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Mike Henry (American football)

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Years active  1963-1988
Name  Mike Henry

Role  Actor
Positions  linebacker

Full Name  Michael Dennis Henry
Born  August 15, 1936 (age 84) (1936-08-15) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Known for  TarzanSmokey and the Bandit (as "Junior")M*A*S*M*A*S*H (as Donald Penobscot)
Education  University of Southern California
Movies  Smokey and the Bandit, Tarzan and the Great River, Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, Tarzan and the Jungle Boy, Smokey and the Bandit II
Similar People  Pat McCormick, Ron Ely, Hal Needham, Jock Mahoney, Jackie Gleason

Mike henry on i ve got a secret

Michael Dennis "Mike" Henry (born August 15, 1936) is an American retired actor and former football Linebacker player.


Football career

Mike Henry looking afar while wearing a beige coat, white long sleeves, and brown necktie

Henry's football career as a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1958–1961) and the Los Angeles Rams (1962–1964) led him to be noticed by Warner Bros..

Acting career

Mike Henry while smiling in a scene from the 1977 movie, Smokey and the Bandit

His most prominent role was as Tarzan in three 1960s movies, Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), Tarzan and the Great River (1967), and Tarzan and the Jungle Boy (1968), that were all filmed back-to-back in 1965. At the time, critics said the dark-haired, square-jawed, muscular Henry resembled classic illustrations of the apeman more than any other actor who had ever taken on the role. Henry turned down the lead of the subsequent Tarzan television series, which then went to Ron Ely.

Henry is probably best known to movie audiences for playing a relatively minor role, Jackie Gleason's character's dim-witted son "Junior", in the highly popular Smokey and the Bandit comedies, starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.

Mike Henry wearing a brown hat in a scene from the 1977 movie, Smokey and the Bandit

Henry portrayed a corrupt prison guard in another Burt Reynolds movie, The Longest Yard (1974). Henry played Sergeant Kowalski in the John Wayne war movie The Green Berets (1968), Luke Santee in More Dead Than Alive (1968), and corrupt Sheriff "Blue Tom" Hendricks in another Wayne film, Rio Lobo (1970). "Rio Lobo" was the last film directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, and Henry earned a small place in cinematic history by playing the last character to die in a Hawks film. He also acted alongside Charlton Heston in three films - the football movie Number One (1969), Skyjacked (1972), and Soylent Green (1973).

Henry played Lt. Col. Donald Penobscot in an episode of the television series M*A*S*M*A*S*H. And in another football-oriented role, he portrayed Tatashore, one of the members of the gang who kidnap "Larry Bronco" (Larry Csonka) in the "One of Our Running Backs is Missing" episode of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Later life

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he retired from acting in 1988. Mike married Cheryl Sweeney Henry November 17, 1984. She has taken care of Mike since his diagnosis. They are very devoted to each other.


  • Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966) - Tarzan
  • Tarzan and the Great River (1967) - Tarzan
  • Tarzan and the Jungle Boy (1968) - Tarzan
  • The Green Berets (1968)
  • More Dead Than Alive (1968) - Luke Santee
  • Number One (1969) - Walt Chaffee
  • Rio Lobo (1970)
  • Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1972) - Fargo
  • Skyjacked (1972)
  • Soylent Green (1973)
  • The Longest Yard (1974)
  • No Way Back (1976)
  • Mean Johnny Barrows (1976)
  • Adiós Amigo (1976)
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
  • M*A*S*H (1977) - Donald Penobscot
  • Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
  • Fantasy Island (1981)
  • Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
  • Outrageous Fortune (1987)
  • General Hospital (1988)
  • References

    Mike Henry (American football) Wikipedia