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Robert Stack Pierce (June 15, 1933 – March 1, 2016) was an actor who was previously a boxer and professional baseball player.[1] His acting career began in the early 1970s with television roles in the series Arnie, Room 222, Mannix, Mission Impossible and later as Jake, the alien commander in the 1980s science fiction series V. His film roles include Night Call Nurses, Hammer, Cool Breeze, Low Blow and Weekend at Bernie's II.

Stack Pierce
Born(1933-06-15)June 15, 1933
DiedMarch 1, 2016(2016-03-01) (aged 82)
NationalityAmerican
Other namesRobert Pierce
OccupationAthlete, Actor
Years active1970 to 2005

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Pierce was state boxing champion. Later he played professional baseball, beginning with the Cleveland Indians organization and later the Milwaukee Braves organization.[1] Having left high school, he joined up to the army where he was an Airborne Engineer. While in the army he played baseball in the Special Services. He came up on the radar of the Cleveland Indians and he was signed to a Major League contract. Not long after the Milwaukee Braves bought his contract and was with them for six years until his retirement in 1960. Later he moved to Los Angeles with his wife.[2]

He has had prominent and recurring roles in a number of Leo Fong exploitation films as well as a few Fred Williamson films. Among the films in which he appeared with Williamson are Hammer (1972), No way Back (1976, in the part of Bernie). Others included, The Big Score (1983), The Messenger (1986) and Transformed (2005).[3]

He has appeared on Michael Dante's radio show, On Deck.[4]

Acting careerEdit

1960s to 1970sEdit

Pierce's entry into acting came about as a result of his wife's encouragement. She pushed him to audition for his first play, Ebonites. He was diligent in studying acting and did a lot of work with a repertory company.[5] In 1972, he appeared in the film Cool Breeze as the henchman, Tinker.[6][7] Then he appeared as Jon Sampson in the Jonathan Kaplan directed Night Call Nurses.[8] The film was also produced by Roger Corman's wife Julie.[9] Also that year he appeared in his first Fred Williamson film, Hammer which also starred Bernie Hamilton, Vonetta McGee and William Smith.[10]


1980sEdit

1980 marked Pierce's first entry into a number of Leo Fong films.[11] He played Frank Washington in The Last Reunion aka Revenge of the Bushido Blade which was directed by Jay Wertz. The film which starred Fong in the lead role, Cameron Mitchell, Hal Bokar, Vic Silayan and Charlie Davao was a revenge type of film with a soldiers reuniting to recount old times and a Japanese coming to get his revenge from what happened 33 years ago.[12][13][14] In 1980, he was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role in the "Sweet Land of Liberty" episode of the television series Quincy, M.E..[1][15]

He also appeared with Wings Hauser and Beverly Todd in the 1982 cult classic grindhouse film Vice Squad, playing a garage owner who Hauser heads for after escaping from the police.[16][17] In 1983, he appeared as Captain Jake, the alien commander in the science fiction series V.[18] In 1984, he was in another Leo Fong film, Killpoint which was directed by Frank Harris. He played the part of Nighthawk, the stone faced henchman who is the sideman to weapons dealer, Joe Marks (played by Cameron Mitchell).[19][20] In 1986, he was in another Fong film, Low Blow as Duke. The film which also starred Cameron Mitchell, Troy Donahue, Diane Stevenett, Akosua Busia and Woody Farmer was about a daughter of a wealthy businessman who was kidnapped by a religious cult and a detective who was hired to get her back.[21][22]

1990s to 2000sEdit

In 1997, he appeared as Will in Paolo Mazzucato's Moonbase, a film about a crew ruinning a garbage dump on the moon and having to ward off deranged escaped inmates from an orbiting prison satellite who are after nuclear weapons buried in the rubbish.[23][24]

Some time after the death of his wife Marion of cancer in June, 1998, he retired from acting and became a stage director. He also revisited baseball which he was passionate about and moved into another career as a coach. This lasted for six years until he suffered a stroke in 2012.[25][26] Since the late 1990s, his acting career was scaled down and his last acting work was in 2005, a role in the Leo Fong film Transformed[27] which also featured Fred Williamson, Ken Moreno and Tadashi Yamashita.[28] He had also directed some plays which included A Raisin in the Sun, My Brothers' Blood, In My Father's House and One Last Look.[1]

Later activitiesEdit

Since his acting career had been scaled down, later years have seen him involved with youth and charity work. Some of the events in relation to this have included the Multicultural Golf Association of America in which he has been involved in the Youth Empowerment Program. He is also a member of Speakers International.[1]

In August 2011, along with the basketball legend Lenny Wilkens, he was involved in the Lenny Wilkens Foundation fundraiser for the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic.[29] In December 2011, with Johnny Bench, Sam Boghosian, Billy Erickson, Patrick Evans, Ron Fairley, Barry Jaeckel, Tom Kennedy, UCPIE board member Kris Long, Dan McGrath, Ron Masak, Bill Marx, Nolan North and Frankie Randall, Pierce was one of the celebrity golfers in the Dennis James Golf Classic's 16th annual tournament.[30]

On August 28, 2014, Stack participated in the 13th annual Jim "Mudcat" Grant golf tournament in Binghamton, New York. This was Stack's tenth year at the golf tournament that is sponsored by Security Mutual Life. The tournament benefits The Boys & Girls Club of Binghamton, Catholic Charities, Broome County Urban League, CHOW and the U.S. Military. Other celebrities participating in 2014 were Fred Williamson, Meadowlark Lemon, Gina "Chirpie" Casey, Vernon Law, Al Downing, Fergie Jenkins, Michael Norris, J.R. Richard, Cliff Johson and Bob Kendrick.

Work outside actingEdit

In July 2018, Pierce along with musicians Side Effect and D. J. Rogers was at Reve Gibson's annual Youth On Parade program to pick up an award.[31]

DeathEdit

Pierce died on March 1, 2016.[32]

FilmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Speakers International Stack Pierce
  2. ^ Deseret Health News, November/December 2013 - Medical News, A Second Act By Nicky Vallee
  3. ^ IMDb Stack Pierce Actor
  4. ^ Michaeldanteway.com - Radio Show Guest List
  5. ^ Deseret Health News, November/December 2013 - Medical News, A Second Act By Nicky Vallee
  6. ^ The A to Z of African American Cinema, By S. Torriano Berry, Venise T. Berry - Page 70 COOL BREEZE. 1972.
  7. ^ Black Action Films: Plots, Critiques, Cast and Credits for 235 Theatrical and Made-For-Television Releases, James Robert Parish, George H. Hill - Page 103, 104
  8. ^ American Film Institute - Night Call Nurses (1972), Full Page view +, Cast
  9. ^ Letterboxd - Night Call Nurses 1972 Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
  10. ^ TV Guide - Hammer, Cast & Crew
  11. ^ IMDb - Feature Film/TV Episode/Video/TV Movie/TV Special/TV Mini-Series/Documentary/Video Game/Short Film, with Stack Pierce, Leo Fong (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
  12. ^ Letterboxd - The Last Reunion 1980 Directed by Jay Wertz
  13. ^ World Film Geek, February 15, 2017 - REVIEW: Revenge of the Bushido Blade (1978)
  14. ^ Comeuppance Reviews - Revenge Of The Bushido Blade (1980)
  15. ^ The Carolina Times Sat, December 13, 1980 - Page 5 NBC Stars and Shows Nominated for NAACP Awards
  16. ^ The great cop pictures, James Robert Parish - Page 630, 631
  17. ^ Letterboxd - Vice Squad 1982 Directed by Gary Sherman, Cast
  18. ^ Rotten Tomatoes - V: The Original Miniseries (1983 - 1983), Cast
  19. ^ Grindhousefilm.com - Killpoint (1984) - MichaeL Wood
  20. ^ Turner Classic Movies - Killpoint(1984), Cast & Crew
  21. ^ TV Guide - Low Blow
  22. ^ Rotten Tomatoes - Low Blow (1986), Movie info
  23. ^ Turner Classic Movies - Moonbase(1997), OVERVIEW, Full synopsis, Cast & Crew
  24. ^ Letterboxd - Moonbase 1997 Directed by Paolo Mazzucato
  25. ^ Variety, August 28, 1998 - Scene > People News, Marion Pierce
  26. ^ Deseret Health News, November/December 2013 - Medical News, A Second Act By Nicky Vallee
  27. ^ IMDb Stack Pierce Filmography
  28. ^ IMDb Full cast and crew for Transformed
  29. ^ Puget Sound Business Journal, Aug 12, 2011 - "Lenny Wilkens draws big stars for charity" By Patti Payne
  30. ^ .Desert Sun - "Celebrity players keep Dennis James Golf Classic, gala going stronger than ever".
  31. ^ Billboard, July 22, 1978 - Page 78 Soul Sauce, Los Angeles Aretha Fete A Puzzler By JEAN WILLIAMS
  32. ^ SASAG-AFTRA, Spring 2017 - Page 58 In Memoriam honors the memory of members whose deaths were reported to SAG-AFTRA between Nov. 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017.*

External linksEdit