Not everyone will know character actor Peter Mark Richman by name, but they will likely recognize him from at least one of his performances. One such performance was a recurring role on the classic television sitcom Three’s Company. In that show, he played the father of Suzanne Somers’ character Chrissy Snow. On top of getting to work with Suzanne Somers, Richman also got to work with other notable actresses over his long career. Some famous actresses that Richman met include Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. Join Facts Verse as we take a comprehensive look at all that Peter Mark Richman brought to the table and pay our respects to the late character actor. RIP Peter Peter Mark Richman, Three’s Company actor.
Peter Mark Richman was born in 1927, on April 16. He was born Marvin Jack Richman, and was credited for many years simply as “Mark Richman”. However, the actor eventually decided on his longer stage name. Although Richman certainly became a rich man through his numerous appearances on film and television, he wasn’t always so well off. In fact, the story of Peter Mark Richman is somewhat of a rags-to-riches story.
Richman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were Jewish, and his father was a simple contractor. Peter was always interested in acting, but his family had other plans for him. His father passed away when he was only 16, which left Peter’s older brother to be his surrogate father figure. His brother advised him that he should pursue a trade career instead of a career in the arts. Because of this, Peter went to pharmacy school and became a licensed and practicing pharmacist. This job paid the young man only $35 a week. All the while, the bright lights of Hollywood called out to the young man, and he eventually decided that it was time for him to pursue his dreams. In 1952, he abandoned his post as a pharmacist and began pursuing his dream career as an actor. In 1953, he met his wife, Helen. The two stayed married until Peter’s death nearly 70 years later.
Peter Mark Richman went on to make his debut in a feature film in 1956. He had already gotten several small roles on television, receiving several credits as a member of New York’s Actors Studio. His first feature film role was in the 1956 film Friendly Persuasion, under the direction of filmmaker William Wyler. Peter was still living in New York at the time and was finding that it was much easier to get television roles there than roles in feature films. Deciding he wanted to pursue a career in films more than television, Peter eventually decided to move out to Hollywood in 1961.
Moving out to Hollywood came along with some big breaks, as Peter was cast in the films The Murder Men and The Crimebusters that very year. In those films, Peter played the character of Nicholas Cain. He then went on to portray that character for a few years on the television program Cain’s Hundred after the popularity of those two films. Cain’s Hundred only lasted for a couple of years, airing from 1961 to 1962 on the NBC network for a total of one season, or thirty episodes. However, Peter’s career continued to live on for many years after the cancellation of the series.
Despite his ambition to be a feature film star, most of Peter Mark Richman’s credits ended up being on television. However, he found major success on television that was nothing to balk out. He appeared in minor roles in more shows than we can count. Such shows included Bonanza, Knight Rider, and The Incredible Hulk. He also had a somewhat larger role in the television show Dallas during the 80s. However, it was a recurring role in the 70s on the hit sitcom Three’s Company that most people likely remember him for. He also went on to make several more minor appearances in films, including Friday the 13th Park VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan in 1989. If you’re enjoying this video so far, consider hitting the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to Facts Verse if you’d like to be among the first to know when more content is on it’s way!
Despite oftentimes taking the backseat to other stars, Peter Mark Richman definitely had a full career. During his Hollywood career, he got the chance to meet many celebrities. Because of this, he had a lot of interesting stories to share before his passing. He made over 500 television appearances during his long career, and also made appearances in numerous feature films. On top of the television programs already mentioned, Peter got to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Twilight Zone. He also got to have some first-hand experience with many stars, including Bruce Lee, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren. Richman put all of his Hollywood tales to good use, writing them all down in his memoir. This memoir, titled I Saw a Molten White Light, was published shortly before the actor’s death in 2021 at the age of 93.
Peter Mark Richman was always fascinated by Hollywood, and was likely glad to have gotten the chance to be a fly on the wall for many a film and television production. During his feature film debut in 1956’s Friendly Persuasion, Peter got to work with Hollywood legend Gary Cooper. According to Richman, the star was an “absolute gentleman” who taught him the value of “simplicity [when it comes to] making your mark as an actor”.
Many years later, in 1971, Peter got to work with Hollywood legend Bruce Lee a few years before the kung fu legend passed away. According to Richman, Lee “taught [him] kung fu”. However, Peter was always better at old-fashioned traditional boxing. His experience with Bruce was likely not as awe-inspiring as his experience with leading ladies Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, though.
According to Richman, Loren was the “sexiest female [he had] ever [come] across”. The two of them chatted, and it was a moment that Richman would never forget. He also got to work with actress Eva Marie Saint on a film production known as The Rainmaker. HIs first brush with Audrey Hepburn came during the production of his feature film debut, Friendly Persuasion. Audrey Hepburn was close with the film’s director, William Wyler.
Despite all of Richman’s work, he will likely continue to be best known for his stint on the show Three’s Company. According to Peter, he was initially cast for a simple guest starring role on the sitcom. However, his chemistry with co-star Suzanne Somers was so great that he was inevitably brought on multiple times for a recurring role. He played her character’s father, and Somers has always spoken fondly about his performance. However, when Somers was eventually fired from the show after demanding a pay increase, there was no longer any reason for her character’s father to continue appearing. Because of this, Peter was fired, as well.
After his role on Three’s Company came to an end, Richman continued to find consistent work playing minor characters in hit television shows. He made appearances on shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation. However, as he was growing older, his true passion was always his family. With his wife, he went on to have five children. When those children got older, they produced six grandchildren for the Hollywood couple. All of his children and grandchildren went on to express some interest in the arts, whether that be in the form of theater or music.
Peter has always had some fondness for the arts outside of acting himself. When he wasn’t acting, he could generally be caught at home painting. He painted nearly every day until his death. In the 90s, he also gained some notoriety after writing some successful plays. One play, which was produced under the name 4 Faces, also went on to be adapted into a feature film. On top of writing the play, Peter also scripted the feature film adaptation. Surely, Peter Mark Richman was a man who was never wanting for creativity. Despite never quite achieving the Hollywood stardom that he yearned for, he had an incredibly successful and full life among the stars.
Peter Mark Richman certainly had an impressive resume in both film and television! Comment down below to share your favorite moment from Richman’s long career, or your favorite comedic moment between him and his on-screen daughter in Three’s Company. As always, like this video to support more content like this being made in the future, and subscribe and hit the notification bell to be among the first to know when that content is on it’s way!