Gregory Walcott, an admired actor who appeared in such memorable films as Mister Roberts, The Eiger Sanction, Norma Rae and Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space, has died. He was 87.
Walcott, who starred as pilot Jeff Trent in Plan 9, considered one of the worst films ever made, died Friday of natural causes at his longtime Canoga Park home in Los Angeles, his son, Men in Black puppeteer Todd Mattox, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a 1998 interview with Filmax magazine’s Dwayne Epstein, Walcott recalled being asked by a friend, fledgling producer J. Edwards Reynolds, about starring in a sci-fi film opposite Bela Lugosi. “But Ed, Bela Lugosi is dead,” he noted.
Indeed, the horror legend had died in 1956, but footage of him shot by writer-director Wood would be used in the 1959 ultra-low-budget movie.
“I refused at first,” Walcott said in the interview. “I read the script, and it was gibberish. It made no sense, but I saw Ed Reynolds as a naive, sweet man. I had done some pretty good things prior to that, so I thought I had a little credibility in Hollywood. I thought maybe my name would give the show some credibility. … The film was made surreptitiously. My agent didn’t even know I did it.”