Felton Perry has the prestigious honor of being one of five actors to stick through the entire Robocop trilogy, and if that’s not something to be proud of then I don’t know what is. While the actor seems to have retired, being well into his 70s now, what did he get up to in the time after Robocop and before his retirement?
Not too fast though! All the way back on September 11 of 1945 in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois Felton Perry made his grand entrance to the world. While not much is known about his childhood, growing up in an immediate post-WW2 Chicago, he did have a passion for the arts very early on in his career. While he would start out acting in stage plays and local theater productions, it wasn’t long before Felton made his way to Hollywood to make his name.
Walking In Tall
Of course, it took a bit to get established in the business, especially as a younger black actor coming into Hollywood just before the 1970s, but Felton made it his mission and worked his way through dozens of shows and indie movies before even two years had passed into the new decade. Making his appearance in the political drama Medium Cool in 1969, he would end up on shows like Dragnet and The Partridge Family over the coming years in bit parts.
Felton would continue through the seventies hopping through roles lightning fast before starting to pick up more meaty parts in Walking Tall as Obra and Dirty Harry sequel Magnum Force alongside Clint Eastwood. While he would play the part of Harry’s partner in the film, we all know how Dirty Harry having a partner goes (not far). He would follow up with roles in The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat and the mega disaster The Towering Inferno before the decade was even halfway over. Not bad for the first five years in the business.
His work would slow down considerably from the powerhouse work he was doing at the beginning of the decade, only taking on sparse roles through the rest of the seventies and going into the eighties, also taking the time to focus on different mediums of work. He would end up writing a play called Buy the Bi and Bye which would gain critical acclaim upon its performance, and be regarded as a classic of stage as it followed an all-black cast doing their best to work under a maniacal writer/director.
Roles would be sporadic through the decade of neon and nylon but Felton Perry would hit his stride in 1987, landing a rare win on movies and television with parts in the hit dystopian sci-fi Robocop as well as the detective drama Hooperman alongside America’s Dad John Ritter. While Hooperman would keep him busy for the rest of the decade, running for two seasons before cancelation, it would be Robocop that brought him his enduring fame and fortune in the public eye.
Robot Cops and Evil Corporations
While not many expected the cheesy-looking sci-fi film about a murdered cop being turned into a weapon of justice to be much of a thinking film, what they got was biting political satire about the militarization of police and further weaponizing of humans while blurring the line between justice and vigilantism. Then came the sequels which more or less threw that out of the window.
Robocop 2 would come along, and while it wouldn’t make nearly as much impact on the sci-fi scene as the original, would introduce a meaner, evil Robocop as the villain. Apparently making an evil version of the protagonist was a prerequisite for sequels back then. Still better than Robocop 3 though, which Felton Perry would once again return for to secure that sweet, sweet bag.
Where Is He Now?
We’re not going to talk about Robocop 3 though because it’s better left forgotten. Felton probably feels the same, but he would soften the blow with roles on television shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. Parts in Puppet Master 4 and Dumb and Dumber would see his career begin to slow, going on to seemingly retire not long after the turn of the century, making his swan song between episodes of Judging Amy and The West Wing as well as… Hollywood Vampyr. Can’t all be winners.
Felton is retired these days, living out his golden years in solace and peace with his loved ones. He does have a public Facebook profile, though it hasn’t been updated in over a year and appears to have mostly become the Facebook wall of your boomer grandpa who doesn’t quite know how posting to Facebook works. Happens to the best of us, but despite his use of Zuckerburg’s uploaded consciousness, it seems that Felton has decided to just live the rest of his life as peaceful as possible.