• 16 January 1903
  •  Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Peter Brocco


Prolific, sharp-featured American character actor of somewhat skeletal and dishevelled appearance, accentuated later in his career by thinning hair and a scraggly goatee. A former theology student, Brocco began his career playing leading roles in stock theatre. He subsequently honed his craft touring France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, before returning to the U.S. in 1947, eventually joining the Federal Theater Group. On films from as early as 1932, he was at his most effective portraying eccentrics, scientists, small-time crooks, alcoholics, or nervous, downtrodden little men. His particular forte lay in the genre of science-fiction, where he graced the small screen on numerous occasions as assorted victims (The Outer Limits (1963), The Time Tunnel (1966), The Invaders (1967)) or aliens (Lost in Space (1965), Star Trek (1966), The Twilight Zone (1959)). His occasional film appearances include a dementia patent in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and a rare starring role in the black comedy Homebodies (1974), late in his career. As a liberal-minded individual, Brocco was briefly blacklisted during the McCarthy era, but this did not prove detrimental to his career in the long run.