Peter Brocco; Veteran Performer in Movies, Theater, Television


Peter Brocco, an actor whose credits ran the gamut from early talking pictures to the Depression-era Federal Theater Project to episodic television, has died at his Laurel Canyon home.

The Reading, Pa., native who studied theology in college but opted for a theatrical career, was 89 when he died Sunday, apparently of a heart attack.

Although never a household name, Brocco worked regularly from his first screen appearance in “The Devil and the Deep,” a 1932 submarine adventure film with Charles Laughton, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper.


Brocco alternated appearances in film and on stage throughout his lengthy career, appearing on stage in “Galileo” and “The Night of the Iguana” and before the cameras in “Spartacus,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Throw Momma From the Train” and “War of the Roses.”

In all, he performed in more than 80 motion pictures and was seen regularly in such TV shows as “The Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek” and “Hill Street Blues.”

As with many members of the Federal Theater group, his liberal politics brought him a temporary blacklisting in the 1950s, but he soon returned to Hollywood to make “I’ll Cry Tomorrow,” “Our Man Flint,” “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and “Twilight Zone--The Movie.”

Locally he was on stage at the old Ivar Theatre, the Hollywood Playhouse, the Music Box and the Stage Society, among others.