Brock Peters

Active - 1954 - 2003  |   Born - Jul 2, 1927   |   Died - Aug 23, 2005   |   Genres - Drama, Science Fiction, Action, Adventure, Children's/Family

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Biography by Hal Erickson

African American actor Brock Peters was a stage performer as early as 1943, long before he was old enough to attend CCNY. Peters made his film bow as Sgt. Brown in Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones (1954). Five years later, he appeared in another Preminger-directed musical film, playing the menacing Crown in Porgy and Bess (1959); coincidentally, he'd made his earliest stage appearance in that same Gershwin opera. Specializing in roles of unquestioned authority, Peters was at home with the villainous Rodriguez in The Pawnbroker (1965) as he was with the kindly Reverend Kumalko in Lost in the Stars (1974). Conversely, one of Peters' most impressive screen performances was as a victim; in 1962's To Kill a Mockingbird, he played accused rapist Tom Robinson. His more recent movie assignments have included Admiral Cartwright in two of the Star Trek theatrical features (numbers IV and VI), and a brace of roles previously associated with white actors: reclusive Mr. Pendergast in Polly, the 1988 musical adaptation of Pollyanna, and the fatuous Reverend Chasuble in the all-black 1992 remake of The Importance of Being Earnest. Peters also produced the 1973 film Five on the Black Hand Side, and has from time to time pursued a nightclub singing career. On television, Peters was briefly a regular on the daytime drama Young and the Restless, and supplied the voice of Lucius Fox on 1992's Batman: The Animated Series. The recipient of numerous industry awards and honors, Brock Peters was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.

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