Wright King Albert Salmi The Twilight Zone

Actor Wright King, who appeared in The Twilight Zone and Planet of the Apes, has died at 95

Contributed by
Dec 3, 2018

Wright King, an actor of the stage and screen, has died at the age of 95. The Oklahoma native was in his home in Woodland Hills, California when he passed away on Nov. 25. News of his death was first announced earlier today by The Hollywood Reporter

King was already an accomplished performer when he starred in a 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone titled "Shadow Play," playing a newspaper editor sympathetic to the claims of a convicted murderer. Two years later, he'd return to the anthology series in "Of Late I Think of Cliffordville" as a lowly janitor whose fate is directly intertwined with his cold, unfeeling boss. 

In 1968, through heavy prosthetics, King portrayed Dr. Galen in the original Planet of the Apes, who helps save the life of Charlton Heston's George Taylor. 

Throughout his prolific career, King also had numerous supporting roles, like Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, the Logan's Run TV series, and The Invaders, as well as big-screen grindhouse fare like Invasion of the Bee Girls. He was also a regular player on westerns like Rawhide and Gunsmoke, playing multiple characters over several years on the latter. 

However, King is perhaps best known for playing the newspaper collector in A Streetcar Named Desire. He first played the character in a Chicago-based theatrical production and spent most of 1948 on a national tour. After performing on Broadway, actress Uta Hagen, who played Blanche DuBois, took King along with her to the big-screen production for director Elia Kazan. 

King mostly retired from acting by the late 1970s, with only one screen credit in 1987 before leaving show business behind. 

He's survived by his sons, Wright Jr., Michael, and Meegan, as well as several grandchildren. His wife, June, whom he was married to for more than 60 years, previously died in 2008.


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