Date of Birth : Oct 5th 1922
Parfrey acted almost entirely on Broadway or regional stage in the late 1940s and 50s, turning to TV and film substantially in the 60s. Though usually a supporting player, he played many focal TV guest-star roles, mainly in the late 60s 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.) An actor of extraordinary range, he is nonetheless often remembered as “one of TV’s great slimeball villains.”
Parfrey also scored a few big A-movie parts, most notably as one of the wretched prisoners 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 would don the prosthetics again a few years later for a role in the pilot of the spinoff TV series.) He also turned up in the unofficial repertory companies of both Clint Eastwood (including small parts in Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy) and Don Siegel (including a significant role in Charley Varrick).
Parfrey died of a heart attack on July 29, 1984 in Los Angeles. His determination to bring that edgy “something extra” to his profession lives on in his son, the “underground” publisher Adam Parfrey.