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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Brock Peters passes away

Maybe you didn't know the name, but you certainly remember his face... and especially his voice: Brock Peters has passed away at the age of 78.

He was the actor who played Tom Robinson in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird (with Gregory Peck playing defense attorney Atticus Finch). That's gonna be the role he'll be remembered for most, but he did tons of other things too. Years after Mockingbird he played Admiral Cartwright in two Star Trek movies, the more recent being Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991. For some reason that's the role I remember him in best: Cartwright's voice rising in protest to the other Starfleet officers, telling them all that the Klingons couldn't be trusted. 'Twas a great performance. Peters also was a voice actor on several cartoons.

But one other role that most people may not know Peters had: he was Darth Vader. When National Public Radio did their audio dramas of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and then finally Return of the Jedi, it was Brock Peters who did the voice of the Dark Lord of the Sith. I've got the Jedi one in audiocassette form when it came out some years ago and it must be said that Peters did an amazing job giving us a Vader on the verge of redemption.

Thought I'd make a note of that here on the blog: a great actor has gone from us, and one well worth remembering.