Reynaldo Rey, an actor and comedian whose dozens of credits include big-screen comedies Friday and White Men Can’t Jump and a recurring role on TV’s 227, died today in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke last year. He was 75. His manager Vanzil Burke confirmed the news.
The Oklahoma native got a late start to his screen acting career, earning his first credit at 41 for the Sanford & Son spinoff Sanford, starring Redd Foxx. He appeared in the 1982 gigglefest Young Doctors In Love and the Eddie Murphy-Richard Pryor gangster flick Harlem Nights before landing a recurring role as Ray on the popular NBC sitcom 227. He appeared in nearly 20 episodes during its four-year run and also wrote a pair of episodes.
Born Harold Reynolds, the actor went on to appear in several film comedies during the 1990s including White Men Can’t Jump with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, The Breaks, House Party 3. He perhaps is best known for playing Red’s father in 1995’s Friday. You remember: The father who thought he was doing the right thing by driving his boy the see the very large Deebo about getting his bike back.
Rey also did episodes of such TV comedies as The Wayans Bros, The Parent ‘Hood and later The Bernie Mac Show and Everybody Hates Chris. He continued to appear in small films throughout the 2000s. His final project was Hollywood P.O., a play he wrote, directed and financed.
Rey launched his career as a comic, later touring with R&B group The O’Jays, before moving to NYC and joining the Harlem Theater Group.