Jun. 24th, 1947
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
Peter Weller's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2010 - William S. Burroughs: A Man Within
2010 - Once Fallen
2007 - Prey
2005 - The Hard Easy
2003 - The Order
2000 - Contaminated Man
1998 - Top of the World
1995 - Decoy
1995 - Mighty Aphrodite
1995 - Screamers
1994 - The New Age
1991 - Naked Lunch
1990 - RoboCop 2
1989 - Leviathan
1988 - Shakedown
1987 - RoboCop
1986 - A Killing Affair
1984 - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
1979 - Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
Guest TV Roles
John Frederick Paxton
Peter Weller is the youngest son of a career Army helicopter pilot. He was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin but traveled extensively as his father literally flew around the world. Before he was out of his teens, he had attended high schools in Heidelberg, Germany and San Antonio, Texas, then enrolled the University of North Texas -- attracted by the chance of playing trumpet in one of the college's celebrated jazz bands.
Music is in his family. Three generations on his mother's side were piano players and jazz is still his overriding interest. Ask him who his favorite performer in any art form is and he'll say Miles Davis (I). It was with a B.A. in Theatre and a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts that he left Texas for New York. Two weeks after graduating, he made his first appearance on Broadway as David in Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival production of David Rabe's "Sticks and Bones", a role he repeated on the London stage. While a student of legendary actress and drama coach, Uta Hagen, Weller appeared on and off Broadway in works like William Inge's "Summer Brave", Thomas Babe's "Rebel Women" and "Full Circle", one of the last plays directed by Otto Preminger.
He began garnering critical acclaim with his portrayal of Billie Wilson in "Streamers", directed by Mike Nichols (I) for Joseph Papp at Lincoln Center. He continued that success with his performances as Cliff in "The Woolgatherer" and as Nick in the first American production of David Mamet's "The Woods". During this period, he became a member of the highly respected Actor's Studio, under the aegis of Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg.
Weller's film debut was in Richard Lester (I)'s Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979). He then co-starred with Alan King (I) and Ali MacGraw in Sidney Lumet's Just Tell Me What You Want (1980) and, with Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, in Alan Parker (I)'s Shoot the Moon (1982). Other film credits include Firstborn (1984) with Teri Garr, the HBO made-for-TV Apology (1986) (TV), co-starring Lesley Ann Warren, and Of Unknown Origin (1983), the film which won Weller the Best Actor award at the Paris International Film Festival for his performance as an upwardly mobile bachelor with a serious rat problem. That same film also marked his first association with Leviathan (1989) director George P. Cosmatos.
- He teaches a literature and fine arts class at Syracuse University. He can be seen on The History Channel's new documentary on Roman engineering.
- Was chosen to play the lead character in _RoboCop (1987)_ (qv) because of his slender build. The producers feared that having a large actor would require too big a suit that would look ridiculous, and insisted on a thinner actor. Weller found he sweated so much weight off in the suit that a fan had to be built into it.
- Cousin of actor 'Fred Weller' (qv) (their fathers are brothers).
- Was once engaged to actress 'Sela Ward' (qv).
- Fan of cigar smoking, which got him into a heavy argument once in an outdoor restaurant. Though he remains defensive about his right to smoke, he has since then either put out his cigar or gone elsewhere when asked to do so.
- He was considered for the role of Nick Curran in _Basic Instinct (1992)_ (qv). 'Michael Douglas (I)' (qv) was cast instead.
- Is a serious runner who finished the New York Marathon in 1986 in three hours and forty minutes.
- In a jazz band with actor 'Jeff Goldblum' (qv) (they were also in a band together in the movie _The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)_ (qv)) - they perform at local clubs in LA.