Terry Carter, Actor on ‘The Phil Silvers Show,’ ‘McCloud’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ Dies at 95

Terry Carter, who portrayed Pvt. Sugie Sugarman on The Phil Silvers Show, the sidekick of Dennis Weaver’s character on McCloud and Colonel Tigh on the original version of Battlestar Galactica, has died. He was 95.

Carter died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan, his son, Miguel Carter DeCoste, told The New York Times.

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Carter appeared three times on Broadway early in his career and produced and directed a documentary on jazz legend Duke Ellington for PBS’ American Masters series in 1988.

The Brooklyn native appeared on all four seasons (1955-59) of CBS’ The Phil Silvers Show (also known as Sgt. Bilko) as Pvt. Sugarman. He then played Sgt. Joe Broadhurst alongside Weaver’s Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud on NBC’s McCloud from 1970-77 and Tigh in the 1978 Battlestar Galactica movie and 1978-79 ABC series.

An only child, John Everett DeCoste was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 16, 1928. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan in 1946, attended Northeastern University and studied law at St. John’s University before he changed course and studied acting with Howard Da Silva.

Carter appeared on Broadway in Mrs. Patterson in 1954 and Finian’s Rainbow in 1955. He co-produced an off-Broadway version of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1958 and starred with British actress Sally Ann Howes in the 1961 Broadway musical Kwamina.

MCCLOUD, from left: Dennis Weaver, Terry Carter, 1970-77.
Terry Carter and Dennis Weaver on ‘McCloud.’

From 1965-68, he served as the first Black news anchor on a New England TV station, WBZ-TV in Boston.

Carter formed his own production company in 1975 and made documentaries, including one on dancer-choreographer Katherine Dunham that premiered in 2013.

His acting résumé included the films Parrish (1961), starring Claudette Colbert and Karl Malden; Benji (1974), written and directed by Joe Camp; and Foxy Brown (1974), starring Pam Grier. He also had TV gigs on Naked City, The Defenders, Combat!, That Girl, Bracken’s World, Mannix, Julia, The Jeffersons, Falcon Crest, The Fall Guy, Mr. Belvedere and 227.

Survivors include his third wife, Selome; his children, Miguel and Melinda; and his stepdaughter, Hiwot.

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