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Percy Rodriguez

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Full Name
Percy Rodrigues

Percy Rodriguez



Percy Rodriguez wwwnndbcompeople462000162973percyrodrigues
June 13, 1918 (
Montreal, Canada

September 6, 2007, Indio, California, United States

Karen Cook-Rodrigues (m. 2003–2007), Alameda Rodrigues

Hollis Rodriguez, Gerald Rodriguez

Movies and TV shows
Similar People
Robert Ellis Miller, William Sachs, Gene Roddenberry, Galt MacDermot, Richard Lang

Jaws 1975 trailer voice over percy rodriguez impression

Percy Rodriguez (June 13, 1918 – September 6, 2007) was a Canadian actor who appeared in many television shows and films from the 1950s to the 1980s. Born in the Saint-Henri neighborhood in Montreal, his birth surname was "Rodrigues," but after it was misspelled in a Broadway program early in his career, "Rodriguez" became his de facto stage name and most of his acting credits are under that spelling. He was of Afro-Portuguese heritage.


Percy rodriguez soundalike announcer clint ford into the night trailer

Life and career

Percy was the oldest of his 3 siblings and was of African and Portuguese descent. His father was out of the picture as he left his family. Percy then began working in his early teens to help provide for his family. As Percy continued to grow up he began to enjoy boxing and acting. He became a professional boxer while simultaneously exploring acting jobs as well. Percy ended up joining Montreal’s Negro Theater Guild and ultimately won the Canadian Drama Festival acting award in 1939. Although Percy won that award, finding a legitimate acting job was tough, which led to him working as a toolmaker and a machinist for 10 years in order to survive.

Rodriguez began his acting career in the 1930's, appearing in stage plays and television series in his native country. He eventually moved to New York City, where he made his Broadway theatre debut in Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic in 1960. Appearing next in The Actors Studio Theatre production of James Baldwin's Blues for Mister Charlie (and, shortly thereafter, in an abbreviated television adaptation on CBS), Rodriguez subsequently became a life member of the Studio.

He first gained widespread notice in 1968 for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Harry Miles in the primetime soap opera Peyton Place. Rodriguez managed to avoid the stereotypical roles typically given to black actors at the time. His deep, authoritative voice and articulate speaking manner helped Rodriguez to be cast usually as intelligent authority figures. He also narrated numerous movie trailers and documentaries throughout his career. He retired from acting in 1987 but continued to do voiceovers. He spoke of his narration of the trailer for Jaws in the documentary The Shark is Still Working. This was his final public appearance.

Known for his flourishing and distinctive voice he was able to narrate a few Canadian documentary shorts and appeared on television. He played a more prominent role in theater and worked with several African-American actors, such as Al Freeman Jr., Lincoln Kilpatrick, Rosetta LeNoire, Otis Young and Tony nominee Diana Sands. In the 1960’s, Percy became one of the few actors who were able to circumnavigate around such restrictive and negative stereotypes throughout his acting career. He was known for applying and projecting quiet authority and inner calmness during his roles due to his touch of gray in his hair. He went on to conquer American television in programs like, The Nurses, Naked City, Wild, Wild West, Route 66 and Star Trek. Percy’s biggest role was when he portrayed a neurosurgeon during the final season of the heavily viewed nighttime soap opera, Peyton Place(1964). His role was seen as a breakthrough white-collar role for a black actor. Percy also was involved in the drama; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Through his depictions on television Percy was seen as an excellent supporting character.


Percy played numerous forms of roles including detectives, lawyers, politicians, ambassadors, and doctors. He was part of the interesting mini-movies, The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (1970), Ring of Passion (1978), Angel Dusted (1981), and Roots: The Next Generations (1979). His on-camera work was coming to an end after playing a doctor in the mini-movie, Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit, Percy focused on voice-overs. Percy wanted to make himself the face of voice-overs and be known as “The King of Voice-overs.” Percy is famous for his eerie voicings for the ads and trailers of Jaws (1975) and his narration of Michael Jackson’s musical science fiction, Captain EO (1986) for Disney.

According to Robert J. Thompson, “Television didn't have its equivalent of Jackie Robinson there wasn't that one moment when the race barrier was broken. But Percy was one of a very small army of actors who were in a relatively quiet way beginning to get these roles that television was very reluctant in the 1960's to give to black actors."

Percy was seen as a symbol of intelligence, moral strength and leadership during his various roles in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Percy’s upsurge in Hollywood’s stature was due to a few of his earlier Broadway appearances. Percy is well known for helping to break the racial barriers on television. He is a well distinguished-looking actor and went on to become a voice of great distinction behind the camera.

Personal life

Percy had a daughter Hollis and a son Gerald with his first first wife Alameda. Following her death, he married Karen Cook in 2003. Percy died of kidney problems at his Indio, California home on September 6, 2007 at age 89.

Selected television work

  • Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The My Friend the Gorilla Affair" (1966) as President Khufu
  • Mission: Impossible four episodes (1966–1970)
  • Star Trek episode "Court Martial" (1967) as Commodore Stone
  • The Fugitive episode "Passage To Helena" Sheriff Dalton (1967)
  • Peyton Place (1968–1969) as Dr. Harry Miles
  • Then Came Bronson episode "Two Percent of Nothing" (1969)
  • The Silent Force as Jason Hart (series regular, 15 episodes) (1970-1971)
  • Somerset as The Lieutenant (1971)
  • Cannon (1972) episode "A Flight of Hawks"
  • Genesis II (1973) as Primus Kimbridge
  • Planet of the Apes episode "The Tyrant" (1974) as Aboro
  • Good Times episode "Florida's Rich Cousin" (1975) as Cousin Edgar
  • The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975) as Dr. Mallen
  • Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers (1976) as Nolan Wainwright
  • Roots: The Next Generations (1979) as Boyd Moffatt
  • Sanford (1980) as Winston
  • Benson (1982–1985) as Judge Harper
  • The Atlanta Child Murders (1985) as Maynard Jackson
  • T.J. Hooker episode "Lady In Blue" (1983) as Jason
  • Sanford and Son episode " The Olympics" (1975) as Lou Turner
  • Selected filmography

  • The Plainsman (1966) as Brother John
  • The Sweet Ride (1968) as Lt. Harvey Atkins
  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968) as Dr. Benedict Copeland
  • Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972) as Bryce
  • Rhinoceros (1974) as Mr. Nicholson
  • Hugo the Hippo (1975) as voice of Jorma's father
  • The Astral Factor (1976) as Captain Wells
  • Galaxina (1980) as voice of Ordric
  • Heavy Metal (1981) voice of the Loc-Nar (uncredited)
  • Deadly Blessing (1981) as Narrator
  • Captain EO (1987) as Narrator
  • The Shark is Still Working (2006) (documentary)
  • Selected trailers

  • The Exorcist (1973)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • Shivers (a.k.a. They Came from Within, 1975)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • Jaws 2 (1978)
  • The Black Hole (1979)
  • Alien (1979, early teaser only)
  • 1941 (1979)
  • Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)
  • Videodrome (1983)
  • Monty Python's the Meaning of Life (1983)
  • Jaws 3-D (1983)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • The Stuff (1985)
  • Into the Night (1985)
  • Night of the Creeps (1986)
  • Chopping Mall (1986)
  • House (1986)
  • Creepshow 2 (1987)
  • The Gate (1987)
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • She's Having A Baby (1988)
  • The Great Outdoors (1988)
  • Scrooged (1988)
  • Look Who's Talking (1989)
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990)
  • Look Who's Talking Too (1990)
  • The Addams Family (1991)
  • Curly Sue (1991)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
  • Dead Alive (1992)
  • Death Becomes Her (1992)
  • Kuffs (1992)
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
  • Greedy (1994)
  • City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994)
  • What Planet Are You From (2000)
  • Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  • References

    Percy Rodriguez Wikipedia

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