Peter Leeds (May 30, 1917 – November 12, 1996) was an actor who appeared on television more than 8,000 times, and also had many film, Broadway, and radio appearances. The majority of his work took place in the 1950s and 1960s. Working with many well-known comedians, he became popular as a straight man to their antics.
Beyond situation comedies, Peter Leeds was also a dramatic actor, a Broadway performer, and a regular on many variety shows.
A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, Leeds received his training at the Neighborhood Playhouse. He made his film debut with a bit part in Public Enemies (1941). He received a scholarship from the John Marshall Law School, where he attended for one year. He also attended The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. Leeds was noticed by the Group Theater of New York, through which he received a scholarship and graduated.
Leeds has worked with hundreds of known actors, including Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Milton Berle, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and Johnny Carson. He was also famous for his association with Stan Freberg, playing his foil in several song parodies and appearing as a regular on the short-lived radio series The Stan Freberg Show in 1957. He had a recurring role as gambler/saloon owner Tenner Smith in the TV series Trackdown starring Robert Culp, and is also noted as playing Federal Agent LaMarr Kane in The Scarface Mob, the pilot for The Untouchables T.V. series (starring Robert Stack), a role taken over in the actual series by Chuck Hicks .
Leeds accompanied Bob Hope on 14 international USO (United Service Organizations) tours. Leeds hooked up with Bob Hope in 1954 for a television special and continued working with Hope on specials and tours from 1954 until 1991.
Leeds has also been doing voices for animated TV and film. One of them he did include The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, Hong Kong Phooey, The New Yogi Bear Show, The Dukes, Challenge of the GoBots, CBS Storybreak and The Jetsons.
During the '70s, Leeds spent five years as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and later served on the actors' union's national and local Board of Directors. In 1992, AFTRA repaid his many years of service with its highest honor, the Gold Card. Leeds later served on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
- Dragnet (1987) as Roy Grest
- The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974) as Juan/Various Characters
- With Six You Get Eggroll (1968) as Police Officer Joelson
- 8 on the Lam (1967) as Marty
- The Bob Hope Vietnam Christmas Show (1966) as Actor
- The Oscar (1966) as Actor
- Harlow as Director of 30's
- The Wheeler Dealers (1963) as Arthur Watkins
- The Scarface Mob (1962) as Lamarr Kane
- The Facts of Life (1960) as Thompson
- Trackdown (1957-1959) as Tenner Smith (recurring role)