Articles: Legendary Actor Brock Peters Dies at 78




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Brock Peters, the legendary actor who starred opposite of Gregory Peck in "To Kill a Mockingbird, (‘62)" died Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at his home in Los Angeles after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 78.

Peters had been receiving chemotherapy treatments since being diagnosed with of pancreatic cancer in January. According to his longtime companion Marilyn Darby, his condition had worsened in recent weeks. He died peacefully in bed, surrounded by family, she said.

Born George Fisher on July 2, 1927 in New York, NY, Peters storied film career was launched in 1954 with the role of Sgt. Brown in "Carmen Jones" opposite Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. He followed up the performance with the role of Crown in Otto Preminger's 1959 production of "Porgy and Bess," starring Dandridge, Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey and Diahann Carroll.

Known by his distinctive and authoritarian baritone voice, Peters role of accused rapist Tom Robinson in the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird" was probably the most memorable role in his storied body of work. During a tribute to his co-star Gregory Peck after Peck's death in 2003, Peters recounted how shortly before filming began, Peck called him on a Sunday morning to welcome him to the production. He was so surprised, he recalled, that he dropped the telephone. "I worked over the years in many, many productions, but no one ever again called me to welcome me aboard, except perhaps the director and the producer, but not my fellow actor-to-be," said Peters. The two became lifelong friends and when Peck died in 2003, Peters was asked to read the eulogy at his funeral.

Peters appeared in films that included "Soylent Green," "The L-Shaped Room" and "The Pawnbroker." He also appeared in countless television shows ranging from "Gunsmoke" to "The Bionic Woman." Later in his career Peters established himself with Trekies by appearing in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," as well as a recurring role on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

His accolades include a National Film Society Award, a Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, and a Tony Award nomination for his performance on Broadway in "Lost in the Stars." Peters was a widower and has one daughter, Lise Jo Peters.

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