Woodrow Parfrey
Woodrow Parfrey
Woodrow Parfrey in TV series screenshot from the early 1970s
General Information:
Sex: Male
Date of birth: (1922-10-05)5 October 1922
Born in: New York City
Died: 22 July 1984(1984-07-22) (aged 61)
Series/character information
Appeared on/in: I Dream of Jeannie
Number of
4 in Seasons 1, 3 & 5
Character played/
Appeared as:
Various characters

Woodrow Parfrey (5 October 1922 — 29 July 1984)  appeared in four episodes of I Dream of Jeannie, first as Henry Tracy in the Season 1 episode "The Moving Finger", as Mr. Fakeling in "My Master, the Swinging Bachelor" in Season 2, as Mr. Murdock in "Divorce, Genie Style" in Season 3, then as Mr. Farber in "The Case of the Porcelain Puppy" in Season 5.


Born in New York City. Parfrey was orphaned in his teens and grew up in abject poverty during the Depression. He served in the United States Army during World War II, Parfrey fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded and captured, spending the rest of the war in a POW. It was these wartime experiences that helped him to set up many of his tough, eccentric characters that he would later play.

After the war, he began working on Broadway, acting on stage during the late 1940's and most of the 1950's. He started to appear on TV in the early 1950's, shortly followed by films. Parfrey soon became one of the most interesting character actors to appear on American television and film in the 1960s, bringing a quirky charisma to every character that he played, from shopkeepers to space-age simians. His noted turn as the unbalanced informer in Broadway's Advise and Consent (1961) set the standard for his offbeat, conspiratorial persona in dozens of TV and movie appearances into the 1980s.

Woodrow played many focal TV guest star roles, mainly in the late 1960's, and a few big A-movie parts, most notably as one of the wretched prisoners in Papillon (1973). His association with that film's director, Franklin Schaffner, also included a bit part as 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 the pilot of the spinoff TV series.)

In addition, Parfrey also turned up in the unofficial repertory companies of both Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel.

Among his many television acting credits were appearances in the shows Combat!The Outlaw Josey WalesThe Name of the GamePolice Story Get SmartHogan's HeroesLost in SpaceGunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, WKRP In CincinnatiThe King's PiratePlanet of the ApesThe Sunshine PatriotEight is Enough, Room 222 Police WomanBaretta, and Remington Steele. His determination to bring that edgy "something extra" to his profession lives on in his son, the "underground" publisher Adam Parfrey.


Parfey died in Los Angeles, California in 1984 from a heart attack.

External links