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Felix Locher

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  • White-haired, dignified, avuncular Swiss-born character actor Felix Locher (pronounced "Lo-Shay") didn't begin acting until the age of 73, completely on a whim and through an accident of fate. The father of 1940s action star Jon Hall (born Charles Locher), Felix Locher had made his living in a multitude of capacities for much of his adult life, including inventor (he held 100 copyrights and patents relating to a unique mapping system that he used when lecturing military officers) and salesman (principally of insurance). He chanced to visit his son while the latter was preparing for the movie Hell Ship Mutiny (1957) and, seeing the script, remarked that he would be perfect to play the elderly Tahitian chief. The elder Locher not only believed that he looked the part but also that he knew how to play it, having lived in Tahiti. His son dismissed the idea, pointing out that his father had never acted, much less done anything else in front of a camera; but then he was spotted by the director of the movie, who decided that the dignified, well-spoken 73-year-old would, in fact, be perfect for the chief. Following that screen debut, Locher spent the next couple of years reading plays and doing scenes in his agent's office, and gradually started attending auditions. He got small parts on Have Gun Will Travel, The Loretta Young Show, and movies, including the ultra low-budget horror film Frankenstein's Daughter. Later that same year, Locher got the biggest movie part of his career, a Basque leader in the drama Thunder in the Sun (1959) starring Susan Hayward and Jeff Chandler. Locher remained busy on television and in movies into the '60s, appearing in more than 30 productions, and, ironically, was active for several years after his son's career had ended. His most well-remembered roles were in Frankenstein's Daughter, portraying the loving scientist uncle of the heroine, and in the second season Star Trek episode "The Deadly Years," portraying the prematurely aged and senile expedition leader Robert Johnson. Locher died in 1969 at the age of 87.

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet California Don Pablo Hernandez 1963
No Score Yet Frankenstein's Daughter Carter Morton 1958
No Score Yet Curse of the Faceless Man Dr. Emanuel 1958
No Score Yet Hell Ship Mutiny Parea 1957

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet Mission: Impossible
1966-1973
Yablonski
  • 1967
80% Star Trek
1966-1969
Robert Johson
  • 1967
83% The Munsters
1964-1966
Powatuma
  • 1966
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
2nd Man
  • 1961
  • 1960

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