Remembering Jay Robinson, born April 14, 1930 and passed away on September 27, 2013.
Jay Robinson was an American character actor from New York, New York, USA. In 1968, he appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, playing Ambassador Petri, the Troyian ambassador, in the third season episode “Elaan of Troyius”.
Robinson’s most well-known role is that of Caligula in the 1953 biblical epic The Robe. Robinson would reprise the role of Caligula the following year in the sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators.
In 1955, Robinson co-starred in The Virgin Queen (which, like The Robe, was directed by Henry Koster). The following year, he co-starred with Nehemiah Persoff in The Wild Party.
After recovering from a drug addiction and a career-ruining jail sentence, Robinson returned to acting on television in the late 1960’s, and in 1971, he co-starred in the film Bunny O’Hare, directed by Gerd Oswald. He went on to have roles in such movies as Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972, with Stanley Adams), Nightmare Honeymoon (1973), Shampoo (1975), The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), and Big Top Pee-wee (1988).
Robinson’s more recent films included Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 blockbuster version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the 1993 horror movie Skeeter.
Besides Star Trek, other television series on which Robinson appeared include Mannix, Bewitched, The Wild Wild West, Kolchak: The Night Stalker (with fellow Star Trek guest actor John Fiedler), The Waltons, Barney Miller (with another Star Trek guest star, Lee Meriwether), and Murder, She Wrote. In 1974 he appeared in an episode of Planet of the Apes entitled “Tomorrow’s Tide”, which was directed by Don McDougall and photographed by Jerry Finnerman. It was later edited into the television movie Farewell to the Planet of the Apes, (which also featured Mark Lenard and John McLiam in footage from other episodes).
From 1976 through 1977, Robinson was a regular on The Krofft Supershow, along with Malachi Throne, and during the 1988-89 television season, Robinson was a regular on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, playing the role of Monty Dolan. .
Robinson has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies, including She Lives! (1973, with Anthony Zerbe), and Sinatra (1992).
He starred in several direct-to-video productions of plays by William Shakespeare throughout the early 1980’s, including Othello (1981, with William Marshall in the title role), Macbeth (1981, with Alan Oppenheimer), and The Taming of the Shrew (1983, with Bruce Davison, Larry Drake, and Bill Erwin).
Additionally, from 1997 through 2000, Robinson hosted a Discovery Channel program much like Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but with an even more bizarre list of topics. It was entitled Beyond Bizarre.
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