Veteran character actor Henry Polic II, who found television pop culture fame as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1975 Mel Brooks television series When Things Were Rotten and as Uncle Jerry Silver in the 1980s television series Webster, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 68.
Polic was also a prolific and popular television game show player and host, having been a semi-regular on both The $25,000 Pyramid and its later incarnation The $100,000 Pyramid, both hosted by Dick Clark. Polic also hosted the 1986 ABC-TV game show Celebrity Double Talk and found cult fame as the voice of the Scarecrow in the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series.
Polic earned a lifetime of acting credits in other television series and films, including his regular role as Dracula in the 1976 series Monster Squad and as a guest star in episodes of Alice, Mork & Mindy, Eight is Enough, Murder She Wrote, Sheena, Saved By the Bell and dozens of others.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1945, Polic attended Florida State University, where he earned a MFA degree in acting. While a student there, he appeared in numerous professional stage productions at the Asolo Repertory Company, in Sarasota.
Following graduation, he was drafted into the armed forces as a military policeman, initially stationed at Fort Riley, in Kansas, assigned to split duty special services. Later, on his way to becoming a professional actor, Polic became associated with the Missouri Tent Theatre, the Player’s Theatre of Miami and Phoenix’s Southwest Ensemble Theatre, among others.
His move to Los Angeles in the early 1970s led to his television debut as the Sheriff of Nottingham in When Things Were Rotten.
Polic’s film credits include The Last Remake of Beau Geste, All You Need, Bring Him Home, The Trial of Old Drum, Oh God, Book II and Joan River’s comedy Rabbit Test.
A complete list of Polic’s television and stage credits is available on imdb.com
Theatre was always a major interest and an intent passion. During his career, Polic appeared in more than 70 regional and local productions, including the world premiere production of the now-Broadway hit Sister Act: The Musical, at the Pasadena Playhouse, in which he originated the role of Monsignor Howard. Other theatre credits include Long Beach Civic Light Opera’s production of 1776, Long Beach International City Theatre’s Putting It Together, Music Theatre West’s Never Gonna Dance and the world premiere productions of A Couple of Guys at the Movies and Is This Your Life? (written expressly for him), in which he starred.
Polic also loved working with actors as a stage director. His directing credits include Neil Simon’s Fools for the Actors Co-op, in Hollywood, and the Rubicon Theatre, in Ventura, the world premiere of Jim Geoghan’s Two Gentlemen of Corona, the world premiere production of Nebraska, both the Los Angeles and New York productions of Brine County Wedding, and a box office record-breaking production of Dracula, for American Stage, in St. Petersburg, Florida.
As a celebrity auctioneer and event host, he helped raise over two-million dollars over the years for numerous and varied charities across the country, including the Adam Walsh Foundation, Concern Foundation for Caner Research, American Diabetes Association and the Leukemia Foundation.
On occasion, Polic also took some time away from his acting and directing work to teach, including a course in acting for the camera at the Emerson College Los Angeles Center and a course in acting and performance at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in Los Angeles.
Polic was a member of The Actors Fund since 1973 and a member of the organization’s Western Council, which honored him last year with Emeritus status, one of his most cherished achievements.
A memorial scholarship fund has been established in Polic’s name at his beloved alma mater to provide funding to assist the School of Theatre’s annual production of new works. Contributions can be made by contacting Fred Salancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.