Brock Peters

Brock Peters
Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times


Brock Peters
Live: South side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born July 2, 1927 in New York, NY
Died Aug. 23, 2005 of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, CA

Brock Peters was an actor best remembered for his touching portrayal of a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman in the Oscar-winning film "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The actor, known for his rich, deep voice, began his 60-year acting career as a teenager on Broadway in a 1943 revival of the musical "Porgy and Bess" and moved easily among live theater, motion pictures and television.

Peters achieved his greatest fame with the indelible 1962 "Mockingbird," a racial morality play about a black man defended by a white lawyer, Atticus Finch, portrayed by Gregory Peck. The film won three Academy Awards: one for Peck for best actor; for Horton Foote for his screenplay adaptation of Harper Lee's novel; and a third for art direction.

The versatile Peters had a special following among "Star Trek" fans for his turns as Admiral Cartwright in the motion pictures "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" in 1986 and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" in 1991.

Among Peters' other films were Otto Preminger's "Porgy and Bess" in 1959, in which he played the villain Crown; "The Pawnbroker" in 1965; "Soylent Green" in 1973; and "Ghosts of Mississippi" in 1996.

Television appearances included the 1979 ABC miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations," the 1982 PBS special "Voices of Our People," for which he received an Emmy Award, and the 2002 Hallmark Hall of Fame "The Locket," as well as episodes of such series as "Gunsmoke," "Magnum, P.I." and "Murder, She Wrote."

He earned lifetime achievement awards in 1976 from the National Film Society and in 1990 from the Screen Actors Guild, which also honored him for human endeavors.

When he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992, he likewise was commended for humanitarian contributions as well as his work.

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