Planet of the Apes Wiki

Woodrow Parfrey was an American actor. He played the roles of Dr. Maximus on the original 1968 movie Planet of the Apes, and of Veska on the 1974 Planet of the Apes television episode "Escape from Tomorrow".


  • A 'Preliminary Production Information Guide' for the original Planet of the Apes movie, from 7 June 1967, contained a synopsis (also reprinted in the final Production Information Guide from 29 January 1968) which named Woodrow Parfrey's character as "Dr. Octavius".[1] [2] It is unclear if this was a simple error or if it referred to an earlier name for the character of Dr. Maximus.
  • The eyepatch worn for the character of Veska was not planned: Parfrey contracted a visible eye infection after falling asleep while wearing the dark contact lenses that helped the ape makeup appear more natural, which became very irritated and uncomfortable. Needing a quick solution to continue filming, an eyepatch was hastily made from a piece of Veska's outfit, and worn over the 'bad' eye. In the previous year's movie Papillon, Parfrey had played the character 'Clousiot', who coincidentally had himself confined to a prison hospital by deliberately irritating one of his eyes.

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Woodrow Parfrey in 'Dr Maximus' wardrobe test