R.I.P. Peter Mark Richman, prolific TV and film actor in everything from The Twilight Zone to Three’s Company

He acted professionally on stage and screen for over six decades.

The Everett Collection

Read to Me

Though his name may not be instantly recognizable, all classic TV fans have almost certainly seen Peter Mark Richman in one of his many roles over his six-decade career. He played lawyer Andrew Laird on Dynasty, was Suzanne Somers’ father on Three’s Company and acted in films as varied as 1956’s Friendly Persuasion to 1989’s Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan.

Richman, who passed away this week at the age of 93, had so many credits to his name that it’s easier to divide them into genres. Westerns? He was in Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian and The Wild Wild West. What about anthology series? He starred in classics like The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents along with lesser-known titles from that era like The Outer Limits and Moment of Fear. Action dramas like The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. also dot his resume.

His Twilight Zone role saw him and costar Hazel Court battle a mysterious giant in “The Fear.” His first of two Alfred Hitchcock episodes “Man with a Problem” also starred Elizabeth Montgomery (six years before she became Samantha Stephens on Bewitched). Other notable parts include his lead role as a former mafia lawyer who works with the Feds in the early '60s series Cain's Hundred and his regular role a decade later in the shortlived show Longstreet, which featured recurring appearances by Bruce Lee. Not bad for someone who almost never became an actor in the first place!

Peter Mark Richman was born in Philadelphia in 1927. He went to college to be a pharmacist and accomplished his goal, becoming licensed in two states. But he was drawn to performing. He soon won roles on Broadway and broke into Hollywood after playing Gard Jordon in the Gary Cooper Civil War drama Friendly Persuasion. 

Acting wasn’t Richman’s only love. He was awarded the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Silver Medallion for his humanitarian work in 1990. He also enjoyed painting and wrote his own one-man play, 4 Faces, which he adapted into a movie. To top it all off, he published an autobiography at 91-years-young titled I Saw a Molten White Light…: An autobiography of my artistic and spiritual journey.

A true renaissance man, Peter Mark Richman’s memory will live on in his abundant artistic contributions, especially his time on television.


 
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Inkwell765 5 months ago
He was in Dark Intruder with Leslie Neilsen, Judith Meredith, and Werner Klemperer. I wonder why Svengoolie doesn't run it?
jacko3 6 months ago
Peter Mark Richman - a true talented actor .. GOD Bless him for eternity ... Amen - Alleluia!
WhiteRook 7 months ago
Two of my favorite Mark Richman SiFi tv shows was when he played a state trooper on The Twilight Zone and a security chief on The Invaders. Both involved Ufo's and Alien invasion.
Jon 8 months ago
I first remember seeing him as "The Pharoah" in "ElectraWoman & DynaGirl". He appeared in 2 different episodes of the show. I saw him once on THE LOVE BOAT where his character was so evil that he didn't finish the cruise. His character was married to a character played by Florence Henderson, and I think she had him thrown off the boat for trying to have an affair with her daughter.
Jean 8 months ago
Wasn't he in a Twilight Zone episode with Mariette Hartley? Episode was about time and aging. Mr Richman played an astronaut. RIP sir.
Jon Jean 8 months ago
No, that was Robert Lansing who appeared w/ Ms. Hartley in the Season 5 episode, "The Long Morrow". Lansing was probably best-known for having the starring role of Gen. Savage in TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH in Season 1.
PatMarie7go 8 months ago
😘YEAH I REMEMBERED MR. RICHMAN, GOOD ACTOR. RIP😥..PDUB WALKER
DethBiz 9 months ago
RIP Reverend Snow. Say hello to Jack, Furley and the Ropers.
texasluva 9 months ago
Remember seeing him in like dozens of re-runs on TV Shows. With 159 credits to his name he was on 4-10 different tv episodes most years during his reign. R.I.P. Mr Richman.
TheDavBow3 9 months ago
God Bless him. A great actor. Hey Stephanie, remember him on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., How To Steal The World? Love that episode/movie.
Pacificsun TheDavBow3 9 months ago
i don't know if Stephanie does, but I do. Last episode of the series. The Production company was blindsided by the abrupt cancellation. Check out the scene with the white coffin. Backstory on that.
Yes, I do remember PMR being in MFU. A while back, I watched the last part of the last episode. I was in the mood. Sometimes I like to do that: gather up a couple/few shows and just watch the last episodes. But with me this close to crossing the finish line of my 50's race, and beginning the race through another decade, I'm a little fuzzy on the white coffin. I know I saw it. But once I re-eyeball it, I'm sure it will come flooding back to me!
TheDavBow3 Pacificsun 9 months ago
Oh yes. It's a shame the 4th season was cut short. With the re-tooling and more serious, less campy writing, I think the 4th season would been great. I saw where David MacCallum is still waiting for his phone call (now text, email, etc...) telling him the show has been canceled. 😊🤔
I'm a little fuzzy on that episode as a whole. I remember PMR and his lady companion playing really good diabolical, psychopathic parts. I sometimes get PMR, Warren Stevens and Robert Lansing mixed up when it comes to '60s TV. One of my very 1st memories of watching TV as a small boy was watching that episode/movie with that hook crashing into that Ford with Illya and Napoleon in the car lifting it up. Then seeing them appear bleeding on their faces. A rare seen using blood in the show, it seems. Talking you and Pacificsun having me want to dive in watching MFU, especially the movies.
Pacificsun TheDavBow3 9 months ago
Yes, PMR & Eleanor Parker were the diabolical, psychopathic villains & lovers in “The Seven Wonders of the World Affair” (How to Steal the World). I never liked it because it was the last episode, and abruptly ended the series. Whereas it would’ve been nice if they’d offered some closure, with the possibility of a reunion movie (which came 15 years later, but only due to a very avid fan, who created a questionable plot from scratch).

However for a project I looked at TSWOTWA again, carefully. And it actually had a lot of production value (including lots of scene changes, dramatic emotions, futuristic location shooting at LA Int’l Airport, and plenty of action! While a lot of episodes were intentionally campy and took shortcuts, this one was seriously futuristic. A fairly bold entry into the MFU library. The rarely seen blood (effect) happened because the show was constantly under fire for being too violent in Prime Time. (It actually belonged in the 10pm timeslot, where it should’ve attracted more college aged viewers and action fans). But it’s sense of fantasy and hero vs. evil conflicts attracted the imaginations of young kids too. If you’re going to dive in, start with Season One. With seriously interesting (more traditional) characters. I give the series credit for experimenting every new season. Very few shows of the time ever tried to do it, so radically. This was a quality oriented production team, with plenty of craft talent offered behind the scenes. Especially lighting and photography (pioneering quite a few techniques for the decades to follow).
TheDavBow3 Pacificsun 9 months ago
Yes, I believe I read where season 3 (and a little at the end of season 2) was written intentionally campy trying to capture the success that Batman had. Not sure if this episode was season 2 or 3 but the one where Napoleon is dancing with a gorilla is a bit much. I think season 4 was on the right track - more serious writing, more modern looking computer area/sets. It seems the failures of season 3 was too much to overcome.
Pacificsun TheDavBow3 9 months ago
Just in case readers think this is off topic, MFU was a show that ran in 201 on MeTV for 2 yrs. and then H&I for 1 yr. It was a fun overnight entry along with NBC's other revolving action/adventure dramas!

In the Sixties television was still new and 3.5 years was actually a good run. Certainly enough for syndication. People only credit long standing shows like Gunsmoke & Bonanza. But MFU was an expensive, innovative series. An episode was close to making a made-for-TV movie every week. (Like Columbo). However a constantly moving timeslot frequently lost casual viewers because they were already watching another favorite show in that time period. And only 3 networks were always in competition to be on top! Like ST, only dedicated fans hung on, while the show wasn’t consistent enough to lock in a new (trendier) audience. Batman (a newer novelty) drove the campiness element, never meant to be serious! James Bond drove MFU which only got into homes because of Goldfinger success! But the show (established the new genre on TV) certainly triggering more action/adventure/fantasy shows to follow (like WWW and MI) for which MFU never gets much credit either!
CarolKelley 9 months ago
I loved him as Gard in Friendly Persuasion.
F5Twitster 9 months ago
I didn't know Richman, but would often encounter him and his wife at events, usually at the Motion Picture Academy. Always very pleasant and friendly.
You "knew him" a lot more than the rest of us. You've encountered him. Most of us can't make that "claim to fame!"
F5Twitster 9 months ago
"He soon won roles on Broadway and broke into Hollywood after playing Gard Jordon in the Gary Cooper Civil War drama Friendly Persuasion."

Gard JORDAN, with an "a."
JamesCavender 9 months ago
Mark was a prolific actor. From the 50s Westerns to the 70s Private Eye shows, if you needed a complicated, sophisticated bad man in the script he was your go to guy. Bless you Mark and thanks for the great entertainment over the years. You will be hard to replace.
JaneHardas 9 months ago
Mr. Richman was a great actor. Always enjoyed watching him. He will be missed.
JoeSHill 9 months ago
Peter Mark Richman had an NBC series in the early 1960s called "CAIN'S HUNDRED" from Metro Goldwyn Mayer, but his history with ABC's "THE OUTER LIMITS" was very unique as he, Nina Foch, and Phillip Abbott all guest-starred on "The Borderland", which was the first official episode of the sci-fi anthology series that series' creator and executive producer Leslie Stevens had directed, and Richman also starred in the last episode of the series called "The Probe" that Felix Feist directed. he appeared on an episode of CBS's "THE WILD, WILD, WEST" in 1965 called "The Night Of The Dancing Death" as "Prince Geo", an Albanian prince, skilled in "Kung Fu", but he also co-starred in the ABC/Paramount Television series, "LONGSTREET" with James Franciscus in 1971-72. Mr. Richman has many TV credits under his impressive acting career and was also by Gerd Oswald in Universal's "AGENT FOR H.A.R.M." (1966) he later guest-starred in "VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA" ("Killers Of The Deep") and appeared in ABC's "GALACTICA 1980" ("The Night The Cylons Landed", Pt. 1 & 2) and "THE INVADERS". amazing actor, who will be greatly missed!
Dispute 9 months ago
He was just on an episode of Three’s Company today. Handsome man and played a kind minister and father to Suzanne Somers’ role. 93 is a pretty good run. Thank you for all the roles you played so well, Mr. Richmond.
Fishbassist 9 months ago
I recently saw the MST3K episode where he starred in the anemic spy thriller Agent From H.A.R.M. which had the bad guy henchman who bore more than a passing resemblance to late R&B star Prince and Mike and the bots were more than happy to point that out. Lol
Robbob58 9 months ago
He played a revived entrepreneur, who was in suspended animation, in the first season finale of "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
MarkSpeck 9 months ago
He was also considered to be one of the 'QM Players'...that was the unofficial name given to the actors who turned up constantly in shows produced by Quinn Martin.

Richman appeared twice on The Fugitive, a whopping EIGHT TIMES on The FBI, at least once on 12 O'Clock High, twice on The Invaders (including the very last episode), twice on Barnaby Jones, and once on both The Streets of San Francisco and Cannon (in the final episode of the latter). He also appeared on the short-lived Streets of San Francisco spin-off Bert D'Angelo: Superstar and in the pilot for Dan August, "The House on Greenapple Road".

My friend Jon Etter, who wrote the book, Quinn Martin, Producer, was in contact with Mr. Richman and interviewed him extensively for the book. I always wondered whether his character in the final Invaders episode would have become a regular had the series continued, and I asked Jon to ask him if that were the case. Not sure if he ever asked about that. I guess we'll never know.
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