Woodrow Parfrey

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Woodrow Parfrey
Born Sydney Woodrow Parfrey
(1922-10-05)October 5, 1922
New York City, U.S.
Died July 29, 1984(1984-07-29) (aged 61)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Spouse(s) Rosa Ellovich (1950-1984) (his death)
Children Adam Parfrey
Jonathan Parfrey

Woodrow Parfrey (October 5, 1922 – July 29, 1984) was an American film and television actor from the 1950s to the early 1980s. He appeared on Broadway in Advise and Consent (1961).

Early life[edit]

Parfrey was born Sydney Woodrow Parfrey on October 5, 1922, in New York City. He was orphaned as a teenager. He fought at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and was wounded and captured by the Germans. He married Rosa Ellovich and trained under acting teacher Erwin Piscator at the New School for Social Research.[citation needed]


Woodrow Parfrey received a rare screen credit as a "Special Guest Star" in the "My Friend, My Enemy" episode of Bonanza

Parfrey acted almost entirely on Broadway or regional stage in the late 1940s and 1950s, turning to television and film substantially in the 1960s. Though usually a supporting player, he played many focal television guest-star roles, mainly in the late 1960s when fantasy and spy shows relied heavily on distinctive guest players. He appeared five times on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., more than any other guest star except Jill Ireland, who also appeared five times. In 1967 he appeared as Brock in the 4th season of the science fiction TV show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in the episode named "Fatal Cargo." He is often remembered as "one of TV's great slimeball villains".[1] He later appeared in the short-lived 1979 CBS series Time Express.

Parfrey also scored a few big A-movie parts, most notably as a prisoner in Papillon (1973). Parfrey's frequent association with that film's director, Franklin Schaffner, also included a bit as Maximus, one of the three "See No Evil" orangutan judges in Planet of the Apes (1968). He appeared in small parts in Dirty Harry (1971), Charley Varrick (1973), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Bronco Billy (1980).

Parfrey died of a heart attack on July 29, 1984, aged 61, in Los Angeles.[2] His son is "underground" publisher Adam Parfrey.


  1. ^ Abbott, Jon (2006). Irwin Allen Television Productions, 1964-1970: A Critical History of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants. McFarland & Co. p. 96. ISBN 0-7864-2759-0. 
  2. ^ Character actor dies

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