StarTrek.com is saddened to report the death of veteran actor Roger Perry, whom Star Trek fans will remember for his winsome appearance as Captain John Christopher in the TOS episode “Episode Preview: Tomorrow Is Yesterday.” Perry, who was 85, succumbed on Thursday night (July 12) to prostate cancer at his home in Indian Wells, California, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which was informed of the news by Perry's daughter, Dana Perry McNerney.
Perry’s career spanned six decades and nearly 100 television shows and movies. He was a regular or recurring character on such series as Harrigan and Son, Arrest and Trial, The Facts of Life and Falcon Crest, and appeared in the B-movie classics Count Yorga, Vampire and its sequel The Return of Count Yorga, as well as The Thing with Two Heads and Roller Boogie. Talk to any Star Trek fan, though, and "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" stood well above all else. In the time-travel adventure, Captain Christopher of the United States Air Force was beamed aboard the Enterprise and soon soon learned that though he was rather expendable, his as-yet-unborn son would head the first successful Earth-Saturn probe. As a result, he was beamed back to Earth while the Enterprise employed the “slingshot effect” in order to return to the 23rd century.
"I liked the whole idea of the episode," Perry told StarTrek.com in a 2012 interview. "Going back in time, it’s very confusing and mysterious, but it’s also fascinating. I liked the idea that he found out he was going to have a son, and we had a lot of fun with that. I watched it again a few months ago, before I went to Las Vegas for the big convention there, and I remember watching the scene when he’s first beamed up and saying to my wife, Joyce, who was watching it with me, 'I think maybe I could have done more at that particular moment with that particular scene.' I said that because one minute he’s in a fighter plane and the next moment he’s in this strange situation where he’s in this room with these different people. It’s such a momentous moment for him that I think I should have tried some different things."
Perry, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is survived by his second wife, actress Joyce Bulifant, and daughter Dana, as well as son Christopher; stepchildren Charlie, Mary and John; grandson Parker and step-grandchildren Riley, Ford, Daisy and Evan. Please join StarTrek.com in offering our condolences to Perry's family, friends, colleagues and fans.