22 July 1944, Hollywood, California, USA
Peter Edward Ostling
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 schoo...
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 and did a season of summer stock at the Peterborough Playhouse in New Hampshire. He then studied as a drama major at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA. More stage work followed with the acting group the South Coast Repertory Company. He made his film debut in Howard Hawks' final film, Rio Lobo (1970) (which Jason says is one of his favorites). He worked with Orson Welles on the uncompleted The Other Side of the Wind as an actor, boom operator, prop man and even cook for the cast and crew. Jason has appeared in many films for director Walter Hill; he's especially memorable as the racist redneck bartender in 48 Hrs. (1982). He has also appeared in many films for director John Carpenter: he's very engaging as the jolly Dr. Paul Leahy in Prince of Darkness (1987) and was terrific as underground guerrilla army leader Gilbert in They Live (1988). Other notable roles include a sinister government agent in Dreamscape (1984), rugged Maj. G.F. Devin in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge (1986), jerky detective Fedorchuk in Alien Nation (1988), a newspaper reporter in Seabiscuit (2003) and the U.S. president in Alien Apocalypse (2005). Jason recently had a recurring role as dissolute gambler Con Stapleton in the superbly gritty cable Western TV series Deadwood (2004). He also had a regular part as Capt. Skip Gleason on Mike Hammer, Private Eye (1997). Among the many TV shows Peter has done guest spots on are Desperate Housewives (2004), Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996), Nash Bridges (1996), Coach (1989), The Golden Girls (1985), Murder, She Wrote (1984), Married with Children (1987), Roseanne (1988), Dear John (1988), Quantum Leap (1989), Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993), B.J. and the Bear (1978), The Incredible Hulk (1978), Gunsmoke (1955) and Hawaii Five-O (1968). 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 sung in such musical stage productions as "The Music Man" (this is one of his favorite plays), "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off," "The Roar of the Greasepaint" and "Threepenny Opera" (as Mack the Knife). He's been married to his wife Eileen for 33 years. In his spare time he makes his own furniture with found, recycled wood.
[on Walter Hill] He usually knows what he wants, and I guess having been a writer and a director, he knows what to shoot. He never over-shoo...
[on Walter Hill] He usually knows what he wants, and I guess having been a writer and a director, he knows what to shoot. He never over-shoots. He doesn't give the studio the chance to cut it their own way, because he only shoots what he wants. So the stuff they've got to put together is exactly what he wants it to be. That's it. He's very smart; very, very smart. Man, his movies are clean, I think.
It's funny, but on a set there's a pecking order. There's a caste system, you know? It goes from the star down to the extra. That includes t...
It's funny, but on a set there's a pecking order. There's a caste system, you know? It goes from the star down to the extra. That includes the crew as well. I've never liked that. I've always felt that in America we're all equal. I don't care what you make, or what kind of car you drive. You're not better than me. That's the way I was raised, and that's kind of the way I am on a set. We'll be in a line and I'll have some A.D. or second-unit director saying, "No, no, Mr. Jason, you go to the front of the line for lunch." And I'll say, "Why? We all have to eat." So I just usually stand in the place wherever I'm at -- unless there's some reason for it, like they want me to finish first so I can go into make-up and get finished because I'm in the first shot. But I don't like that, "You're special." I've never liked that, and I don't like to see people being treated as though they're special. I don't think we are special. I think everybody's the same. I think we're all entitled to our space, and I like to treat everybody like that. Some people get it, and some don't.
[on Walter Hill] Walter is the boss. Walter's in charge. It's his ship, and he's the captain. He's a gentle captain, and it's his family. An...
[on Walter Hill] Walter is the boss. Walter's in charge. It's his ship, and he's the captain. He's a gentle captain, and it's his family. And he treats everyone like family. I've never seen anyone who has more respect for people than Walter does. He's got an unbelievable memory. The first time he met my wife -- I can't remember it if was at a premiere, I can't remember for sure. But I remember the second time he saw her, which was a long time later, maybe six months or a year, he immediately said, "Eileen, how are you?" He remembered her name. He's so gracious. He's just a total gentleman. But you don't cross him. You do not cross Walter. And one thing on a Walter movie, very seldom -- well, never for me -- do the lines get changed. He usually writes them himself, or rewrites them.
Peter Jason's FILMOGRAPHY
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Peter Jason'S roles
Dr. Paul Leahy