Peter Brown, who had starring roles in two television westerns in the 1950s and ’60s and later acted in soap operas, has died on Monday in Phoenix. He was 80.
The cause was Parkinson’s disease, his family said, reported New York Times.
Brown played Deputy Johnny McKay on “Lawman,” which was seen on ABC from 1958 until 1962. His character was the wide-eyed but tough sidekick of Marshal Dan Troop, played by John Russell, tasked with bringing order to Laramie, Wyo.
Brown later starred as Chad Cooper, a Texas Ranger, in the 1965-67 NBC series “Laredo.”
He also appeared in films, including “Darby’s Rangers,” “Merrill’s Marauders,” “Summer Magic,” “Ride the Wild Surf” and “Foxy Brown.”
As television westerns fell out of favor, Brown found success on soap operas. He played Dr. Greg Peters on “Days of Our Lives” from 1972 to 1978 and was also seen on “Loving” in 1983, “The Young and the Restless” from 1989 to 1991, and “The Bold and the Beautiful” from 1991 to 1992.
He was born Pierre Lind de Lappe in New York City on Oct. 5, 1935, and his name was changed when his mother remarried.
He moved with his family to the West Coast when he was young.
Brown said that he learned his craft from his mother, Mina Reaume, a stage and radio actress, and learned from Russell how to act onscreen.
He was stationed in Alaska with the Army in the mid-1950s and enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, when he left the service. He told his family that his first break in the entertainment field came after he met a studio executive while working as a gas station attendant in Los Angeles.
Brown’s last acting credit came in 2005 when he returned to the western genre in the movie “Hell to Pay,” but his family said he continued to make appearances at collectors’ shows and western festivals.
He is survived by his fifth wife, Kerstin Kern; his daughter, Christie McBride; his sons, Matthew and Joshua; his brothers, Philip, Michael and Paul; and three grandchildren.