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Peter Dennis

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Isaac Newton VOY

... as Isaac Newton

Hendricks

... as Admiral Hendricks

Peter Dennis (25 October 193318 April 2009; age 75) was an English actor who played Isaac Newton in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Death Wish". He returned to Voyager five years later to play Admiral Hendricks in the episode "Friendship One". He is perhaps best known for his one-man show, Bother! The Brain of Pooh, in which he performed selections from A.A. Milne's Winne-the-Pooh stories.

Personal life Edit

Dennis was born in Dorking, Surrey, England. When he was 19, he was drafted into the British Army, where he served for six years. [1] Afterward, he became a personal assistant to the chief executive officer of the British engineering company Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds (now known simply as GKN). He resigned from the company the day after watching his first play, a production of Look Back in Anger, and he graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) three years later. [2]

Dennis had one child from his first marriage, a son named Shane. Dennis and his first wife divorced in 1961. In 1994, his son was killed in St. Louis, Missouri, an unintended victim in a drive-by shooting. [3]

Dennis married actress Diane Mercer on 24 March 1979. [4] He died of cancer at his home in Shadow Hills, California, on 18 April 2009. [5] He was 75 years old.

Career Edit

1960s-1980s Edit

Early in his acting career, Dennis appeared on such British television shows as No Hiding Place, The Avengers, The Troubleshooters, Detective, and New Scotland Yard. Between 1973 and 1976, he played the recurring role of Sutton on the drama series Hadleigh. He made his film debut in the British comedy Confessions of a Window Cleaner in 1974. He then appeared in The Stud with Joan Collins in 1978.

In the 1980s, Dennis was seen on such British series as Grange Hill, Never the Twain, Yes Minister, Minder, and C.A.T.S. Eyes. He also appeared with Christopher Neame in the 1983 mini-series The Cleopatras and the 1988 two-part TV movie The Great Escape II: The Untold Story, the latter which was directed by Jud Taylor. In addition, Dennis played General Bernard Law Montgomery in Part Nine of the 1989 mini-series War and Remembrance. Steven Berkoff, Jeremy Kemp, and William Schallert appeared in this segment, as well.

1990s-2000s Edit

Following supporting roles in the 1990 British films A Man Called Sarge and The Rainbow Thief and an appearance in the first Prime Suspect, Dennis relocated to the United States in 1991 and began appearing on American television shows. The first was an episode of Murder, She Wrote co-starring Nick Tate, which aired a few days before his episode of Murphy Brown with Brian McNamara. He then had a two-episode recurring role on The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., working with Vaughn Armstrong, Tzi Ma, John Pyper-Ferguson, and David Youse.

Dennis has since appeared on such series as Friends, Profiler (with Edward Laurence Albert and Michael Ensign), Tracey Takes On... (with Tommy Hinkley), Seinfeld (with Jason Alexander and Tucker Smallwood), and Diagnosis Murder (with Richard Cox). He has also appeared in two series created by J.J. Abrams, Felicity (in 1999, with Amanda Foreman, Greg Grunberg, and Chris Sarandon) and Alias (in 2001, with Robert Clendenin and Keone Young).

Perhaps Dennis' most notable film role is that of Leslie Bough in the acclaimed 2004 comedy Sideways, which starred fellow Voyager guest performer Virginia Madsen. His other film credits include Hellborn (with Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr., Tracy Scoggins, and David Jean Thomas), Man in the Chair (with Christopher Plummer, Ellen Geer, George Murdock, and Tracey Walter), and Ten Inch Hero (with Alice Krige). He also voiced an ogre hunter in the hit 2001 CGI-animated film Shrek and was a voice actor on the films Eragon and Beowulf (the latter of which featured Dominic Keating).

Dennis' final acting appearance was in a 2008 episode of the NBC medical drama ER. His episode, "The High Holiday", also featured Michelle C. Bonilla, Scott Grimes, and Leland Orser.

Bother! Edit

Dennis premiered his one-man show, Bother! The Brain of Pooh, at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge on 14 October 1976. In December 1986, the show received its American premiere at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Hollywood, California, where it was honored with the Drama-Logue Award and the LA Theater Award. Dennis performed the show over 300 more times at more than 100 different venues throughout America and Europe.

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