Who is Peter Strauss?
Peter Strauss is an American TV and movie actor, best known for starring in various TV films. Strauss was born in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. He graduated from ‘Hackley School.’ He was introduced to theater by the ‘Croton Shakespeare Festival’ at a young age. He joined ‘Northwestern University’s acting program to pursue his dream of becoming a professional actor. He made his debut in motion pictures with ‘Hail, Hero!,’ playing the supporting role of ‘Frank Dixon.’ He was praised for his portrayal of ‘Rudy Jordache’ in the TV miniseries ‘Rich Man, Poor Man.’ His breakthrough role was that of ‘Larry “Rain” Murphy’ in the TV film ‘The Jericho Mile,’ which helped him win an ‘Emmy Award.’ Strauss has featured in some remarkable motion pictures, too, such as ‘Soldier Blue’ and ‘Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone.’ He appeared alongside Samuel L Jackson and Ice Cube in the movie ‘XXX: State of the Union.’ However, Strauss was most popular on the small screen, for his leading roles in TV miniseries such as ‘Kane and Abel’ and ‘Masada.’ In his expansive career, he has also voiced the character of ‘Stoker Van Rotten’ in the TV series ‘Biker Mice from Mars’ and that of ‘Moses’ in the five-part animated series ‘K10C,’ or ‘Kids’ Ten Commandments.’
Childhood & Early Career
Strauss was born on February 20, 1947, in New York, to Warren B Strauss. He is of Jewish descent. His father was a wine importer. The ‘Croton Shakespeare Festival’ introduced him to theater and ignited his passion for acting when he was a child.
During summers, he would perform with various stock companies. He attended the ‘Hackley School for Boys’ in Tarrytown, New York. In his teenage years, he also performed in productions of ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
He graduated from the acting program of ‘Northwestern University’ in 1969. Focused on his dream of becoming an actor, he moved to the West Coast. He made his debut with the movie ‘Hail, Hero!,’ which gave him massive popularity.
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His first screen lead role was for ‘Soldier Blue’ in 1970. The movie featured him in the role of an idealistic soldier named ‘Honus Gent,’ caught between his duties and his love for a Native American girl. Shortly after its success, he appeared in various TV programs. He also co starred in a feature film titled ‘The Trial of the Catonsville Nine’ in 1972.
The following year, he made his debut in TV movies, as ‘Arthur Danforth’ in the adventure ‘A Man without A Country.’ He was also cast in the TV film ‘Attack on Terror: The FBI Versus the Klu Klux Klan’ in 1975, but it was his portrayal of ‘Rudy Jordache’ in the TV miniseries ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’ in 1976 that made him popular.
With his steady success, he featured alongside Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson in the movie ‘The Last Tycoon’ in 1976. The movie, despite his efforts, did not perform well. It was after resuming his role in the sequel ‘Rich Man, Poor Man: Book II’ that he regained his credibility.
Strauss was associated with the TV movie ‘Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy’ in 1977, in which he played the role of ‘Joseph P Kennedy Jr.’ In 1981, he landed a leading role in the epic miniseries ‘Masada,’ for which he garnered an ‘Emmy’ nomination. He appeared as ‘Abel Rosnovski’ in the 1985 movie adaptation of British author Jeffrey Archer’s 1979 novel ‘Kane and Abel.’
He gave his voice to ‘Justin, the Captain of the Guard’ in the 1982 animated movie ‘The Secret of NIMH.’ He also appeared in the movie ‘Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone’ in 1983, co-starring with Molly Ringwald.
Strauss returned to TV with his role of ‘Dr. Nicholas’ in the series ‘Moloney’ in 1996. He subsequently played the role of ‘Dr. Isaac Braun’ in 14 episodes of the TV series ‘Body & Soul’ (2002).
In 2005, he appeared as the US president in ‘XXX: State of the Union,’ alongside Ice Cube and Samuel L Jackson. Later, in 2007, he essayed the role of ‘Mr. Jones,’ alongside Robin Williams and Mandy Moore, in the movie ‘License to Wed.’ Of all his movie projects, ‘Tracey Ullman’s State of Union’ (2005) was the most rewarding for him. He played a voice role in the movie.
He voiced ‘Moses’ in the five-part animated series ‘K10C,’ or ‘Kids’ Ten Commandments.’ He also gave his voice to ‘Stoker Van Rotten’ in two versions of ‘Biker Mice from Mars.’
He has done commercials for ‘Miracle-Gro’ plant food.
He has produced the 1981 TV movie ‘A Whale for the Killing,’ the 1983 TV movie ‘Heart of Steel,’ and two episodes of the TV series ‘Seasons of Love’ (1999).
Family & Personal Life
Strauss was previously married to Beverly Baker Paulding (1973–1979) and Nicole Fons (1983–1994). He married actor Rachel Ticotin on December 31, 1998. He has a son named Justin Strauss with Nicole Fons.
He runs a popular citrus production business. He is also on the advisory board of the ‘Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.’
He has a ranch named after him in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Strauss had sold it to the ‘Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’ in 1983.