(written from a Production point of view)
Perry Lopez (22 July 1929 – 14 February 2008; age 78) was a character actor who portrayed Lieutenant Esteban Rodriguez in "Shore Leave", a first season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. He may best be remembered for his supporting role as Lt. Lou Escobar in the 1974 Academy Award-winning film Chinatown. Among his co-stars in this film were fellow TOS guest actor Roy Jenson and TNG guest star Noble Willingham. The film also featured cinematography by John A. Alonzo, music by Jerry Goldsmith and stunts by Hal Needham.
Lopez was born in New York City, New York, and began his acting career on the New York stage. He ultimately broke into film with an uncredited role in the classic 1954 science fiction monster movie Creature from the Black Lagoon. Fellow TOS guest star Whit Bissell has a supporting role in this film. Later that year, Lopez appeared in the westerns Jubilee Trail (with Richard Webb) and Drum Beat (with Elisha Cook, Jr.).
Between 1955 and 1956, Lopez was seen in such films as Battle Cry (1955, with William Campbell), Mister Roberts (1955, co-starring Tige Andrews), Hell on Frisco Bay (1955, with Stanley Adams and Anthony Caruso), and The Young Guns (with Scott Marlowe). He also played the lead in a 1956 drama called The Steel Jungle, working with DS9 guest star Kenneth Tobey.
Lopez worked with fellow TOS guest actor Michael Ansara in three films: 1956's The Lone Ranger (also featuring William Schallert and Beverly Washburn) and 1968's Sol Madrid (co-starring Ricardo Montalban) and Daring Game (with Brock Peters). Lopez also appeared in three movies with Arthur Batanides: 1958's Violent Road (starring Brian Keith) and Cry Tough (with Barbara Luna) and 1961's Man-Trap (1961, starring Jeffrey Hunter).
Lopez's other film credits include Taras Bulba (1962), McLintock! (1963), The Rare Breed (1966, starring Brian Keith), Bandolero! (1968, with Andrew Prine and Guy Raymond), Che! (1969, with Sid Haig, Barbara Luna and Abraham Sofaer), and Kelly's Heroes (1970). 1974's Chinatown was Lopez's last film until the late 1980s, when he appeared in the J. Lee Thompson films Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987, with Star Trek: Voyager's Tim Russ) and Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects (1989).
Lopez was prominent in television, as well. He had a recurring role on the 1950's series Zorro (on which he worked with Barbara Luna) and has also guest-starred on The Rifleman (in an episode with Paul Fix and Lawrence Dobkin), Bonanza (with Rex Holman), Wagon Train (four episodes, including two with Morgan Woodward), The Virginian (with John Hoyt), Mission: Impossible (with Mark Lenard and Percy Rodriguez), The Time Tunnel (starring James Darren, Whit Bissell and Lee Meriwether), The Wild Wild West (with Oliver McGowan, George Murdock, William O'Connell and Robert Pine), The Mod Squad (with Tige Andrews, Meg Foster, Brock Peters and Clarence Williams III), Charlie's Angels (with John Colicos), and Hart to Hart (with Julie Newmar).
Fifteen years after Chinatown, Lopez reprised the role of Escobar (now a captain) in the sequel, The Two Jakes. This film co-starred Tracey Walter. After appearing in the 1994 crime drama Confessions of a Hitman, Lopez retired from acting. He died of lung cancer in Beverly Hills, California in 2008.