Don Pedro Colley was an American television and film actor who was best known for his string of roles in early 70s Blaxploitation films, including "The Legend of N****r Charley" (1972), "Black Caesar" (1973), and "Sugar Hill" (1974). Born and raised in the mountainous town of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Colley never intended on becoming an actor. A gifted athlete (he excelled in football and track and field in high school), Colley was solely focused on sports as a teen. He was good enough in track and field to try out for the 1960 Summer Olympics as a discus thrower, but didn't make the final cut. He entered the University of Oregon shortly after to study architecture, but after stumbling upon his friend's play rehearsal, decided to refocus and become an actor. Colley then moved to San Francisco, with all of its bustling creativity, and spent the next five years honing his acting craft by appearing in numerous local plays. By the late 1960s he was appearing on TV on Western shows like "The Virginian" (NBC, 1962-71) and "The Wild Wild West" (CBS, 1965-69), as well as a recurring role on "Daniel Boone" (NBC, 1964-70). By the early 1970s he began appearing in films, including the sequel "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1970), as well as George Lucas's feature film directorial debut "THX 1138" (1971). Colley would have his greatest success in the early to mid-70s as an actor in a string of Blaxploitation films. It was during this time that he appeared in "The Legend of N****r Charley," "Black Caesar," and "Sugar Hill," all of which were early films in the Blaxploitation genre. By the late 70s and 1980s Colley was appearing mostly in TV, most notably with recurring roles on "The A-Team" (NBC, 1983-87) and "The Dukes of Hazzard" (CBS, 1979-85). His acting career slowed by the late 80s, and over the next several years he appeared only intermittently in forgettable films like "The Blue Iguana" (1988), "Piranha" (1995) and "Midnight Massacre" (2016). Colley spent the remaining years of his life in his hometown of Klamath Falls. It was there that he died of cancer on October 11, 2017 at the age of 79.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made screen acting debut as a tribesman on an episode of "Daktari"
Had the recurring role of Gideon on the action/adventure series "Daniel Boone"
Played Ongaro in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"
Played a recurring role on the TV western "Daniel Boone"
Played a doctor on "Little House on the Prairie"
Was cast as Emperor Bakota on an episode of "Fantasy Island"
Was a recurring character on "The Dukes of Hazzard"
Appeared in final role released during his lifetime, playing President Tarquin in low-budget sci-fi actioner "Midnight Massacre"
Had final credit in horror flick "Dead End"