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Peter Frederick Weller (Stevens Pointmarker, Wisconsinmarker, June 24, 1947) is an Americanmarker film and stage actor, director and lecturer.

He is best known to moviegoers as the eponymous character of RoboCop in the first two RoboCop movies as well as Buckaroo Banzai in the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. He received an Academy Award nomination for his direction and acting in the 1993 short Partners.


Early life

Weller was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsinmarker, the son of Dorothy, a homemaker, and Frederick Weller, a lawyer, federal judge, and former helicopter pilot for the Army who often flew President Lyndon B. Johnson. Weller had a "middle-class Catholic" upbringing. As a result of his father's army work, Weller spent many years abroad during his childhood. His family lived in Germanymarker for several years before eventually moving to Texas, where he attended Alamo Heights High School in San Antoniomarker. While enrolled at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texasmarker), he played trumpet in one of the campus bands. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, and began his acting career after graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Weller's stage career began in the 1970s with appearances on Broadway in Full Circle, directed by Otto Preminger, and Summer Brave, William Inge's rewrite of his play Picnic. About this time, he became a member of the famed Actors' Studiomarker.

He has appeared in more than 50 films and television series, including turns as the title characters in the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and blockbuster hits RoboCop and RoboCop 2. He has also appeared in such critically acclaimed movies as Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite, the Oliver Stone-produced The New Age and Naked Lunch.

In 1995, he appeared in Screamers, a science-fiction film based on the short story "Second Variety" by Philip K. Dick and directed by Christian Duguay. Duguay would later direct Weller in the TV series Engineering an Empire for the History Channel.

On television, he played the shuttle captain in the short-lived show Odyssey 5 and made guest appearances as Terran supremacist John Frederick Paxton in the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Demons" and "Terra Prime".

Weller has also directed various projects for television, including episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street, Monk, and three episodes of the aforementioned Odyssey 5. He directed a 1997 adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Gold Coast starring David Caruso and Marg Helgenberger after previously starring in a version of Leonard's thriller Cat Chaser.

Weller is a contributor to the History Channel in several productions, credited as "Peter Weller, Syracuse Universitymarker," where he is an adjunct faculty member. He is a graduate student in art history at UCLAmarker, focusing on the Italian renaissance. Weller also hosts the series Engineering an Empire for the network.

In 2006, Weller joined the cast of 24 as terrorist collaborator Christopher Henderson. Weller received a "cheer" in TV Guide's "Cheers & Jeers" section for his performance. In December 2006, Weller starred as architect Frank Lloyd Wright at Chicago's Goodman Theatremarker in Frank's Home, a new play by Richard Nelson.

Personal life

Weller is a fan of Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, who directed him in Beyond the Clouds. In an interview in Cigar Aficionado magazine, he was quoted as saying:
"There is no director living except maybe Kurosawa, Bergman, or Antonioni that I would fall down and do anything for.
I met Antonioni three years ago in Taorminamarker at a film festival.
I introduced myself and told him that I adored his movies, his contributions to film, because he was the first guy who really started making films about the reality of the vacuity between people, the difficulty in traversing this space between lovers in modern day... and he never gives you an answer, Antonioni - that's the beautiful thing."

In 2004, Weller completed a Master's degree in Roman and Renaissance Art at Syracuse Universitymarker and occasionally teaches courses in ancient history at the university. He was a commenter on the History Channel's documentary, Rome: Engineering an Empire. Weller is currently finishing a Ph.D. at UCLAmarker, in Italian Renaissance art history.

Weller is a cousin of In Plain Sight actor Fred Weller.

Filmography as actor

Award nominations


  1. Peter Weller Biography (1947-)
  2. Cigar Aficionado | People Profile | Peter Weller
  3. An interview with Peter Weller

External links

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