Roger Perry, a prolific TV actor discovered by Lucille Ball (1911-1989), died Thursday at his home of prostate cancer, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Perry's career on TV began in 1959. He went on to star as a regular on the series Harrigan and Son (1960-1961), Arrest and Trial (1963-1964), and The Facts of Life (1981-1983).
He was also a prominent recurring character on Falcon Crest (1982-1985).
Among Perry's nearly countless episodic guest appearances, he appeared on the memorably twisted "Final Performance" episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1965) and on the Season 1 Star Trek episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" (1967).
I was lucky to meet Mr. Perry in 2017, and he loved hearing my praise for "Final Performance." Read up on that encounter here.
He acted less frequently in movies, but his work included the features Follow the Boys (1963) with Connie Francis (b. 1938) and Heaven with a Gun (1969) with Glenn Ford (1916-2006) and Carolyn Jones (1930-1983), as well as the camp classics The Thing with Two Heads (1972) and Roller Boogie (1979) with Linda Blair (b. 1959).
He said of The Thing with Two Heads, which starred Rosey Grier (b. 1932) and Ray Milland (1907-1986) as a white bigot and a "soul brother" whose heads share one body:
They had a sneak preview on a Friday night. I went down there and the place was packed. They showed the thing and everybody just laughed and laughed. It was a great comedy. They released it as some kind of a horror film, but it wasn't.
Also a talented songwriter, his "A Kid Again"was sung by Barbra Streisand (b. 1942) on her iconic 1965 TV special My Name Is Barbra.
Perry was married for many years to comic actress Jo Anne Worley (b. 1937), and was married to TV actress Joyce Bulifant (b. 1937) from 2002 until his death. He is one of her grooms referenced in Bulifant's cheeky memoir, My Four Hollywood Husbands, the others being actors James MacArthur (1937-2010) and Edward Mallory (1930-2007), and director-writer-producer William Asher (1921-2012).
Along with Bulifant, Perry is survived by his brother, his son, three stepchildren, and four stepgrandchildren.