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.