Rod Masterson

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Rod Masterson
Rodney Gregory Masterson, Jr.

(1945-02-14)February 14, 1945
DiedSeptember 12, 2013(2013-09-12) (aged 68)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Cause of death Parkinson's disease
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Actor
Years active19771998
Spouse(s)Never married

Rodney Gregory Masterson, Jr., known as Rod Masterson (February 14, 1945 – September 12, 2013), was an American film and television actor from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Capital of Louisiana

Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana. It is the 99th most populous city in the United States, and second-largest city in Louisiana after New Orleans. It is also the 16th most populous state capital. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 2017 estimate, Baton Rouge had a population of 227,549, down from 229,493 at the 2010 census. Baton Rouge is the center of Greater Baton Rouge, the second-largest metropolitan area in Louisiana, with a population of 834,159 as of 2017, up from 802,484 in 2010 and 829,719 in 2015.

Louisiana U.S. state in the United States

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.



A native of Alexandria in Central Louisiana, Masterson was one of four children born to the late Rodney Masterson, Sr., a physician originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and Elizabeth F. Masterson, a native of Jonesboro in Jackson Parish in North Louisiana. He graduated in 1963 from Holy Savior Menard Central High School, a Roman Catholic-institution in Alexandria and in 1967 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He served in the United States Marine Corps, first as a drill sergeant [1] and rose to the rank of lieutenant during the Vietnam War era and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. [2]

Alexandria, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Alexandria is the ninth-largest city in the state of Louisiana and is the parish seat of Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies on the south bank of the Red River in almost the exact geographic center of the state. It is the principal city of the Alexandria metropolitan area which encompasses all of Rapides and Grant parishes. Its neighboring city is Pineville. In 2010, the population was 47,723, an increase of 3 percent from the 2000 census.

Central Louisiana Region in Louisiana

Central Louisiana (Cenla), also known as the Crossroads, is the region of the U.S. state of Louisiana.

Missouri U.S. state in the United States

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States. With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. Missouri is bordered by eight states : Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.

In addition to his acting, Masterson operated a Bikram Yoga clinic in Baton Rouge. [1]

Bikram Yoga system of yoga

Bikram Yoga is a hot system of yoga as exercise that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques. It became popular in the early 1970s. All Bikram Yoga Beginning Series classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures, including two breathing exercises.

Acting career

Masterson made his screen debut in the NBC [3] television film, The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish, which aired on March 21, 1977. It is written and directed by Robert Lee Collins. Masterson was cast as Murphy Roden, one of several bodyguards of then U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr. Roden fired at close range upon Carl Austin Weiss, the Baton Rouge physician and Long's presumed assassin, at the Louisiana State Capitol on the night of September 8, 1935. [4] Ed Asner plays Long in the film; Diane Kagan, Rose McConnell Long; and Steven Ramay, the teenaged son, Russell B. Long. [5]

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television networks that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

A television film is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters.

Film director Person who controls the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film production

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.

In 1978, Masterson was cast as Oscar Weinberg in the episode "Rosendahl and Gilda Stern Are Dead" on James Garner's NBC detective television series, The Rockford Files . That same year he had minor parts on CBS's Lou Grant , starring Ed Asner in the title role, and David Cassidy: Man Under Cover , a ten-episode crime drama on NBC starring David Cassidy. [6] In 1979, Masterson played an unnamed police officer in the film Walk Proud, starring Robby Benson as a confused Chicano gang member. The script of the film was written by Evan Hunter who had penned Glenn Ford's The Blackboard Jungle twenty-five years earlier. [7]

James Garner American actor

James Garner was an American actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including popular roles such as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western series Maverick and as Jim Rockford in the 1970s private detective show, The Rockford Files. He played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films, including The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964) with Julie Andrews, Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards's Victor/Victoria (1982), and Murphy's Romance (1985) with Sally Field, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. Garner's career and popularity continued through another decade in movies like Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, and The Notebook (2004).

Detective investigator, either a member of a police agency or a private person

A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crime by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them to arrest criminals and enable them to be convicted in court. A detective may work for the police or privately.

<i>The Rockford Files</i> television series

The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to the present day. Garner portrays Los Angeles–based private investigator Jim Rockford, with Noah Beery Jr. in the supporting role of his father, a retired truck driver nicknamed "Rocky".

Masterson was cast as Patrolman Gallo in the 1984 film, Tightrope , starring Clint Eastwood and Jennifer Beck, the story of attacks on prostitutes in New Orleans. [8] [9] [10] In 1987, he played the character Couch in A Gathering of Old Men , the story of a group of elderly African-Americans who rally to the defense of a fellow black charged with the murder of a white tenant farmer. [11]

<i>Tightrope</i> (film) 1984 film by Clint Eastwood, Richard Tuggle

Tightrope is a 1984 American erotic suspense neo-noir thriller produced by and starring Clint Eastwood and written and directed by Richard Tuggle.

Clint Eastwood American actor, filmmaker, musician, and politician

Clinton Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, filmmaker, musician, and politician. After achieving success in the Western TV series Rawhide, he rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made Eastwood an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.

Jennifer Beck is an American Republican Party politician who served in the New Jersey State Senate representing the 11th Legislative District from 2012 to 2018. Prior to redistricting, she served in the Senate from 2008 to 2012 representing the 12th Legislative District, serving portions of Monmouth and Mercer counties. Beck represented the 12th District in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2006 to 2008.

In 1988, he played the character Morris in the two-part pilot for the Carroll O'Connor NBC crime drama series, In the Heat of the Night . [6] On October 23, 1989, he appeared as Dr. Nystrom in the television movie, False Witness, filmed in New Orleans, the story of a woman assistant district attorney who seeks to convict the killer of a controversial talk show hostess. [10] [11] In 1989, he was cast as a prison guard in the film The Outside Woman, starring Sharon Gless as a millworker who becomes a pen pal of a Louisiana State Penitentiary inmate, played by Scott Glenn. [11] That same year, Masterson was cast one of two unnamed newspaper reporters of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk in the film, Blaze , a fictionalized account of Louisiana Governor Earl Kemp Long, played by Paul Newman and his involvement with stripper Blaze Starr, played by Lolita Davidovich. [6]

In 1992, Masterson played the part of Crawford in the film, Delta Heat , a police drama set in swampy terrain north of New Orleans, starring Anthony Edwards. [12] [9] [10] In 1994, he had a minor role as a reporter in the film, Blue Sky , with Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Lange and Powers Boothe, a drama about 1950s weapons testing in the United States. [13] [9] [14]

Masterson's last role was as Ann's father in the 1998 film Dangerous Proposition, filmed in Baton Rouge. In the story line a wife tries to determine if her husband is engaged in an affair by hiring another woman to entice him into adultery and to record the encounter. [6]


Masterson died in Baton Rouge in 2013 at the age of sixty-eight after having been stricken for some fifteen years with Parkinson's disease. [15] He is survived by two brothers, Michael Masterson (born 1946) of Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish in south Louisiana and John Lloyd Masterson (born 1955) of Alexandria, and a sister, Mary Elizabeth Masterson (born 1949) of Hendersonville, Tennessee. He was predeceased by a brother, Paul F. Masterson. [2]


1979 Walk Proud Policeman #2
1984 Tightrope Patrolman Gallo
1989 Blaze Town Talk Reporter #1
1992 Delta Heat Crawford
1994 Blue Sky Reporter #2
1998Dangerous PropositionAnn's Father(final film role)

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  1. 1 2 "Sciatica - Overcoming the Pain". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Rodney G. Masterson, Jr". Alexandria Daily Town Talk . Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  3. "Louisiana State University Gumbo, p. 196". Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  4. "Mike Hasten, New book rekindles argument over H. P. Long's death, March 20, 2005" (PDF). Shreveport Times . Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  5. "The Life and Assassination of the Kingfish". Internet Movie Data Base . Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Rod Masterson". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  7. "Walk Proud". TV Guide . Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  8. "Full cast and crew for Tightrope (1984)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 "Rod Masterson Movies". Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 "Rod Masterson". The New York Times, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2013.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. 1 2 3 "Rod Masterson". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  12. "Delta Heat". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  13. "Blue Sky (1994)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  14. "Rod Masterson Filmography". Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  15. Statement of Michael Masterson, brother of Rod Masterson, September 18, 2013