Brock Peters Dies at 78


Brock Peters (1927-2005)

Sad to hear of the death from pancreatic cancer of To Kill a Mockingbird star Brock Peters, a distinguished actor who was always a strong presence, whether in groundbreaking films like Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess or genre fare like Soylent Green and Slaughter's Big Rip-Off. I was surprised to learn he also played Darth Vader in the radio dramatization of the original three Star Wars films ... I guess James Earl Jones was off somewhere recording CNN IDs.

Renowned for his stage work as much as his film and TV appearances, Peters will likely be best remembered for playing Tom Robinson in Mockingbird, falsely accused of raping a white woman in Robert Mulligan's adaptation of the Harper Lee novel, although I'm looking forward to watching him play Aesop again in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee when the extended cut of that mangled masterpiece finally emerges on DVD later in the fall.

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