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.
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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.