Discovered by Lucille Ball, he also appeared in ‘The Thing With Two Heads’ and was married to actresses Jo Anne Worley and Joyce Bulifant.
Roger Perry, the veteran character actor who guest-starred on a memorable episode of the original Star Trek and portrayed Eastland headmaster Charles Parker on The Facts of Life, has died. He was 85.
Perry died Thursday night at his home in Indian Wells, California, after a battle with prostate cancer, his daughter, Dana Perry McNerney, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Survivors also include his wife since 2002, actress Joyce Bulifant, perhaps best known for playing the wife of Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Perry earlier was married to Laugh-In star Jo Anne Worley from 1975 until their divorce in 2000.
A contract player at Desilu Studios who was discovered by Lucille Ball, Perry starred on a pair of ABC dramas in the 1960s that lasted just a season. He portrayed the son of Pat O’Brien on Harrigan and Son (their characters were lawyers in their own firm) and was a cop alongside Ben Gazzara and Chuck Connors on Arrest and Trial, a 90-minute program that was a forerunner to Law & Order.
And on a 1965 episode of CBS’ The Munsters, Perry played a young man with admirable intentions who’s out to rescue the beautiful niece Marilyn (Pat Priest) from a band of ghouls, but they are, of course, members of her loving family.
On the first-season Star Trek episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” which debuted in January 1967, Perry starred as Captain John Christopher, an U.S. Air Force pilot in the 1960s who is suddenly transported aboard the Enterprise in the future.
After seeing the episode in recent years, Perry thought that “maybe I could have done more at that particular moment with that particular scene,” he said in a 2012 interview on StarTrek.com.
“I say that because one minute he’s in a fighter plane and the next moment he’s in this strange situation where he’s in this room with these different people. It’s such a momentous moment for him that I think I should have tried some different things.”
Perry joined NBC’s The Facts of Life in 1981 at the start of its third season after John Lawlor, who played Steven Bradley, the former headmaster at the Eastland boarding school for girls, exited the series.
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