Peter Jason filmography and biography
Date of birth: 22 July 1944, Hollywood, California, USA
Peter Jason biography
Excellent, prolific and versatile character actor Peter Jason was born on July 22, 1944, in Hollywood, CA, and grew up in Balboa. He attended Newport Beach Elementary School, Horace Ensign Junior High and Newport Harbor High School. He originally planned on being a football player, but fell in love with acting after playing the lead in a high school production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Following his high school graduation he attended Orange Coast Junior College and did a season of summer stock at the Peterborough Playhouse in New Hampshire. He then studied as a drama major at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA. More stage work followed with the acting group the South Coast Repertory Company. He made his film debut in Howard Hawks' final film, Rio Lobo (which Jason says is one of his favorites). He worked with Orson Welles on the uncompleted The Other Side of the Wind as an actor, boom operator, prop man and even cook for the cast and crew. Jason has appeared in many films for director Walter Hill (I); he's especially memorable as the racist redneck bartender in 48 Hrs.. He has also appeared in many films for director John Carpenter (I): he's very engaging as the jolly Dr. Paul Leahy in Prince of Darkness and was terrific as underground guerrilla army leader Gilbert in They Live. Other notable roles include a sinister government agent in Dreamscape, rugged Maj. G.F. Devin in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge, jerky detective Fedorchuk in Alien Nation, a newspaper reporter in Seabiscuit and the U.S. president in Alien Apocalypse (2005) (TV). Jason recently had a recurring role as dissolute gambler Con Stapleton in the superbly gritty cable Western TV series Deadwood. He also had a regular part as Capt. Skip Gleason on Mike Hammer, Private Eye. Among the many TV shows Peter has done guest spots on are Desperate Housewives, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Nash Bridges, Coach, The Golden Girls, Murder, She Wrote, Married with Children, Roseanne, Dear John, Quantum Leap, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, B.J. and the Bear, The Incredible Hulk, Gunsmoke and Hawaii Five-O. In addition to his substantial film and TV show credits, Jason has acted in over 150 plays and hundreds of TV commercials. An accomplished baritone vocalist, Jason has sung in such musical stage productions as "The Music Man" (this is one of his favorite plays), "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off," "The Roar of the Greasepaint" and "Threepenny Opera" (as Mack the Knife). He's been married to his wife Eileen for 33 years. In his spare time he makes his own furniture with found, recycled wood.
Peter Jason trivia
- Is frequently cast by director John Carpenter (I). Some of his more notable appearances in Carpenter films are Prince of Darkness, They Live, In the Mouth of Madness, Village of the Damned, Escape from L.A. and Ghosts of Mars.
- He has appeared in 12 Walter Hill (I) films.
Peter Jason quotes
- If you want to be an auto mechanic what you do is work on as many cars as you can until you know what makes them tick. If you want to be an actor you get in as many plays as you can until you find out what makes you tick. There is a technique that must be learned. Otherwise you will never be able to repeat it. You have to learn how to listen. Otherwise you will never know how to hear. And you have to have more fun than anyone else because nobody wants to watch you work.
- [On his experience filming 'Party Camp'] I spent a week in bed with a young beautiful naked woman (April Wayne). Best experience of my life. I bragged to all my buddies that I shot all these wild sex scenes where she was on top of me, calling me a 'stud.' Then the bastards cut all the scenes out. I'd love to see those scenes again, though.