There are not many actors as distinctive as Ken Foree. His on screen presence has helped define many a movie especially those in the horror genre.
“I’ve had a varied career. Some fans remember me as the actor who always plays the heavy; others say I always play the police detective. Dawn of the Dead (1978) had some influence on my being brought aboard on a few projects, I’m sure. I am just a working actor, although I do believe in fate”.
Born on February 29th 1948 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Foree began acting in the 1970’s, appearing in the 1976 film The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings and the films The Wanderers and Dawn of the Dead. He would cameo in the 2004 remake as a TV evangelist quoting the line he said as Peter in the original Dawn of the Dead in 1978: “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.”
Foree also had roles in the films Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), The Dentist (1996), From Beyond (1986) and Knightriders (1981). In 1995 he starred in an X-Files episode. In 2005, he played Charlie Altamont in the film The Devil’s Rejects, starring opposite Sid Haig and Bill Moseley, as the adopted brother of Haig’s character. Foree also played the role of Roger Rockmore, Kenan and Kyra’s father on the Nickelodeon sitcom Kenan & Kel with Teal Marchande as his wife, Sheryl.
In 2007 he appeared in Rob Zombie’s remake of the 1978 film, Halloween. Among the TV shows on which Foree has done guest spots are Due South, Babylon 5, Matlock, Dallas, Cheers, Quantum Leap , Hunter, Beauty and the Beast, Moonlighting, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, Benson,The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, The Dukes of Hazzard and Kojak.
The horror-comedy film Shaun of the Dead has a tribute to him, with main character Shaun working at Foree Electronics.
Ken Foree appeared as himself in the 2008 novel Bad Moon Rising by Jonathan Maberry. Foree is one of several real-world horror celebrities who are in the fictional town of Pine Deep when monsters attack. Other celebrities include Tom Savini, Jim O’Rear, Brinke Stevens, James Gunn, Stephen Susco, Debbie Rochon, Joe Bob Briggsand blues man Mem Shannon.
“I am a fan, you know. I grew up with the scare-me-to-death kind of chills every Friday night on Chiller Theater or whatever the Friday night scary movie series was in my home town. I grew up with that, wanting to be afraid and terrorizing my brothers.”