Monday, July 30, 2018

Roger Perry Dead at 85

Actor Roger Perry died on July 12 at his home in Indian Wells. California, after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 85.

Perry compiled dozens of feature, television, and stage credits during a long career that began when he was discovered by Lucille Ball, who put the young actor under contract to Desilu Studios. He co-starred with Pat O'Brien in the 1960 ABC series Harrigan and Son, and co-starred with Chuck Connors and Ben Gazzara in the 90-minute drama Arrest & Trial.

Perry was a guest star on the Star Trek TV series in a memorable first-season episode in 1967, “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” playing Captain John Christopher. He appeared on Love, American Style, Ironside, The F.B.I., Hawaii Five-0, Barnaby Jones, The Bob Newhart Show, Quincy, CHiPs, The Fall Guy, and many more. He also recurred on programs such as The Facts of Life (as Charles Parker) and Falcon Crest (as John Costello from 1982-1985).

His movie credits included Follow the Boys (1963) with Connie Francis; Rollerboogie with Linda Blair; The Thing With Two Heads with Ray Milland and Rosevelt Grier; and Cat and Count Yorga, which both co-starred Craig T. Nelson and Mariette Hartley.

Among his starring theater credits were productions of “Gypsy,” “Annie,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” “Mr. Roberts,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Anything Goes,” “The Royal Hunt of the Sun,” “Goodbye Charlie,” “Lovers and Other Strangers” and “Love Letters.”

Perry composed the music for “Make a Promise, Keep a Promise,” which premiered at the Doolittle Theater in Hollywood. He also composed the score for the musical version of George Bernard’s “You Never Can Tell,” starring himself and his wife, Joyce Bulifant, at Theatre East in Los Angeles. Barbra Streisand sang his song “A Kid Again” in her 1965 TV special titled “My Name is Barbra.”

Perry and his wife starred in “The First Hundred Years” (produced by John Forsythe), “Hanging By a Thread” with Patty Duke (1979), and “The Happiness Bench,” with Mariette Hartley and John Aniston. In recent years, the Perrys have been performing in benefit productions for children’s programs and charity.

Perry was previously married to Patty Perry and then Joanne Worley.

He is survived by his wife, brother Nick Perry, son Chris Perry, daughter Dana McNerney, and grandson Parker McNerney. Services are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to River Bridge Regional Center for Abused Children in Glenwood Springs Co., which was founded by Perry and his wife.

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