Percy Rodriguez

Mostly Credited As: Percy Rodriguez
Sometimes Credited As: Percy Rodrigues

Birth Name: Percy Rodrigues
Date Of Birth: June 13, 1918 (Age 89)
Country Of Birth: Canada
Birth Place: Montréal, Québec
Date Of Death: September 06, 2007
Cause Of Death: Kidney failure

Percy Rodriguez

By playing commodore Stone in the original Star Trek, one might say that Canadian actor Percy Rodrigues moved something of this Utopian spirit of the space conquest into daily life. Percy Rodriguez died recently of a renal insufficiency, etching a whole milestone as to what the African American acting refers. Just like onboard the interstellar spaceship Enterprise he was cast as a high rank officer, and not as the secondary one of the bridge, the kind of role usually entrusted to any other African American actor. Rodrigues was one of the first black thespians who personified characters of intellectual stature and not the servants, outlaws, singers or buffoons that the American TV and cinema used to reserve by then for the black actors. Hence his big pride was to have given life to the doctor Harry Miles, the neurosurgeon, a leading character in the series Peyton Place, one of the big successes of the American tube in the 60s, and not to the average good police officer who often was supposed to be the summit of acting for an African American actor. Of Portuguese and African origins, Rodrigues, still a teenager, found himself forced to find a job in his native Montreal when his father left the family. Although he was acting every now and then while studying at high school, when he was 18 years he became a prizefighter. Afterwards, the collection of funds for a church led him to join the Black Theater Guild, a troupe along with which he was awarded in the Festival of Theater of Canada by 1939. It was still decades away - decades that he spent as an employee in a hardware factory -, the moment when Rodrigues was to hear the first applauses in Broadway. They were given to him for his creation of Henry Simpson in "Toys in the Attic", a play by Arthur Penn, a filmmaker as well, based on a text by Lillian Hellman. In 1964, Rodrigues returned to Broadway to play Meridian Henry in "Blues for Trainer Charlie". Although the latter play, directed by actor Burgess Meredith, was based on a piece of James Baldwin - one of the best African American authors of all the times-, he embodied Meridian Henry, the preacher. He was entering this way straight into other of the stereotypes that the American show biz was putting apart for black performers. Although it is true that in cinema he gave life to doctor Copeland in a version of the novel "The heart is a lonely hunter", by the great Carson McCullers, and directed by Robert Ellis Miller in 1968, it was in the small screen where Rodrigues fulfilled his aspirations. So much so that in 1968 the New York Times recognized him for being the first black thespian who was personifying a doctor in prime time shows. Following Star Trek, American audiences could appreciate his work in episodes of The Virginian, The Man From UNCLE, Medical Center, Mannix or Roots, among the myriad of popular series he was a guest in. The depth of his voice led him to be the narrator of the original versions of Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) and Deadly Blessing (Wes Craven, 1981), among many other films. Withdrawn from the sets since 1987, Rodrigues kept on working as a dubbing actor.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
Sanford (1980)As: Winston (S01)
The Moneychangers (1976)As: Nolan Wainwright
The Silent Force (1970)As: Jason Hart
Peyton Place (1964)As: Dr Harry Miles
Episode Cast Credits 

Cutter to Houston (1983) 
  The Life You Save 01x07: (Dec/31/1983) As Dr. Easley 
  It Ain't Braggin' If You Done It 01x04: (Dec/10/1983) As Dr. Easley 

T.J. Hooker (1982) 
  Lady in Blue 02x22: (May/07/1983) As Jason 

Dynasty (US) (1981) 
  Blake's Blindness 02x12: (Feb/03/1982) As Lt. Pete Dawson 

The Fall Guy (1981) 
  The Fall Guy (2) 01x02: (Nov/04/1981) As Randy 
  The Fall Guy (1) 01x01: (Nov/04/1981) As Randy 

The Duke (1979) 
  Up Against The Odds (1) 01x01: (Apr/05/1979) As Benny 

Lucan (1977) 
  How Do You Run Forever? 01x04: (Jan/09/1978) As Dreber 

The Jeffersons (1975) 
  Louise's New Interest 04x10: (Nov/19/1977) As Dr. Bob Jessup 

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977) 
  The Mystery of the African Safari 02x06: (Oct/16/1977) As Minister 

Most Wanted (1976) 
  Most Wanted (Mar/21/1976) As Mayor Stoddard 

Medical Center (US) (1969) 
  If Wishes Were Horses 07x24: (Mar/15/1976) As Dr. Karter, Sr. 
  Blood Line 03x01: (Sep/15/1971) As Lieutenant Preston 
  Moment of Decision 01x15: (Jan/14/1970) As Dr. DeHaven 

Sanford and Son (1972) 
  The Olympics 05x11: (Dec/05/1975) As Lou Turner 

Good Times (1974) 
  Florida's Rich Cousin 03x05: (Oct/07/1975) As Edgar 

Planet of the Apes (1974) 
  The Tyrant 01x11: (Nov/22/1974) As Aboro 

Toma (1973) 
  The Street 01x21: (May/03/1974) As Houston 

The Rookies (1972) 
  Crossfire 01x16: (Jan/15/1973) As Officer R. C. Taylor 

The Sixth Sense (1972) 
  The Eyes That Wouldn't Die 02x12: (Dec/23/1972) As Lt. Woods 
  With Affection, Jack the Ripper 02x04: (Oct/14/1972) As Lt. Woods 
  Whisper of Evil 01x11: (Apr/08/1972) As Sgt. Bruckner 

Banacek (1972) 
  Project Phoenix 01x02: (Sep/27/1972) As Mr. Faldor (as Percy Rodrigues) 

Cannon (1971) 
  A Flight of Hawks 01x21: (Feb/22/1972) As Robert Dalmont 

Ironside (1967) 
  And Then There Was One 05x20: (Jan/20/1972) As Mohammed (as Percy Rodrigues), [Special Guest Stars]

Mission: Impossible (1966) (1966) 
  Chico 04x17: (Jan/25/1970) As Arturo Sanodval 
  The Slave (2) 02x06: (Oct/15/1967) As Jara 
  The Slave (1) 02x05: (Oct/08/1967) As Jara 
  Wheels 01x07: (Oct/29/1966) As Captain Trez 

Mannix (1967) 
  Tooth of the Serpent 03x13: (Dec/27/1969) As Jim Chancellor 
  A Catalogue of Sins 01x11: (Dec/02/1967) As Roy Bradley 

Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) 
  Let Ernest Come Over 01x11: (Dec/09/1969) As Detective Sergeant Jackson 

Then Came Bronson (1969) 
  Two Percent of Nothing 01x10: (Nov/26/1969) As Mac Keller 

The Name of the Game (1968) 
  A Hard Case of the Blues 02x02: (Sep/26/1969) As Lt. Reston 

Tarzan (1966) (1966) 
  Voice of the Elephant 02x02: (Sep/22/1967) As Matsui 

Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre (1963) 
  Deadlock 04x26: (May/17/1967) As Detective John Rollins, [Starring Roles]

The Fugitive (1963) (1963) 
  Passage to Helena 04x23: (Mar/07/1967) As Deputy Sheriff Dalton 

Star Trek (1966) 
  Court Martial 01x20: (Feb/02/1967) As Portmaster Stone, [Co-Guest Stars]

The Wild Wild West (1965) 
  The Night of the Poisonous Posey 02x07: (Oct/28/1966) As Brutus 

Daktari (1966) 
  Predator of Wameru 01x02: (Jan/18/1966) As Metembe 

Ben Casey (1961) 
  A Horse Named Stravinsky 04x31: (May/17/1965) As guest star 

Slattery's People (1964) 
  Question: Who You Taking to the Main Event, Eddie? 01x22: (Mar/12/1965) As Eddie Brookman 

Route 66 (1960) (1960) 
  Child of a Night 04x13: (Jan/03/1964) As Harry 

Naked City (1958) 
  The S.S. American Dream 04x31: (May/08/1963) As Millard Jeffers 
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