Peter Breck Filmography
February 11, 2012 by staff
Peter Breck Filmography, Joseph Peter Breck (March 13, 1929 – February 6, 2012) was an American character actor of stage, who has played roles on television and in film. The rugged, dark-haired Breck gained fame as Doc Holiday on the series Maverick (TV series), but is best known for his role as Victoria Barkley’s (Barbara Stanwyck) hot-tempered, middle son Nick in the popular 1960s Western, The Big Valley.
After US Navy service on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) he studied drama at the University of Houston. Breck made his debut in a film produced by Bert Freed that was eventually released under the title The Beatniks. As well as performing in live theatre, Breck had several guest-starring roles on a number of popular series, such as Sea Hunt, several episodes of Wagon Train, Have Gun – Will Travel, Perry Mason, and Gunsmoke.
In 1956, he and David Janssen appeared in John Bromfield’s syndicated series Sheriff of Cochise in the episode “The Turkey Farmers”. He appeared in another syndicated series too in the episode “The Deserter” of the American Civil War drama Gray Ghost, with Tod Andrews in the title role.
When Robert Mitchum saw him in George Bernard Shaw’s play The Man of Destiny in Washington, D.C. he offered Breck a role as a rival driver in 1958′s Thunder Road. Mitchum set Breck up in Los Angeles and as Breck did not have his own car, Mitchum lent him his own Jaguar.
Mitchum introduced Breck to Dick Powell who contracted him to Four Star Productions where he appeared in Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater. He also appeared with fellow guest star Diane Brewster in the 1958 episode “The Lady Gambler” of the ABC western series Tombstone Territory, starring Pat Conway and Richard Eastham. In 1958 Breck also appeared in an episode of Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford.
In the 1959-1960 season, he starred as a gunfighter-turned-lawyer lead in the NBC western Black Saddle, with secondary roles for Russell Johnson, J. Pat O’Malley, and Walter Burke.
Breck was later a contract star with Warner Brothers Television where he appeared as Doc Holliday on the series Maverick, a part that had been played twice earlier in the series by Gerald Mohr and by Adam West on Lawman. Breck appeared in several other Warners series of the time such as Cheyenne, 77 Sunset Strip, The Roaring Twenties, The Gallant Men, and a 1969 episode of The Donald O’Connor Show.
The first movie in which Breck was the top-billed star was Lad, A Dog (1962). The next year, he played the leading roles in both Samuel Fuller’s Shock Corridor and the science-fiction horror film The Crawling Hand. During this time, he also appeared on episodes of several more TV shows, such as The Outer Limits, The Restless Gun, Bonanza, Perry Mason, and The Virginian.
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