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Maurice J. Minnifield

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Maurice J. Minnifield
Played by Barry Corbin
Gender Male
Occupation Astronaut
USMC fighter pilot (retired)
Family Malcolm Minnifield (brother)[1][2]
Doreen Dutton (cousin)[3]
Maurice Dutton (2nd cousin)[3]
Partner Barbara Semanski[4]
Children Duk Won[5][6]
Nationality American
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "Tranquillity Base"

Maurice J. Minnifield is from Tulsa, Oklahoma[7][2][8][6][9][10][3] and was a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot in the Korean War ("fifteen confirmed kills over Pusan"), spent time in a North Korean prison camp, and later was an astronaut in the Mercury program[11] (he was the "other Marine" in the Mercury program besides John Glenn; in reality, Glenn is the sole Marine). He retired from the military and the space program as a colonel.[12] He inherited $68 million from his father, over his brother Malcolm, and purchased 15,000 acres (61 km²) near the town of Cicely in Arrowhead County, Alaska.

Maurice set up the Minnifield Communications Network, establishing a radio station, KBHR (pronounced kay-BEAR), hosted by Chris Stevens, and a town newspaper, the Cicely News & World Telegram. His goal is to pioneer the "New Alaskan Riviera", with resorts, gated communities, and casinos. A proud Cicely resident, Maurice ultimately wants to boost the local economy by bringing new business to the community. He is also president of the Cicely Chamber of Commerce.

In 1990, Maurice purchased Joel Fleischman's contract from the state of Alaska and brought him to Cicely.[13]

Tastes and opinionsEdit

Minnifield has a problem with homosexuals, communists, and hippies. He enjoys show tunes, especially from The King and I, Porgy and Bess, Brigadoon, and Kiss Me, Kate. Due to these personal characteristics, and since he is also a bachelor and a gourmet chef, Ron and Erick (a gay couple who purchased a house from Maurice to convert it to a bed and breakfast)[14] assume that he too is homosexual. Though Maurice detests their homosexuality and this assumption, over time he develops a genuine respect for their integrity, business savvy, and shared military backgrounds.

Maurice loves to sing and rarely misses an opportunity to do so, though he was at first very reluctant to sing at Shelly's wedding to Holling.[15] He is descended from the MacAlisters of Scotland and has an appreciation for Scottish militaria like kilts and whisky.[12] He has a classic Cadillac, an extensive wine collection[8] and enjoys chess[16] and archaeology[17]

Family and love lifeEdit

Maurice has a younger brother Malcolm who dies[1] and is shown as a child in Maurice's childhood flashbacks.[2]

Maurice is like a father figure to Ed and employs him as "gofer" and general help. Maurice tries to adopt Chris as his son.[1]

In 1988, Maurice brought Shelly Tambo to Cicely, having been smitten with her at the "Miss Northwest Passage" beauty contest in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. Shelly left Maurice for Holling Vincoeur, his best friend of many years. Maurice refused to speak to Holling for two years, but they gradually patched up their old friendship.

Maurice is unmarried and learns he has a son named Duk Won from a casual liaison with prostitute Yung Yong Ja during his deployment in the Korean War that he did not know of until many years later.[5] He is not anxious to be a father to Duk, remarking that, "all of my life I've dreamed of a son, a tow-headed tyke to bounce on my knee, but instead I get a middle-aged Chinaman". He bonds with Duk but, when he remembers Duk's mother, he realizes Duk does not care about his fortune, and that Duk is a healthy, highly-educated, and skilled electrical engineer. They remain in touch, despite the language barrier, with Maurice's teenaged Korean-American grandson (Yung Bong Joo) serving as interpreter. Duk later asks Maurice's permission to marry the daughter of his wartime archenemy.[6]"

Towards the end of the series, Maurice's second cousin, Maurice (named after him), visits as he evaluates the young man in taking over his business when he passes away.[3]

Maurice develops an infatuation with Barbara Semanski, a police sergeant sent to Cicely to investigate the theft of his radio[18] He also receives yearly visits from astronaut groupie Ingrid Klochner.[19] As of the series end, Maurice still holds a sentimental attachment for Shelly but he asks Barbara to marry him.[4]


Pilot (1-1)

Maurice: When I heard we had a crack at a Jew doctor from New York City...well, I don't have to tell you I jumped. You boys do outstanding work.

Maurice: This is Cicely. She and Roslyn founded the town 97 years ago. Rumor and innuendo notwithstanding, they were just good friends.

Maurice: You signed a contract, Joel. But much more important than that, you gave your word. And I intend to hold you to that word within the bounds of the law. If necessary, without the bounds of the law.

"Soapy Sanderson" (1-3)

Maurice: Chris, you play this crap at 6 in the morning and you'll be looking down so many barrels, you'll think you landed in an NRA convention.

"A Kodiak Moment" (1-7)

Maurice: Do you know what the motto of the state of Alaska is, Joel?
Joel: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it'?
Maurice: No. "North to the future." That's my motto too. The compass point to opportunity. The direction for tomorrow.
Joel: A caribou in every pot; a snowmobile in every garage.
Maurice: Space, to build, room to grow.
Joel: You are the man for the job, Maurice; a general on the battlefield of history. If anyone can pave Alaska, it's you.
Maurice (chuckles): Kind words, son. But the Minnifield empire will not bear fruit in one man's lifetime.
Joel: Yeah, I hear it didn't work out with you and Chris. I'm sorry. You know, maybe you could start a trust: The Minnifield Foundation. It worked for the Rockefellers; the Gettys.
Maurice: No...I've come up with something else, Joel.
Joel: Really? What's that?
Maurice: I've decided to live forever.
(Joel laughs)

"The Big Kiss" (2-2)

Maurice (on-air): Sometimes, when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn't all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity.

"The Body In Question" (3-6)

Maurice: Now, the way I see it, the soul is the sacred payload of us all. The body is simply a delivery vehicle. Once we've completed our mission, we have absolutely no use for the body at all.

"Jaws of Life" (5-3)

Maurice (catches Ed talking to his statue) Look, Ed. If you've got something to say, you say it to me. You got that?
Ed: Okay, Maurice. But, uh--
Maurice: But what?
Ed: Well, it's just that he's a little easier to talk to.
Maurice: The statue?
Ed: Well, he doesn't throw my thoughts off like you do sometimes.
Maurice: I don't throw your thoughts off, son! What are you talking about?
Ed: Well, kind of like now, Maurice.
Maurice: I'm not in the business of throwing people's thoughts off! Is that clear?

"The Gift of the Maggie" (5-19)

Maurice: The orchid, the aristocrat of the flower family. The most sophisticated plant on earth. Clearly a cut above. But, it's got petals like everybody else. The lowly daisy, the cheap carnation, half-baked azelia; like these, the orchid needs warmth. It needs care and kindness to get by. These flowers need you people. No, I need you.

"The Mommy's Curse" (6-14)

Holling: A new hat... fun for a while.. a little variety, change you know, something different. For a good fit, and a comfortable feeling there is nothing like an old hat. You know what I mean?
Maurice: I know that you mean.
Holling: Well then?
Maurice: Well.

"Tranquility Base" (6-23)

Maurice: Barbara, I owe you an apology. I've been trying to turn you into something you're not. You're no gentle lady. You're a warrior. That's what attracted me. That's what attracts me now.


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