Roger Perry portrays Capt. John Christopher in Star Trek TOS
Roger Perry (May 7, 1933 – July 12, 2018)
Roger Perry, a veteran character actor best known for his roles in Star Trek: TOS and The Facts of Life, has died after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 85.
Perry got his start as a contract player for Desilu Studios, appearing in such early TV series as Harrigan and Son. Over the years, he’d rack up over a hundred TV and B-movie parts, including a recurring role on Falcon Crest, as well as appearances on Nanny and the Professor, Ironside, The Bionic Woman, Barnaby Jones and The Facts of Life, in which he took over the role of headmaster at the Eastland Girls Boarding School. On the big screen, Perry could be seen in both ‘Count Yorga – Vampire‘ films, as well as the infamous horror/comedy classic, The Thing With Two Heads.
However, Perry was best known to Trekkers for his guest appearance in the first-season Star Trek episode, ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday.’ Perry portrayed Captain John Christopher, a 1960s Air Force pilot who suddenly finds himself transported aboard the futuristic Starship Enterprise. After reviewing the episode several years ago, Perry was not wholly satisfied with his performance. “Maybe I could have done more at that particular moment with that particular scene. … 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 did like his Starfleet uniform, and he even asked DeForest Kelley if he could possibly keep his shirt as a souvenir. Kelly replied that the studio frowned upon such things, and Perry ultimately decided not to do it, a decision he later regretted when the legacy of Star Trek became clear.
For twenty-five years, Perry was married to Laugh-In actress Joanne Worley. They divorced, and Perry later married actress Joyce Bulifant.