James Gregor y has one of the most familiar faces and voices in entertainment, having performed in theater, radio, films, and television, where he portrayed more than 1,000 characters.
His diverse depictions range from detectives, priests and doctors to gangsters, drunks and gunslingers.
Perhaps his most memorable movie roles are Laurence Harvey’s nemesis politician in The Manchurian Candidate; Elvis Presley’s father in Clambake; Rod Steiger’s pursuing Police Captain in Al Capone; and John Wayne’s ranch-thieving adversary in The Sons of Katie Elder. Incidentally, Gregory has a “cult” following for his rendering of Beneath the Planet of the Apes’ malicious gorilla, General Ursus — a part, it was rumored, for which Orson Welles was being considered.
Gregory demonstrated another talent when he played the piano in the Louis Prima/Keely Smith musical, Hey Boy! Hey Girl!. Off the screen he also strummed the guitar and ukulele, and sang in a barbershop quartet.
On television, Gregory appeared in numerous programs including Mission: Impossible, Night Gallery, The Untouchables, The Fugitive, and Star Trek. He is especially remembered today for his role as the trenchcoated Inspector Frank Luger, whom he played eight seasons on the ABC sitcom, Barney Miller.
Gregory has also frequented Hollywood’s Old West. Whether playing a peace officer, cowpuncher, or scalphunter, some of his most rugged Western roles were in the films Gun Glory, Shoot Out, and A Distant Trumpet, and TV’s The High Chaparral, The Virginian, and Gunsmoke. When asked if he liked working in Westerns, Gregory said, “I enjoyed all facets of show business.”
James Gregory was born in the Bronx, New York on December 23, 1911, and was raised in nearby Rochelle. His roots in performing may go back………………..
Also in this article:
“James Gregory and the Hollywood Hackers”
“Laughing with James Gregory”