US Actor, Ron Harper, Dies at 91

US Actor, Ron Harper, Dies at 91

( – Ron Harper, an actor from “Planet of the Apes” and “Land of the Lost,” died at age 91.

Nicole Longeuay, his daughter, confirmed he died on March 21, peacefully at home in Los Angeles, from natural causes.

The actor was born in 1933 in Pennsylvania. He went to Princeton University after high school on a scholarship. He received a fellowship at Harvard Law School, which he turned down to go into acting. He said in an interview in 1966 that he wondered if he was being foolish to give up his education just to be an actor. He argued with himself that Harvard wasn’t for him and that he’d rather be a starving actor.

Harper started his acting career in 1955 with one episode of “Kraft Theatre.” He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in 1959, and in 1960 he was in “Sweet Bird of Youth.” He continued to act on TV with guest roles in “Wagon Train,” “Tales of Wells Fargo,” “The Tall Man,” and “The Deputy.”

He then received continuing roles in “87th Precinct” as Detective Bert Kling. He then acted in “Laramie,” “Wendy and Me,” “The Jean Arthur Show” as Paul Marshall, and “Garrison’s Gorillas.”

Harper continued to play smaller parts until he was cast in “Planet of the Apes” as Alan Virdon, an astronaut in the TV series based on the 1968 movie. In 1976, he was cast as Uncle Jack in the last season of “Land of the Lost.” His last continuing role on TV was in “Generations,” a soap opera where his character was Peter Whitmore.

His movie credits from 1971 to 2014 include “The Soldier,” “Freedom Strike,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Touched,” “The Wild Season,” “Below Utopia,” “Glass Trap,” “Woah,” “The Poughkeepsie Tapes,” and “The Odd Couple II.”

Guest roles on TV in Harper’s later credits included “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “The West Wing,” “Melrose Place,” “Boy Meets World,” “Cold Case,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

Harper’s last role on TV was as Ralph in “Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story.”

His survivors include Nicole and her husband, and his granddaughters Harper and Ronnie.

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