Henry Spencer played by Corbin Bernsen, is an ex-cop who is the father of Shawn Spencer on the television show Psych.
A retired police officer, Henry Spencer raised his only son, Shawn, to follow in his footsteps, schooling him in detective work from a young age.
In the penultimate episode of the second season ("Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion"), Chief Vick set Henry up with her friend Susan "Sue B." from the Mayor's office (played by Corbin Bernsen's wife, Amanda Pays).
He is estranged from his younger brother, Jack, who is played by Steven Weber ("The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable").
Actor Corbin Bernsen describes Henry as "a guy who's very, very disciplined. He always has been disciplined. He believes order is what gets you through the day... The dynamic of the guy is that, though, his own order torments him and when he breaks his rules it drives him nuts, and he probably takes it out on Shawn." Henry is disappointed by Shawn's unwillingness to conform to his ideals, and when the series begins the two appear to have been estranged for some time, to the point that Shawn is unaware that Henry has moved back to Santa Barbara. As the show progresses, the two begin to mend their relationship. Bernsen says that, with Henry's career now behind him and his wife out of his life (he was divorced in 1992), Shawn is essentially the only family he has left, making him more willing to accept his son despite a lingering disappointment. Although Henry expresses disdain at Shawn's new career as a psychic detective, expressing his deep dislike of both private investigators and psychics, he appears to be secretly proud of his son's investigation skills and saves newspaper articles concerning Shawn's exploits. Bernsen notes that Shawn is "being everything I [Henry] want him to be, but he's not being it my [Henry's] way," making Shawn's work a source of both pride and frustration.
- "65 Million Years Off"
- "And Down The Stretch Comes Murder"
- "The Old and The Restless"
- "Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion"
- "Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead"
- "Murder? … Anyone? … Anyone? … Bueller?"
- "The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable"
- "Disco Didn't Die. It Was Murdered!"
- "Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing"
- "An Evening With Mr. Yang"
- "He Dead"
- "Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark"
- "The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Episode"
- "Mr. Yin Presents ..."