Gregory Walcott, who starred in several movies in the ’50s and early ’60s including, perhaps most notably, the critically panned “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” has died, his son announced on Facebook. He was 87.
“We said goodbye to my dad today,” wrote his son, “Men in Black” puppeteer Todd Mattox, on Friday. “He spent his life making people feel good.”
Walcott starred as pilot Jeff Trent in 1959’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” which is widely considered one of the worst films of all time. Despite its reputation, it gained a large cult following, which Walcott was reluctantly at the center of.
“I had done so many great films and worked with so many great directors that I didn’t want to be identified with such a piece of trash,” he said in a 1998 interview with Filmax magazine.
He starred alongside Bela Lugosi in the film. Lugosi, however, had died in 1956. Writer-director Ed Wood used previously shot footage of the actor to put together the movie.
Walcott, however, had plenty of other film credits to his name, including “Texas Lady” (1955), “Mister Roberts (1955), “Battle Cry” (1995), Delbert Mann’s “The Outsiders” (1960) and “Prime Cut” (1972). He also played a police chief in Sally Field’s 1978 film “Norma Rae.”
Walcott’s last onscreen role was in Tim Burton’s 1994 biopic “Ed Wood,” where Walcott made a cameo as a potential film backer.
The Wilson, N.C., native also appeared in several TV roles, including starring as Det. Roger Havilland in NBC’s 1961-62 series “87th Precinct,” as well as in seven episodes of “Bonanza.”
Walcott worked with Clint Eastwood more than once, first on the CBS series “Rawhide.” The two would go onto work together on several films in the ’70s: “Joe Kidd,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” “The Eiger Sanction” and “Every Which Way But Loose.”
Walcott is survived by his son Todd, his daughters Jina and Pam and several grandchildren.