Woodrow 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). One of his most memorable film roles was that of a bank manager in the little known bank heist film Charley Varrick (1973).

Woodrow Parfrey
Parfrey in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Sydney Woodrow Parfrey

(1922-10-05)October 5, 1922
DiedJuly 29, 1984(1984-07-29) (aged 61)
Years active19501984
Spouse(s)Rosa Ellovich (19501984) (his death)
Children4, Johnathan Parfrey, Jessica Parfrey, Juliet Parfrey, and Adam Parfrey. Publisher and writer of Amok Press and Feral House.

Early life

Parfrey was born Sydney Woodrow Parfrey on October 5, 1922, in New York City.[1] He was orphaned as a teenager.

Parfrey attended The New School,[1] and he worked as an automobile mechanic before going into the military.[2]

Military service

Parfrey fought at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and was wounded and captured by the Germans. When he was released from the Army, testing indicated that he should become an actor, which led to his new profession.[2]


Parfrey acted almost entirely on Broadway or regional stage in the late 1940s and 1950s, turning to television and film substantially in the 1960s. In 1962 Parfrey appeared as Joe Darby on the TV western The Virginian in the episode titled "The Accomplice." 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 1962 he played the part of the murderer George Pickson in Perry Mason - The Case of the Bogus Books. In 1963, he played the part of George Moffgat in Perry Mason - "The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito." 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".[3] He later appeared as storekeeper Ike Godsey in The Homecoming: A Christmas Story the TV movie pilot for "The Waltons" (1971), The Moneychangers (1976), Backstairs at the White House (1979) and the short-lived 1979 CBS series Time Express.[4]

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). His many film credits include parts in Cattle King (1963), The War Lord (1965), The King's Pirate (1967), How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life (1968), Madigan (1968), Sam Whiskey (1969), Cold Turkey (1971), Dirty Harry (1971), Oklahoma Crude (1973), Charley Varrick (1973) Stay Hungry (1976), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel (1979), Carny (1980), Bronco Billy (1980), Used Cars (1980), The Seduction (1982), Frances (1982) and Jinxed (1982).

Personal life

On February 18, 1950, Parfrey married Rosa Ellovich[1] and trained under acting teacher Erwin Piscator at the New School for Social Research.[5]


Parfrey died of a heart attack on July 29, 1984, aged 61 years, in Los Angeles.[6] His son was "underground" publisher Adam Parfrey who died at the same age as his father.[7]


   Lost in Space (1967) - Colonel Fogey


  1. "Woodrow Parfrey". MyHeritage. Archived from the original on 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  2. "Woodrow Parfrey Makes Change From Mechanic and POW to Actor". The Daily Herald. Utah, Provo. February 28, 1972. p. 27. Retrieved May 25, 2017 via Newspapers.com.
  3. 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.
  4. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 1085. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  5. Anon, Who was who in America with World Notables, vol. 9 (Berkeley Heights, NJ: Marquis Who's Who, 1989), p. 276.
  6. "Character Actor Dies". The Calgary Herald. Associated Press. August 1, 1984.
  7. Haring, Bruce (May 11, 2018). "Adam Parfrey Dies: Feral House Publisher, Author And Editor Of Forbidden Knowledge Was 61". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2018.

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