Born in New Hampshire, Peter Bonerz was raised in Milwaukee, where he attended Marquette High School. Afflicted with a stammer in his teen years, Bonerz was encouraged by one of his teachers to enter an elocution contest. In doing so, he began to develop confidence in his speaking skills; by the time he'd graduated from Marquette University, Bonerz was determined to pursue a career in acting. Turned down by Chicago's Second City troupe, Bonerz was nonetheless able to secure work with the Premise, a New York-based improv group. Drafted into the army, he bluffed his way into a job as a director of training films. He continued his directing activities into his civilian life, staging and appearing in sketches with the Committee, a San Francisco comedy aggregation. In 1965, Bonerz starred in the independently produced film Funnyman, which earned him critical praise but which never secured a national release. Still, he was able to find work in such films as Medium Cool (1969) and Catch-22 (1970) and TV programs like The Addams Family. In 1972, Bonerz finally achieved a nationwide following when he was cast as orthodontist Jerry Robinson on The Bob Newhart Show, which ran for six seasons. He later co-starred as chauvinistic CEO Mr. Hart in the TV-series adaptation 9 to 5 (1982). By the 1980s, Bonerz was far too busy as a TV and film director to appear before the cameras with any frequency. His big-screen directorial credits include Nobody's Perfekt (1980) and Police Academy 6 (1989), while his TV work in this field is far too extensive to detail here. In 1992, Peter Bonerz received the Directors' Guild Award for his achievements in TV comedy directing; and from 1991 to 1994, Bonerz taught acting and directing courses at U.C.L.A.
by Hal Erickson biography