Philip Proctor has been a tentacled monster, juvenile delinquent, intoxicated monkey, talking seahorse and king among Smurfs. This week, he’s a native son paying a visit.
An actor who found early fame as a member of The Firesign Theatre comedy troupe, Proctor was born in Goshen. He returns to the Maple City for a Goshen College Performing Arts Series concert Friday.
Together with the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Proctor will stage a multimedia show based on Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote.” He’ll portray a variety of characters in the tale.
Proctor will be easy to spot onstage Friday. That’s a change of sorts for a performer more often heard than seen.
The short list of Proctor’s TV and movie roles includes voice work in “Rugrats,” “Monsters, Inc.” (he was Charlie the assistant), “Finding Nemo” (Bob the seahorse) and Eddie Murphy’s “Dr. Doolittle” flicks (drunken French monkey). He was also the announcer on “Big Brother” for three years.
“’Previously, on ‘Big Brother 3’...,’” Proctor intoned in a recent phone interview with The News.
Long before he was a voice heard on a reality TV program, though, Proctor was a boy on a bicycle.
Maple City roots
Proctor claims Irish and Amish ancestry. To learn more about his family, he suggests, pick up a book titled “Rosanna of the Amish.” His great-uncle, Joseph W. Yoder, is the author.
In Proctor’s family, people could sing and harmonize and loved to tell jokes. Proctor says he was born with an ability to mimic the sounds he heard. From an early age he could sing, and he picks up languages easily.
A Goshenite by birth, Proctor mostly lived out east during his formative years. He attended Allen-Stevenson elementary school in New York, performing in school productions of Gilbert and Sullivan shows. He later received a bachelor of arts degree in drama from Yale.
Until his teen years, though, Proctor spent most of his summers in Goshen with his grandparents, George and Hazel Yoder. They lived in a “big, old, beautiful brick house that’s still there” along Fifth Street, he said.
Proctor said he has fond memories of his time here.
“I grew up on a bike in Goshen,” he said, “so I probably know the alleys better than I know the main streets.”