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‘Assault on Precinct 13’ Actor Was 92 – The Hollywood Reporter

Austin Stoker, the actor from Trinidad who starred as the heroic cop battling a band of marauding gang members inside a decommissioned police station in the John Carpenter thriller Assault on Precinct 13, has died. He was 92.

Stoker died Friday of renal failure on his birthday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, Robin, told The Hollywood Reporter. “His transition was beautiful,” she said.

Stoker also portrayed Macdonald, the human assistant of Roddy McDowall’s Caesar, in Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), the fifth and final chapter in the original movie series, and he was Brick Williams, the love interest of Pam Grier’s private investigator, in Sheba, Baby (1975).

On the landmark 1977 ABC miniseries Roots, he played Virgil Harvey, father of Olivia Cole‘s Mathilda.

In the cult classic Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Stoker starred as Lt. Ethan Bishop, who goes from a desk job to being put in charge of an L.A. station about to close down. “What I tried to portray, even coming in at the very beginning, was, ‘What am I doing here, for God sakes?’” he said.

When members of the street gang invade, Bishop has to hold down the fort with the help of two criminals and a secretary.

Carpenter, who wrote, directed and edited, based the movie — shot in only 20 days on a budget of $100,000 — on Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo and originally titled it The Anderson Alamo. (Ethan Hawke played a version of Bishop in the 2005 remake.)

Born Alphonso Marshall on Oct. 7, 1930, and raised in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Stoker came to New York with countryman Geoffrey Holder — they were in a local dance troupe — to pursue a career in show business.

In 1954, he played the steel drums on Broadway in Truman Capote and Harold Arlen’s House of Flowers, starring Pearl Bailey, Alvin Ailey and Diahann Carroll, then toured in a nightclub act that recorded two albums as well.

After serving in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Stoker studied acting with Lee Grant and Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in New York, then moved to California. He made his TV bow in 1969 on an episode of The Mod Squad.

Following Battle for the Planet of the Apes, he provided the voice of astronaut Jeff Allen on the 1975-76 Saturday morning animated series Return to the Planet of the Apes. He later played Mitchell Owens on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful in the early ’90s.

His résumé also included TV guest-starring stints on McCloud, Kojak, The Rookies, S.W.A.T., The Six Million Dollar Man, Lou Grant, Cagney & Lacey and The District and such films as Horror High (1973), the Carol Speed-starring Abby (1974), Combat Cops (1974), Airport 1975 (1974), Time Walker (1982) and 3 From Hell (2019).

He was married to late actress-singer Vivian Bonnell, who was billed as Enid Mosier when she was in House of Flowers.

In addition to his wife — they were together for 43 years — survivors include his children, Tiffany and Origen, and his grandsons, Marcus and Austin.



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