Mike Henry (American football)

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Mike Henry
Born Michael Dennis Henry
(1936-08-15) August 15, 1936 (age 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, football player
Years active 1963–1988 (actor)
1958–1964 (football player)
Known for Tarzan films (as Tarzan)
Smokey and the Bandit (as Junior Justice)
M*A*S*H (as Donald Penobscot)
Mike Henry
No. 68, 37, 53
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1936-08-15) August 15, 1936 (age 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Career information
College: USC
NFL Draft: 1958 / Round: 9 / Pick: 100
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 76
Interceptions: 9
Fumble recoveries: 6
Player stats at NFL.com

Michael Dennis "Mike" Henry (born August 15, 1936) is an American retired actor and former football linebacker player.

Football career[edit]

Henry's football career as a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1958–1961) and the Los Angeles Rams (1962–1964) led him to be noticed by Warner Bros..

Acting career[edit]

Henry's most prominent role was as Tarzan in three 1960s movies, Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966), Tarzan and the Great River (1967), and Tarzan and the Jungle Boy (1968), that were all filmed back-to-back in 1965. At the time, critics said the dark-haired, square-jawed, muscular Henry resembled classic illustrations of the apeman more than any other actor who had ever taken on the role. Henry turned down the lead of the subsequent Tarzan television series, which then went to Ron Ely.

Henry is probably best known to movie audiences for playing a relatively minor role, Jackie Gleason's character's dim-witted son "Junior", in the highly popular Smokey and the Bandit comedies, starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.

Henry portrayed a corrupt prison guard in another Burt Reynolds movie, The Longest Yard (1974). Henry played Sergeant Kowalski in the John Wayne war movie The Green Berets (1968), Luke Santee in More Dead Than Alive (1968), and corrupt Sheriff "Blue Tom" Hendricks in another Wayne film, Rio Lobo (1970). "Rio Lobo" was the last film directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, and Henry earned a small place in cinematic history by playing the last character (of very many) to die in a Hawks film. He also acted alongside Charlton Heston in three films – the football movie Number One (1969), Skyjacked (1972), and Soylent Green (1973).

Henry played Lt. Col. Donald Penobscot in an episode of the television series M*A*S*H. And in another football-oriented role, he portrayed Tatashore, one of the members of the gang who kidnap "Larry Bronco" (Larry Csonka) in the "One of Our Running Backs Is Missing" episode of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Later life[edit]

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he retired from acting in 1988. Mike married Cheryl Sweeney Henry November 17, 1984. She has taken care of Mike since his diagnosis. They are very devoted to each other.


External links[edit]