In honor of TCM and their “Summer Under the Stars” series, we launch our companion series, Summer Madness. The series will spotlight the achievements and films of one Black actor, daily throughout the month of August.
Brock Peters (born George Fisher; July 2, 1927 – August 23, 2005) was best known for playing the role of Tom Robinson in the 1962 film, To Kill a Mockingbird and for his role as “Crown” in the 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess. In later years, he also gained recognition among Star Trek fans for his portrayals of Fleet Admiral Cartwright in two of the Star Trek feature films and Joseph Sisko, father of Benjamin Sisko, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was also notable for his role as Hatcher in Soylent Green.
He initially performed under his given name, George Fisher, but was encouraged by his agent to change it to something a bit more memorable. Future African American entrepreneur Peter Brock was a childhood friend and as he had always liked the name, 1949 while touring in Europe with the opera, Porgy and Bess, Paul Robeson saw him in his career-defining role as “Crown” and purportedly declared him “a young Paul Robeson”.
Peters died in Los Angeles, California, of pancreatic cancer on August 23, 2005, at the age of 78.
Carmen Jones (’54)
Porgy and Bess (’59)
To Kill A Mockingbird (“62)
The Pawnbroker (’65)
Soylent Green (’73)