Monday, June 1, 2015

Vic Perrin…That Guy Who Was the 'Control Voice' on "Outer Limits"

You know when you wonder as a kid if you are related to someone famous, or if you have any dead relatives that were famous?

When I was growing up, my mom mentioned this guy Vic Perrin to me a couple times. She said he was some kind of voice actor or something like that. He was featured on a "Twilight Zone"-esque show called "Outer Limits" that I had never heard of. I didn't really give Vic Perrin that much thought.

Until the other night. I was watching an old television show with Keith and it somehow sparked my memory of Vic. I mentioned "Outer Limits" and he said that he had actually heard of that show. I didn't think anyone outside of my family knew what that was. I was curious. So I decided to look up Vic Perrin and see what I came up with.

In this day and age, a person's general "fame," "status," or "success" can be judged by whether or not they have a Wikipedia page. I was surprised to discover that Vic had a page! (Which can be viewed here.)

The page outlines a few facts about the actor, including his birthplace in my hometown of Menomonee Falls, WI in 1916, and his death in Los Angeles in 1989 (he was 73 when he died of cancer). It also chronicles a few examples of his acting pursuits, including his appearances on a show called "Dragnet," which I had never heard of. My mom thought he might have played some kind of serial killer or crazy guy on that show, and that he seemed to always play a shady character. A picture and description on a blog I found seems to support that theory:

"Hi, Vic Perrin. I'm so glad you're just an embezzler and not a child molester in this one. You've been all kinds of guys. You used to tie ladies up and murder them. You are a serious Dragnet Villain.
I wonder what else Vic Perrin has played, in other series? Was he ever, like, a lovable dentist?" [source:  Everyone Nods: The Dragnet Style Files]

In addition to "Dragnet" he also did voice-overs and made a few appearances on the TV show "Star Trek." 

Vic in "Star Trek"in 1967

The clip below is from an appearance that he also made on an episode of the "Twilight Zone" entitled,  "People Are Alike All Over," which aired in 1960 in the 25th season of the show. His character was called "Second Martian," and I believe that he appears right after the main actor discovers that he is being kept captive and the camera zooms into the crowd of martians to rest on a woman's face. He is to the left of the woman (somewhere around 1:01). 

From my research I learned that Vic was a well-rounded actor and voice-over artist, and his reportoire even included a voice-over on the popular children's television show "Scooby Doo." 

While all of these credits to Vic were certainly interesting to me, I wasn't satisfied in my search until I came upon the YouTube clip of Vic's voice on "Outer Limits" that I had been hearing about all of these years. Maybe you've heard it, too. "There is nothing wrong with your television set…Do not attempt to adjust the picture…We are controlling transmission…" 

Vic Perrin was my grandmother's cousin, which would make him my mom's second cousin, and my third. So, it's not like this "famous family member" of mine is a close relation. I also never met him, of course, as he died the year before I was born. But it's still pretty cool that my mom can remember meeting him a few times, and has memories of his mother giving her candy cigarrettes as a child, which my grandmother hated. 

As my mom pointed out, we really have a lot of different kinds of artists in our family, specifically my mom's side. Vic seems to be the only one who "made it," but I guess that's all relative anyways (no pun intended). I wish I could have met him, or talked to my grandmother a bit more about him when she was still alive. For now I can utilize the bragging rights I have that I can listen to my dead third-cousin's voice on YouTube whenever I want (or read about him on iMDB, Wikipedia, or other people's blogs). Or, I could go to Disney World, where you can still hear his voice today at The Spaceship Earth and Exxon Energy Pavilion [source: The Los Angeles Times]!

"I'm able to be much more selective 
about the acting parts I do now. 
When your bread and butter depends on just being an actor, 
you have to accept parts that 
you like to think are beneath you." -Vic Perrin

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