Charles Napier

Charles Napier

Born: April 12, 1936
Died: October 5, 2011 (at age 75)
Birthplace: Mt. Union, Kentucky, U.S.

Charles Lewis Napier (April 12, 1936 - October 5, 2011) was a prolific American actor, who after his film debut mainly worked in supporting roles.

After leaving his Kentucky town to serve in the army, he graduated college and worked as a sports coach and art teacher before settling on acting as a career. Napier established himself in character roles and worked steadily for the next 35 years.

Early life

Napier was born in Mt. Union, Kentucky, the son of Sara Lena (née Loafman; 1897-1974) and Linus Pitts Napier (1888-1991). After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1954, serving with the 11th Airborne Division and rising to the rank of sergeant.

After his service, he attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, graduating in 1961 with a major in art and minor in physical education. He wanted to be a basketball coach and his first job was as an assistant coach at his old high school. Soon after, he gave up coaching, eventually taking jobs with a bridge company and an advertising agency before moving to Clearwater, Florida to teach art at JFK Junior High School.

In 1964, he returned to attend graduate school at Western Kentucky where he was encouraged to pursue acting by instructor D. Russell Miller. Following some success in the local Alley Playhouse, Napier moved back to Florida where he continued to teach as well as act in community theater, eventually moving into Clearwater's Little Theatre as its live-in caretaker. During this time he also pursued painting.


After a spell in New York Napier moved to California. He acquired an agent and a union card (for a bit part in Mission: Impossible). His movie debut came about by accident. A girlfriend took Napier along when she went to audition for Russ Meyer, who cast Napier as the male lead in Cherry, Harry & Raquel!. In addition to acting and helping with the cameras when setting up shots, he did stunts, make up and driving on the film. After the low budget Moonfire, he worked as a journalist and photographer for Overdrive magazine for a few years; a strike sent him back to Hollywood in 1975 where, at age 39, he was reduced to living in his car in the parking lot of Meyer's office with no money, work or agent. He was summoned to Universal Studios to meet Alfred Hitchcock (who had just seen a print of Supervixens) and Napier was given a one-year contract.

Napier became a prolific character actor, appearing regularly in TV series of the time, and a number of pilots. In 1977, he was cast as frontier scout Luther Sprague in the six-episode NBC western television series, The Oregon Trail. He appeared in two episodes of the 1980s hit TV series The A-Team as Col. Briggs. He also co-starred in two The Rockford Files episodes, and played Hammer in the series B.J. and the Bear in the 1970s. Napier as Wolfson Lucas was teamed with Rod Taylor again for the series Outlaws. He is known among Star Trek fans for appearing on both Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Way to Eden" as musically inclined space hippie Adam, and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" as General Denning. He also appeared in the pilot episode of Knight Rider in 1982.

The director of Citizen's Band, Jonathan Demme, was laudatory about Napier's abilities, and went on to cast him in several films including The Silence of the Lambs and, in what was Napier's favourite role of his career, a judge in Philadelphia. For the comedy, The Blues Brothers, he created the apoplectic Tucker McElroy, lead singer of "The Good Ol' Boys.

Napier was in many advertisements. He performed a great deal of voiceover work, including some of the Hulk's growls on 1970s television series The Incredible Hulk, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Critic, Men in Black: The Series and Squidbillies. He also provided several guest voices for episodes of The Simpsons.

He had a small role during the sixth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2008 as a barber who assaults and drives Larry David from his shop after David offends him. Napier appeared in the 2009 horror film Murder World alongside Scout Taylor-Compton. His last film role was in the 2009 comedy The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard opposite Jeremy Piven and James Brolin. Prior to his death in October of 2011, Napier published a book about his life and experiences in Hollywood, titled "Square Jaw and Big Heart", with Dante W. Renzulli co-author. The publisher of the book is BearManor Media of Albany, Georgia (ISBN 978-1-59393-624-2).

Personal life and death

Napier married and divorced Delores Wilson. He then married Dee Napier. Napier and his wife attended the Dr. Phil show in 2003 about his obsession with becoming famous. Napier died on October 5, 2011, after collapsing the previous day. He was 75 years old. The exact cause of death was not released, but Napier had been treated for thrombus in his legs in May 2010. Napier is survived by his second wife, Dee, and their young children, Hunter and Meghan, as well as by his son, Chuck, from a previous marriage, which had ended in divorce.



Year Title Role Notes
1969 The House Near the Prado Unknown1 Swedish drama film written, produced and directed by Jean Van Hearn.
The Hanging of Jake Ellis Jake Ellis Western film directed and written by Jean Van Hearn.
1970 Cherry, Harry & Raquel! Harry Thompson Softcore exploitation film produced and directed by Russ Meyer.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Baxter Wolfe Satirical musical melodrama film produced and directed by Russ Meyer.
Moonfire Robert W. Morgan Action-adventure film written, produced, and directed by Michael Parkhurst.
1971 The Seven Minutes Norman Quandt Drama film directed and produced by Russ Meyer.
1975 Supervixens Harry Sledge Sexploitation film by Russ Meyer.
1977 Thunder and Lightning Jim Bob Drama film directed by Corey Allen.
Citizen's Band Chrome Angel Comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme.
1979 Last Embrace Quittle Thriller film directed by Jonathon Demme.
1980 The Blues Brothers Tucker McElroy Musical crime comedy film directed by John Landis.
Melvin and Howard Ventura Comedy-drama film directed by Jonathan Demme.
1982 Wacko Chief O'Hara Horror-parody film directed by Greydon Clark.
1983 China Lake Donnelly Psychological thriller film directed by Robert Harmon.
1984 Swing Shift Moon Willis Drama/romantic war film directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by and starring Goldie Hawn.
In Search of a Golden Sky T. J. Rivers Adventure-drama film directed and produced by Jefferson Richard.
1985 Rambo: First Blood Part II Marshall Murdock Action film directed by George P. Cosmatos.
1986 Something Wild Irate chef Action comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme.
Body Count Charlie, the Sheriff
  • Slasher-horror film directed by Ruggero Deodato.
  • Released in Italy as Camping del Terrore.
1987 Instant Justice Maj. Davis Action-drama film directed by Denis Amar (fr).
1988 Married to the Mob Ray, Angela's hairdesser Comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme.
Deep Space Det. Ian McLemore Sci-fi horror film directed by Fred Olen Ray.
1989 Hit List Tom Mitchum Action-thriller movie directed by William Lustig.
1990 Future Zone Mickland Science-fiction film written and directed by David A. Prior.
Miami Blues Sgt. Bill Henderson Action-crime-thriller film directed by George Armitage.
The Grifters Gloucester Hebbing Neo-noir crime drama film directed by Stephen Frears.
Maniac Cop 2 Lew Brady Action horror film directed by William Lustig.
Ernest Goes to Jail Warden Carmichael Comedy film directed by John R. Cherry III.
1991 The Silence of the Lambs Lt. Boyle Thriller-psychological horror film directed by Jonathan Demme.
1992 Mean Tricks Brian Hornsby Crime thriller film produced in Italy and directed by Umberto Lenzi.
Eyes of the Beholder Det. Wilson Thriller horror mystery film directed and written by Lawrence L. Simeone.
1993 Return to Frogtown Capt. Delano B movie directed by Donald G. Jackson.
Loaded Weapon 1 Interrogator Satirical comedy film directed by Gene Quintano.
Philadelphia Judge Lucas Garnett Drama film directed and co-produced by Jonathan Demme.
Body Bags Baseball Team Manager Horror sci-fi anthology film directed by John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.
Skeeter Ernie Buckle Horror film directed by Clark Brandon.
1995 Jury Duty Jed Comedy film directed by John Fortenberry.
3 Ninjas Knuckle Up Jack Martial arts comedy film directed by Shin Sang-ok.
1996 Original Gangstas Mayor Blaxploitation film directed by Larry Cohen.
The Cable Guy Police officer Satirical black comedy film directed by Ben Stiller.
1997 Steel Col. David Superhero action film based on the DC Comics character John Henry Irons and written & directed by Kenneth Johnson.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Commander Gilmour Spy action film directed by Jay Roach.
1998 Beloved Angry Carny
  • Horror-drama film directed by Jonathan Demme and based on Toni Morrison's 1987 novel of the same name.
  • Uncredited
1999 The Big Tease Sen. Warren Crockett Comedy film directed by Kevin Allen.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me General Hawk Spy action comedy film directed by Jay Roach.
2000 Very Mean Men Detective Bailey Crime-comedy film directed by Tony Vitale.
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Four Star General Romantic comic science fiction film directed by Peter Segal.
2002 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron Roy Animated western drama film directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook.
2004 The Manchurian Candidate General Sloan Science fiction-political-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme.
Dinocroc Sheriff Harper Creature horror film directed by Kevin O'Neill.
2005 Lords of Dogtown Nudie Biographical drama film directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
2006 Annapolis Supt. Carter Drama film directed by Justin Lin.
2008 One-Eyed Monster Montz Sci-fi/horror comedy film directed by Adam Fields
Your Name Here Chuck Heston
  • Surreal dramatic fantasy biopic loosely based on the life of Philip K. Dick and directed by Matthew Wilder.
  • Originally titled Panasonic.
2009 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Dick Lewiston Comedy film directed by Neal Brennan.
Life Blood Sheriff Tillman Supernatural horror thriller film directed and produced by Ron Carlson.


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Mission: Impossible First Guard Episode: "The Play" (S 3:Ep 9)
1969 Star Trek Adam Episode: "The Way to Eden" (S 3:Ep 20)
1971 Mission: Impossible Thug Episode: "Run for the Money" (S 6:Ep 13)
1972 Roland Episode: "Cocaine" (S 7:Ep 6)
1975 Starsky & Hutch John Brown Harris Episode: "Texas Longhorn" (S 1:Ep 2)
Kojak Marty Vaughan Episode: "My Brother, My Enemy" (S 3:Ep 3)
The Streets of San Francisco Norderman Episode: "No Place to Hide: (S 4:Ep 3)
Baretta Whitey Episode: "Double Image" (s 2:Ep 6)
The Rockford Files Billy Webster Episode: "2 Into 5.56 Won't Go" (s 2: Ep 10)
1976 Baa Baa Black Sheep Major Red Buell Episode: "Flying Misfits, part 2" (S 1:Ep 2)
Episode: "Best Three Out of Five" (S 1:Ep 3)
Delvecchio Alt Episode: "Hot Spell" (S 1:Ep 8)
1977 The Rockford Files Mitch Donner Episode: "New Life, Old Dragons" (S 3:Ep 18)
1978 Starsky & Hutch Sheriff Joe Tyce Episode: "Satan's Witches" (S 3:Ep 17)
1979 The Incredible Hulk John Blake Episode: "The Slam" (S 3:Ep 4)
1981 Walking Tall Vernon Larkin Episode: "The Protectors of the People" (S 1:Ep 2)
The Dukes of Hazzard Digger Jackson Episode: "Bye, Bye, Boss" (S 3:Ep 20)
Private Benjamin General Thrustmore Episode: "Benjamin to the Rescue (Pilot)" (S 1:Ep 1)
The Incredible Hulk Bert Episode: "Triangle" (S 5:Ep 5)
1982 Strike Force Richard Trallis Episode: "Deadly Chemicals" (S 1"Ep 17)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Marshal Episode: "The Man in the White Hat" (s 1:Ep 2)
The Blue and the Gray Maj. Harrison Miniseries directed by Andrew V. McLaglen.
Knight Rider Carney Episodes"
  • "Knight of the Phoenix, part 1 (Pilot)" (S 1:Ep 1)
  • "Knight of the Phoenix, part 2" (S 1:Ep 2)
  • Uncredited
Dallas Carl Daggett Episode: "Where There's a Will" (S 6:Ep 2)
Simon & Simon Gibson Episode: "Mike & Pat" (S 2:Ep 2)
CHiPs Klane Episode: "Something Special" (S 6:Ep 6)
1983 Tales of the Gold Monkey Tex Episode: "High Stakes Lady" (S 1:Ep 14)
Dallas Carl Daggett Episode: "A Ewing is a Ewing" (S 6:Ep 16)
Episode: "Crash of '83" (S 6:Ep 17)
The A-Team Burt Cross Episode" "Labor Pains" (S 2:Ep 8)
The Dukes of Hazzard Pete Episode: "Targets: Daisy and Lulu" (S 6:Ep 8)
Gun Shy Carlton Episode: "Pardon Me Boy, Is That The Quake City Choo Choo?" (S 1:Ep 2)
1984 Night Court Mitch Bowers Episode: "Hi Honey, I'm Home" (S 1:Ep 13)
Whiz Kids Douglas Blackthorne Episode: "May I Take Your Order Please?: (S 1:Ep 18)
The A-Team Colonel Briggs Episode: "Fire!" (S 3:Ep 4)
1985 Street Hawk John Slade Episode: "Hot Target" (s 1:Ep 9)
1986 Murder, She Wrote Hank Sutter Episodes:
  • Death Stalks The Big Top, part 1" (S 3:Ep 1)
  • Death Stalks The Big Top, part 2" (S 3:Ep 2)
Outlaws Wolfson Lucas Contract Role
1988 The Incredible Hulk Returns Fouche Television superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character the Hulk, which serves as a continuation of the Incredible Hulk television series, and directed by Nicholas J. Corea.
War and Remembrance Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith Miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Herman Wouk and directed by Dan Curtis.
1989 Paradise Guest Episode: "A Gather Of Guns" (S 2:Ep 1)
1991 L.A. Law Detective Norris Episode: "The Beverly Hills Hangers" (S 5"Ep 15)
1992 The Golden Palace Mr. Smith #1 Episode: "Camp Town Races Aren't Nearly As Much Fun As They Used To Be" (S 1:Ep 11)
1993 Renegade Brackett Episodes:
  • "Fighting Cage, part 1" (S 1:Ep 21)
  • "Fighting Cage, part 2" (S 1:Ep 22)
Sgt. Douglas Raines Episode: "Windy City Blues" (S 2:Ep 10)
1994-95 The Critic Duke Phillips Contract role
1994 Coach Buzz Durkin Episode: "Head Like a Wheel" (S 6"Ep 25)
1995 Murder, She Wrote Denver Martin Episode: "The Dream Team" (S 11:Ep 18)
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Sailin' Whalen Episode: "Target: Jimmy Olsen!" (S 2:Ep 19)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine General Denning Episode: "Little Green Men" (S 4:Ep 8)
1996 Pacific Blue Tyrone Justice Episode:"Genuine Heroes" (S 2:Ep 9)
The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Hinkle Episode: "Without A Trace" (S 2:Ep 13)
1997 Jumanji Capt. Ishmael Squint Episode: "Eye of the Sea" (s 2:Ep 2)
Superman: The Animated Series General Hardcastle Episode: "The Prometheon" (S 2:Ep 3)
George & Leo Dutch Episode: "The Housekeeper" (S 1:Ep 9)
1998 Party of Five Video Guy Episode: "Here and Now" (S 4:Ep 15)
Jumanji Captain Ishmael Squint Episode: "The Ultimate Weapon" (S 3:Ep 9)
Second Chances Craig Hardy Miniseries directed by James Fargo.
1999 Walker, Texas Ranger Warden Episode: "Fight or Die" (S 8:Ep 90
2000 Superman: The Animated Series General Hardcastle Episodes:
  • "Legacy, part 1" (S 4:Ep 2)
  • "Legacy, part 2: (S 4:Ep 3)
God, the Devil and Bob Reverend Nat Potterson Episode: "In the Beginning (Pilot)" (S 1:Ep 1)
Moon Bounce Delivery Guy Episode: "The Devil's Birthday" (S 1:Ep 4)
Roswell Hal Carver Episode: "Summer of '47" (S 2:Ep 40
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Cooley Episode: "Haunted Moon" (S 1:Ep 36)
2001 The Simpsons Warden Episode: "Pokey Mom" (S 12:Ep 10)
Diagnosis Murder Johnny McNamara Episodes:
  • "Sins Of The Father, part 1" (S 8:Ep 12)
  • "Sins Of The Father, part 2" (S 8:Ep 13)
The Practice Judge Abraham Betts Episode: "Awakenings" (S 5:Ep 15)
Episode: "Gideon's Crossover" (S 5:Ep 16)
The Legend of Tarzan Ian McTeague Episode: "Poisoned River, part 2" (s 1:Ep 8)
2002 Son of the Beach Charles Foster Brooks Episode: "Three Days of the Condom" (S 3:Ep)
2003 The Mummy: The Animated Series Jack Episode: "Like Father Like Son" (S 2:Ep 4)
God, the Devil and Bob Group Member Episode: "Bob Gets Involved" (S 1:Ep 13)
Police Officer Episode: "Bob's Father" (S 1:Ep 110
The Simpsons Grant Connor Episode: "The Fat and the Furriest" (S 15:Ep 5)
2004 Warden Episode: "Wandering Juvie" (S 15:Ep 16)
Justice League Unlimited General Hardcastle Episode: "Fearful Symmetry" (S 3:Ep 6)
2005 The Simpsons Officer Krackney Episode: "The Seven-Beer Snitch" (S 16:Ep 14)
The 4400 Reverend Josiah Episodes:
  • Wake Up Call, part 1" (S 2:Ep 1)
  • Wake Up Call, part 2" (S 2:Ep 2)
The Batman Killgore Steed Episode: "The Laughing Cats" (S 3:Ep 7)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Warren Matthews Episode: "Still Life" (S 6:Ep 10)
2005-06 Squidbillies the Sheriff Recurring
2006 Monk Sheriff Bates Episode: "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head" (S 4:Ep 110
2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm Bert's Dad Episode: "The Lefty Call" (S 6:Ep 4)
2008 Cold Case Hal Chaney Episode: "Shore Leave" (S 6:Ep 5)
2011 Archer Dr. Spelts Episode: "Stage Two" (S 2:Ep 8)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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