around the house, so much that it became one of his few indulgences. "When I first started, I couldn't afford many tools, but now I deny myself nothing," he said. "I bought an electric screw driver for setting hinges — why not? I don't blow my money on other pleasures."

Though he tackled projects big and small around his house, his pride and joy was... a doll house.

"My wife always wanted one, so I built her one," Milner said. He worked on it every day for six weeks, even declining a guest role on Tarzan (presumably the 1966 NBC series) because he didn't want to leave town and stop working on his project. 

The final product was a thing of beauty. "The doll house is 2 1/2 feet high, 3 1/2 feet long, and 15 inches deep. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, bathroom, a staircase that works, and a slate chimney," Milner said. "It has hollow wall construction, with wiring for the light fixtures running through the walls. The kitchen is paneled with pine boards and the floors are made of pegged oak."

How did he celebrate the fruit of his labor? With a party, of course! And appropriately, a housewarming party.

"Our friends brought little presents for the house," Milner said.

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Dramachick00 10 months ago
I wish there was a picture. He was the sweetest person. Once read that he said his wife and him never fought they just had little disagreements. Why can’t more marriages be like this one was.
TurboVicki77 10 months ago
That's so sweet I'd love to see a pic of the doll house
Patti100 10 months ago
I remember asking for a dollhouse starting in the late 1950's, never got one but bought one for my daughter. I still love these classic shows and it's all my husband and I watch, nothing on TV these days is worth our time. Thank goodness for MeTV.
sistervic 10 months ago
I love Route 66, and Adam 12, both are family oriented, and in good taste. My kind of shows.
Steve2021 10 months ago
I loved watching both Route66 and Adam 12. He was one of the cleanist Hollywood actors alive in the day.
Doug 10 months ago
Did you mean "street wary" or was Malloy always tired? 😉
WayneKeith Doug 9 months ago
Road-weary is a common term, but street wary could also apply.
boreso 10 months ago
Thanks for that little tid bit about Martin Milner! I've been following his career since his first t.v. series, "Route 66". As a big fan of his career, the fact that he built his wife a dollhouse wasn't surprising at all. He was one of the really 'good guys' when it came to marriage and family. I watch "Adam-12" every evening while having dinner. LOVE that show!
Runeshaper 10 months ago
That is AWESOME! GREAT story, MeTV! (-:
Mannixishot 10 months ago
Lot of people might laugh at the idea of having a house warming party for a dollhouse but I'm not over here laughing. This part right here: "My wife always wanted one, so I built her one," Milner said. That's classy. It sounds like his wife was very lucky to have Martin for a husband. I also respect he was only married once instead of having 8 different wives or playing around. Somebody that can do something so beautiful isn't gonna run around on you imo.
Runeshaper Mannixishot 10 months ago
Agreed! (-:
Andybandit 10 months ago
How funny how Martin had a house warming party for his Doll house.
CaptainDunsel 10 months ago
Another very nice story from behind the scenes. (And another story where we would really like to SEE PICTURES!!!) [le sigh]
LoveMETV22 CaptainDunsel 10 months ago
Pictures of the housewarming party or the dollhouse ?

There is a website (not sure of its accuracy), of an estate sale of Mr. Milner and his wife.
It shows a dollhouse from the front, maybe it's the one from the article.
CaptainDunsel LoveMETV22 10 months ago
I was thinking of the dollhouse more than the party. But either. Thanks for the link. Kind of sad to realize that his effort comes down to a catalog entry that says "dollhouse with lots of furniture".
LoveMETV22 CaptainDunsel 10 months ago
Who knows. Maybe it will show up on "Collectors Call" someday.
Patti100 LoveMETV22 10 months ago
I would think their children would want to hang onto that!
KJExpress 10 months ago
Nice story. Sounds like his wife got one heckuva dollhouse. 🏠
teire 10 months ago
What a sweet story. Always liked Pete.
LoveMETV22 10 months ago

Seriously though. That's great Martin Milner had the skills and it sounds like the dollhouse had many features. Not quite so sure on his declining a guest role on Tarzan. His wife must have enjoyed it though.
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