Excellent, prolific and versatile character actor Peter Jason was born on July 22, 1944, in Hollywood, CA, and grew up in Balboa. He attended Newport Beach Elementary School, Horace Ensign Junior High and Newport Harbor High School. He originally planned on being a football player, but fell in love with acting after playing the lead in a high school production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Following his high school graduation, he attended Orange Coast Junior College, did a season of summer stock at the Peterborough Playhouse in New Hampshire and went on to study as a drama major at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After which, he continued stage work with the acting group, South Coast Repertory Company.
He made his film debut in Howard Hawks' final film, Rio Lobo, and went on to work with Orson Welles on the uncompleted The Other Side of the Wind as an actor but also as boom operator, prop man and even served as cook for the cast and crew.
Jason has appeared in many films for director Walter Hill and is especially memorable as the insensitive redneck bartender in 48 Hours. He has also worked extensively with director John Carpenter and delivered engaging performances like the jolly "Dr. Paul Leahy" in Prince of Darkness and as underground guerrilla army leader "Gilbert" in They Live. Other notable roles include rugged "Maj," a sinister government agent in Dreamscape; "G.F. Devin" in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge; jerky detective "Fedorchuk" in Alien Nation; a newspaper reporter in Seabiscuit and the U.S. president in Alien Apocalyse.
Throughout his television career, Jason has had a recurring role as dissolute gambler "Con Stapleton" in the gritty cable TV series, Deadwood; appeared regularly as "Captain Skip Gleason" on Mike Hammer, Private Eye; and guest-appeared on an extensive list of shows such as Desperate Housewives; Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Nash Bridges; Coach; The Golden Girls; Murder, She Wrote; Married... with Children; Roseanne; Dear John; Quantum Leap; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; B.J. and the Bear; The Incredible Hulk; Gunsmoke and Hawaii Five-O. In addition to his substantial film and TV show credits, Jason has acted in over 150 plays and hundreds of TV commercials. An accomplished baritone vocalist, Jason has additionally sung in musical stage productions such as "The Music Man," "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off," "The Roar of the Greasepaint" and "Threepenny Opera" (as Mack the Knife).
He has been married to his wife Eileen for 33 years, and in his spare time, makes his own furniture using found, recycled wood.