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Peter Leeds (May 30, 1917 – November 12, 1996) was an American actor, who appeared on television more than 8,000 times and also had many film, Broadway, and radio credits. The majority of his work took place in the 1950s and 1960s. Working with many well-known comedians, he became popular as a straight man to their antics.
Leeds (right) in Bonanza
|Born||May 30, 1917|
Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||November 12, 1996 (aged 79)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Leeds (1962–1996)|
Beyond situation comedies, Peter Leeds was also a dramatic actor, a Broadway performer, and a regular on many variety shows. He made three guest appearances on Perry Mason.
Peter Leeds was also a popular voice-over artist, being heard on over 3,000 radio shows.
A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, Leeds received his training at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his film debut with a bit part in Public Enemies (1941). He received a scholarship from the John Marshall Law School, which he attended for one year. He also attended The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. Leeds was noticed by the Group Theater of New York, through which he received a scholarship and graduated.
Leeds worked with hundreds of well-known actors, including Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and Johnny Carson. He appeared four times with David Janssen in the crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Leeds was cast as George Colton in nine episodes of the 1960s CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys,:826 starring Harry Morgan and Cara Williams. He guest-starred on an episode of the 1962-1963 ABC drama series, Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly.
Leeds was known for his association with Stan Freberg and played his foil in several song parodies. In addition, he had several roles on both Volume One and Volume Two of the classic comedy albums Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, and also appeared as a regular on the short-lived CBS radio series The Stan Freberg Show in 1957.
Leeds had a recurring role as gambler/saloon owner Tenner Smith in the 1957-1959 CBS television series, Trackdown starring Robert Culp as Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman, with Ellen Corby in a secondary role as newspaper publisher Henrietta Porter.
Leeds played federal agent LaMarr Kane in "The Scarface Mob", the pilot for ABC's The Untouchables TV series (starring Robert Stack), a role taken over in the actual series by Chuck Hicks. He also was a member of the casts of the 1958 version of The Betty White Show:94 and The Buster Keaton Show.:148
Leeds accompanied Bob Hope on 14 international USO (United Service Organizations) tours. Leeds joined Bob Hope in 1954 for a television special and continued working with Hope on specials and tours from 1954 until 1991.
Leeds also did voices for animated television and film, including The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, Hong Kong Phooey, The New Yogi Bear Show, The Dukes, Challenge of the GoBots, CBS Storybreak and The Jetsons. It is important to note that Leeds was a member of Stan Freberg's CBS radio program, "The Stan Freberg Show" along with Freberg, Daws Butler and June Foray. This was the last radio comedy show made by CBS in the summer-fall of 1957.
American Federation of Television and Radio ArtistsEdit
During the 1970s, Leeds spent five years as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He later served on the actors' union's national and local Board of Directors. In 1992, AFTRA repaid his many years of service with its highest honor, the Gold Card. Leeds later served on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
|1941||Pacific Blackout||Air Raid Warden||Uncredited|
|1942||Don Winslow of the Navy||Seaman Chapman||Serial|
|1942||Treat 'Em Rough||Davis|
|1942||Priorities on Parade||Joe - Factory Employee / Show Coordinator||Uncredited|
|1942||The Secret Code||Henchman Carl Hiecke||Serial, [Ch. 9]|
|1942||I Married a Witch||Ambulance Attendant||Uncredited|
|1942||Reunion in France||Boy||Uncredited|
|1943||Crash Dive||Shore Police||Uncredited|
|1946||That Brennan Girl||Bergie||Uncredited|
|1947||Hit Parade of 1947||Bandleader in Rehearsal Room||Uncredited|
|1949||The Life of Riley||Conway's Voice on Radio Show||Voice, Uncredited|
|1949||The Lady Gambles||Jack Harrison - Hotel Clerk|
|1949||D.O.A.||Leo - Bartender||Uncredited|
|1950||Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town||Tall Beautician||Uncredited|
|1950||South Sea Sinner||Second Policeman||Uncredited|
|1950||Dial 1119||Martin, Wounded Policeman||Uncredited|
|1951||Katie Did It||'Odds' Burton|
|1951||Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm||Manson|
|1951||The Frogmen||Pharmacist's Mate||Uncredited|
|1952||My Man and I||Man with Nancy at Bar||Uncredited|
|1952||Come Back, Little Sheba||Milkman||Uncredited|
|1953||Never Wave at a WAC||Nick Laharis||Uncredited|
|1953||Stalag 17||Barracks #1 Prisoner of War Getting Distillery||Uncredited|
|1953||99 River Street||Nat Finley|
|1954||The Long, Long Trailer||Garage Manager||Uncredited|
|1954||Brigadoon||Peter - Headwaiter||Uncredited|
|1954||The Adventures of Hajji Baba||Merchant||Uncredited|
|1954||The Last Time I Saw Paris||Barney|
|1954||The Atomic Kid||Agent Bill|
|1955||Six Bridges to Cross||Harris||Uncredited|
|1955||Hit the Deck||Lieutenant - Operation Mud Pie||Uncredited|
|1955||Tight Spot||Fred Packer|
|1955||Interrupted Melody||Dr. Ed Ryson|
|1955||Love Me or Leave Me||Fred Taylor|
|1955||It's Always Fair Weather||Mr. Trasker||Uncredited|
|1955||Bobby Ware Is Missing||Mackey of F.B.I.|
|1955||I'll Cry Tomorrow||Richard|
|1956||The Price of Fear||Mitchell||Uncredited|
|1956||The Harder They Fall||Dundee Fight Ring Announcer||Uncredited|
|1956||Behind the High Wall||First Detective|
|1956||Tea and Sympathy||Headmaster at Bonfire||Uncredited|
|1956||The Best Things in Life Are Free||Genius||Uncredited|
|1956||The Great American Pastime||Motor Cop||Uncredited|
|1957||Official Detective||Patterson||Episode: "The Deserted House"|
|1957||Bombers B-52||TV Quiz Show Director||Uncredited|
|1957||Kiss Them for Me||Reporter in Nightclub||Uncredited|
|1958||The Brothers Karamazov||Guard||Uncredited|
|1959||The Scarface Mob||Lamarr Kane||TV movie|
|1958-1959||Trackdown||Tenner Smith||recurring role, 15 episodes|
|1959||High School Big Shot||Mr. Carter|
|1959||The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock||Bill Burton|
|1959||The Devil's Disciple||Narrator||Uncredited|
|1959||The Big Operator||Henland||Uncredited|
|1959||Girls Town||Michael Clyde|
|1959||The Rookie||Seville Quare|
|1960||Please Don't Eat the Daisies||Mackay's Secretary||Uncredited|
|1960||The Facts of Life||Thompson - the Dry Cleaner|
|1963||The Wheeler Dealers||Arthur Watkins|
|1965||I'll Take Sweden||Car Salesman||Uncredited|
|1966||The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show||Actor|
|1967||8 on the Lam||Marty|
|1968||With Six You Get Eggroll||Police Officer Joelson||Uncredited|
|1972-1974||Adam-12||George Porter / Dennis Baker||2 episodes|
|1974||The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat||Juan / Various Characters||Voice|
- "Straight man actor, Peter Leeds, dies". The Spokesman-Review. Washington, Spokane. Los Angeles Times. November 22, 1996. p. A2. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 1132.
- Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 104
- "Noted Actor Will Speak To Red Cross". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. May 21, 1966. p. 15. Retrieved July 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- IMDb Peter Leeds Bio
- "Sugar Babies". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Turner Classic Movies