Peter Mark Richman has died at the age of 93. The actor, who was best known for his recurring roles on Dynasty and Three’s Company, passed away the morning of Thursday, January 14th at his home in Woodland Hills, California, People reported on Friday. The cause of death was not released, but a rep told People he died of natural causes.
Richman was a prolific actor. His IMDB page lists over 150 acting credits, many of which were recurring roles on major television shows. He was especially active on the small screen in the 1980s and 1990s. He had recurring roles on Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210 and Defenders of Earth. Though his acting career slowed down in the 2000s and 2010s, he was still acting up until 2016.
A Loss for the ‘Star Trek’ Family
We are saddened to learn of another loss in the #StarTrek Family. #RIP Peter Mark Richman, who played Ralph Offenhouse in the TNG episode "The Neutral Zone."
TrekMovie extends our condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/jQhD2iZ5sX
— TrekMovie.com (@TrekMovie) January 15, 2021
Star Trek fans may recognize Richman from his appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He appeared in episode 25 of the very first season of the show, entitled “The Neutral Zone.” He played Ralph Offenhouse, one of the humans who was discovered cryogenically frozen on an ancient Earth space vessel.
His character, an investment banker, had paid to be cryogenically frozen after his death in the hope that he’d be revived to live a full life in the future. The character, who was more concerned about his financial investments on Earth than anything else, was a pointed commentary on the capitalism that the Trek universe had left behind.
#RIP to one of #StarTrekTNG's more memorable Season 1 guest stars, Peter Mark Richman — the wealth-obsessed Ralph Offenhouse, revived from cryo-stasis after 300 years. ("The Neutral Zone")https://t.co/o1Cfe8s5Av#StarTrek pic.twitter.com/MoOvc524RY
— TrekCore.com 🖖 (@TrekCore) January 15, 2021
A True Renaissance Man
In addition to being an actor on the small and silver screens, Richman was also a well-known stage actor, The Associated Press reported on Friday. He appeared in several major stage productions including Edward Albee’s “A Zoo Story” and the Broadway productions of “Masquerade” and “A Hatful of Rain.”
He was also a writer. He penned a few plays, his autobiography, a few novels and a collection of short stories. One of his plays, “A Medal for Murray,” became a hit in Israel after an Israeli actress saw a production of it in Los Angeles, Richman told The News Sentinel in 2014. He even traveled to Tel Aviv to see a production in Hebrew.
Richman wasn’t just a master of the verbal arts though. He was also an incredible painter. He told The News Sentinel that he wasn’t just a “celebrity artist.” He painted for over eight decades, mostly in oils.
According to his website, he was a student of art from a young age. He began with sketching and drawing but found that his true passion was oil painting, which he picked up around the age of 12. His work focused on portraits and the human figure. His work was featured in more than a dozen exhibitions, mostly in California.
Life Before Entertainment
Though Richman always wanted to be an actor, that wasn’t the career path laid out for him when he was a teenager. He told The News Sentinel that he started his professional life as a pharmacist. His older brother, who became a father figure to them after their father died when he was a teenager, was a pharmacist. Richman worked with his brother at the pharmacy while he was in high school.
Though he wasn’t passionate about pharmacology, he went to school to pursue the degrees and certifications he’d need. To his surprise, he graduated and became a licensed pharmacist.
Love Led Him to Acting
However, his love of acting led him to the love of his life. Once that happened, he couldn’t go back to his life as a pharmacist. In an interview with Fox News in 2018, Richman said that he met his wife, Theodora Landess, while they were both in a summer acting program.
As he put it on his website, “She was leading lady and he was leading man and thus it has forever remained.”
They were married in 1953. His first role on Broadway came in the same year when he played Larrence Corger in “End as a Man.”
The two were married until his death, a 67-year long union. They had five children together, almost all of whom ended up following their parents into the entertainment industry. Two of his children are musicians and composers, two are actors, and the lone non-performer of the family sells restaurant cookware.
Richman is survived by all five of his children, his six grandchildren, and his wife.
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