|Born||Julios Caesar Lopez
July 22, 1929
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||February 14, 2008
Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, USA
|Spouse(s)||Claire Kelly (1960–1961) (divorced)|
Lopez was born in New York City of Puerto Rican descent. Lopez began his acting career on in theater, based in New York. He was signed to a contract at Warner Bros. Studios in 1954, his first appearance being Bogus Charlie in Drum Beat. Lopez appeared as Spanish Joe in Battle Cry (1955), as Rodrigues in Mr. Roberts in 1955, then had the leading role in The Steel Jungle and appeared as Toro in Cry Tough in 1959. He also played in a number of B-movies and Westerns early on in his career, including the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Young Guns and The Lone Ranger.
Although he was part of the supporting cast in Mr. Roberts, his role was prominent – he played opposite Henry Fonda and James Cagney, who were both established stars at the time. However, he was perhaps best known as Lieutenant Lou Escobar in the 1974 film Chinatown, which he starred in opposite Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. He reprised the role sixteen years later (with Escobar promoted to Captain) in The Two Jakes in 1990.
Among his many television appearances, one of his more well-known roles is that of Esteban Rodriguez in the classic Star Trek episode "Shore Leave". Lopez also appeared in an episode of Bonanza, as the cold-blooded outlaw Duke Miller, who kills a man over being first in line to get a haircut. He was Joaquín Castañeda, a mestizo that fought to free his people, on Zorro, starring Guy Williams. Lopez also appeared in episode 14, "Night Of The Long Knives" originally airing December 16, 1966 of The Time Tunnel television series, in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode "Savage Jungle", played Davey Elk in McLintock! (1963) and played Pvt. Petuko in Kelly's Heroes (1970).
A longtime heavy smoker, Lopez died of lung cancer in at The Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, at age 78. He was survived by several nieces and nephews. His ashes were interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
- Rivera, Miluka (2010). Legado Puertorriqueno en Hollywood: Famosos y Olvidados (in Spanish). Lulu. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-578-06993-7.
- "Perry Lopez; veteran actor in iconic films and TV shows; 78". Associated Press (U-T San Diego). 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Actor Perry Lopez dies at 78". Variety Magazine. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- Perry Lopez at the Internet Movie Database
- Perry Lopez at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek wiki
- Perry Lopez Obit at Variety