Bob Peck

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For the American football player, see Bob Peck (American football).
Bob Peck
Eod02.JPG
Peck as Ronald Craven in Edge of Darkness
Born Robert Peck
(1945-08-23)23 August 1945
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 4 April 1999(1999-04-04) (aged 53)
London, England
Cause of death
Cancer
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972–1999
Spouse(s) Jill Baker (1982–1999) (His death)

Robert "Bob" Peck (23 August 1945 – 4 April 1999) was an English stage, television and film actor who was best known for his roles as Ronald Craven in the television serial Edge of Darkness and as gamekeeper Robert Muldoon in the film Jurassic Park.

Early life[edit]

Robert Peck was born into a working-class family in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 23 August 1945. He went to Leeds Modern School in Lawnswood. Peck was educated at the Leeds College of Art where he received a Diploma in Art and Design.

Career[edit]

Stage career[edit]

Before breaking into film and television work, Peck was a regular actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside Ian McKellen, Donald Sinden and Judi Dench. Between 1979–80 he played Iago alongside Donald Sinden in Othello, in both Stratford and London.[1] He made a memorable appearance on stage in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, originally by Charles Dickens, playing two characters: John Browdie and Sir Mulberry Hawk — he appeared playing the two characters in a later television adaptation of the play. He played the character of Macduff in the Trevor Nunn's acclaimed 1976 stage and television versions of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, and re-appeared in another production of Macbeth in 1982. According to Peck's fellow Royal Shakespeare Theatre performer and veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen, Peck is the actor he considers he "learned the most from".[2]

Edge of Darkness[edit]

Peck's television career began in the 1970s, with his first television roles being in the BBC's Thirty-Minute Theatre anthology series in 1972, in which he appeared in the episode "Bypass". He also appeared in various other successful television productions such as Z-Cars and Play for Today. He also appeared in the films Royal Flash and Parker.

In 1985 television writer Troy Kennedy Martin - who had previously written the screenplay for the film The Italian Job and created the popular police procedural television series Z-Cars (in which Peck had appeared during the 1970s) - cast Peck in the starring role of policeman Ronald Craven in his television miniseries Edge of Darkness. This crime drama/political thriller follows Peck's character as he attempts to unravel the truth behind the brutal murder of his daughter, portrayed in the series by Joanne Whalley. Another of Peck's co-stars in the series was US actor Joe Don Baker, along with fellow UK actors Charles Kay and Ian McNeice.

The series was broadcast on BBC Two in six episodes from 4 November to 9 December 1985, in six parts entitled "Compassionate Leave", "Into the Shadows", "Burden of Proof", "Breakthrough", "Northmoor" and "Fusion". During its run the show attracted four million viewers and spiralled Peck to fame, bagging him a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards. After the series ended, Peck had become a figure of popularity and a national favourite.

Film success[edit]

After gaining popularity for his starring role in Edge of Darkness, Peck had become a national favourite and began appearing in films. After a few theatre appearances, Peck made his first appearance as a main character in a film again playing a policeman, John Graham, based in Kenya 1950, who takes under his wing the son of a murdered black priest in the 1987 film The Kitchen Toto. He also appeared in the 1987 film On the Black Hill, adapted from the 1982 novel of the same name by Bruce Chatwin. However, the film role that really launched his career as a film actor was his portrayal of the android Byron in the 1989 post-apocalyptic science-fiction adventure film Slipstream, in which he appeared alongside other big names including Mark Hamill, Bill Paxton, F. Murray Abraham, Ben Kingsley and Robbie Coltrane. During the late-1980s he also appeared in television shows including The Storyteller, The Jim Henson Hour and Screen One.

Peck's image and popularity increased with appearances in films including the 1990 film Lord of the Flies as the Marine Officer. He also appeared in the television shows Screen Two, Screenplay and A TV Dante. He also appeared in the television movies The Black Velvet Gown and An Ungentlemanly Act. In 1993, Peck made his biggest film appearance, when he was cast as park gamekeeper Robert Muldoon in the blockbuster smash hit Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg from the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton.

After appearing in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, Peck appeared in the popular television show The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in 1993 playing General Targo in one episode. He also played Italian Romantic composer Giuseppe Verdi in a television movie documenting the life and success of the composer.

Later years[edit]

In the later years of his life and career, Peck appeared in more films portraying the roles of Captain Sebastian Belger in Merisairas, Françoise's father in Surviving Picasso, Ravn in Smilla's Sense of Snow, Harry Briggs in FairyTale: A True Story and Denton (based on Lancelot Dent) in the film The Opium War (Chinese name Yapian zhangzheng). He also appeared in the direct-to-TV film The Scold's Bridle (1998).

In 2000, a year after Peck's death from cancer, the stop-motion animated film The Miracle Maker, was released, in which Peck voiced the character of Joseph of Arimathea. The film was dedicated to Peck's memory.

Awards[edit]

Peck won a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1986 for his portrayal of maverick policeman Ronald Craven in the television miniseries Edge of Darkness.

Personal life[edit]

Peck married actress Jill Baker in 1982, and they had three children Hannah (born 1983), George (born 1986) and Milly (born 1990). Peck and Baker shared a seventeen-year marriage until his death in 1999.

Death[edit]

In November 1994, Peck was diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer. Peck was said to be undergoing chemotherapy and radio therapy and his agent claimed that he was making a recovery. Nevertheless, Peck died at his home in London, England on 4 April 1999, at the age of 53.[3] Peck's funeral took place in London, and his close friend and Edge of Darkness co-star Ian McNeice read a eulogy at the service. He was cremated in London and his ashes were given to his family. He is survived by his widow and three children.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1972 Thirty-Minute Theatre Television series
1974 Z-Cars Clive Parsons Television series
1975 Play for Today Bertram Television series
Royal Flash Police Inspector
1979 A Performance of Macbeth Macduff Direct-to-TV film
1981 The Three Sisters Solyony Direct-to-TV film
Play for Today Joe Pike Television series
1982 Lear Lear
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby John Browdie/Sir Mulberry Hawk Television miniseries
1984 Parker Rohl
Bird of Prey 2 Greggory Television miniseries
1985 Edge of Darkness Ronald Craven Television miniseries
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1986 The Disputation Pablo Christiani Direct-to-TV film
1987 After Pilkington James Westgate Television series
The Kitchen Toto John Graham
1988 The Storyteller Soldier Television series
On the Black Hill Amos Jones
1989 Slipstream Byron
The Storyteller Soldier Television series
Surgikill Patient
Screen One James Television series
1990 Ladder of Swords Detective Inspector Atherton
Lord of the Flies Marine Officer
Screen Two John Television series
Who Bombed Birmingham? Chief Superintendent Tom Meffen Direct-to-TV film
Screenplay Tudor Barbu Television series
Centrepoint Armstrong Television miniseries
1991 A TV Dante Dante Television miniseries
Voice only
Children of the Dragon Dr. Will Flint Television series
The Black Velvet Gown Percival Miller Direct-to-TV film
The War That Never Ends King Nicias Direct-to-TV film
1992 An Ungentlemanly Act Major Mike Norman Direct-to-TV film
Natural Lies Andrew Fell Television series
1993 Jurassic Park Robert Muldoon
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles General Targo Television series
1994 Verdi Giuseppe Verdi Direct-to-TV film
Hard Times Thomas Gradgrind Television series
1996 The Merchant of Venice Shylock Direct-to-TV film
Merisairas Captain Sebastian Belger
Surviving Picasso Françoise's father
1997 Deadly Summer Donald Harcourt Direct-to-TV film
Smilla's Sense of Snow Ravn
Hospital! Harley Benson Direct-to-TV film
FairyTale: A True Story Harry Briggs
The Opium War Denton
1998 The Scold's Bridle Detective Sergeant Cooper Direct-to-TV film
2000 The Miracle Maker Joseph of Arimathea Posthumous release
Voice only

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Othello – William Shakespeare". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Keith Stern/CompuWeb. "28 August 2002". Mckellen.com. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bob Peck, 53, Actor Of Stage and Screen –". New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 

External links[edit]