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Brock Peters, 1961
Brock Peters, a Black actor, was born on this date in 1927.
Born George Fisher in New York City of African and West Indian parentage, Peters began his theater and film career at age ten. A product of NYC's Music and Arts High School, Peters initially did more odd jobs than acting as he worked his way up from the streets of Harlem. Receiving a stage part in "Porgy and Bess" in 1949, he left physical education studies at CCNY and went on tour with the musical. His film debut came in Carmen Jones in 1954, but he really began to make a name for himself in films as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The L-Shaped Room."
He also received a Tony nomination for his starring role in Broadway's "Lost in the Stars." His other characters include Crown in "Porgy and Bess" (1959 film version), Stephen Kumalo in "Lost in the Stars" (stage version and 1974 film version) — nominated for a Tony Award, Lieutenant Hatcher in the film "Soylent Green," Darth Vader in the Star Wars radio series, Fleet Admiral Cartwright in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI," "The Undiscovered Country," Lucius Fox in "Batman: The Animated Series," Joseph Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's father, in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
As an actor he was probably best known for the role of Tom Robinson in the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird," the Black man unjustly convicted of raping a white girl. Brock Peters died from pancreatic cancer on August 23, 2005, at the age of 78.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
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