Peter Riegert (born April 11, 1947) is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, best known for his roles as Donald "Boone" Schoenstein in Animal House (1978), oil company executive "Mac" MacIntyre in Local Hero (1983), pickle store owner Sam Posner in Crossing Delancey (1988), and glove manufacturer Lou Levov in American Pastoral (2016). He directed the short film By Courier (2000), for which he was nominated along with producer Ericka Frederick for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
On television, Riegert had a recurring role as crooked New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman in seasons three and four of the HBO series The Sopranos (2001–2002), appeared as George Moore in the first season of the FX series Damages (2007), and portrayed Seth Green's father in the comedy series Dads (2013–2014). He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for his performance in the HBO film Barbarians at the Gate in 1993.
Riegert was born in the Bronx, the son of Lucille, a piano teacher, and Milton Riegert, a food wholesaler. Riegert grew up in Hartsdale, New York, and was raised in a non-observant Jewish household. He graduated from Ardsley High School in 1964 and later from the University at Buffalo. He worked at a number of jobs, including teaching, waiting tables, and as a social worker before settling on acting as a career.
Riegert made his Broadway debut in the musical Dance with Me. Other Broadway credits include The Old Neighborhood, An American Daughter, The Nerd, and Censored Scenes From King Kong. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Road to Nirvana, The Birthday Party, Isn't It Romantic, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and A Rosen by Any Other Name.
|1978||National Lampoon's Animal House||Donald "Boon" Schoenstein|
|1979||Chilly Scenes of Winter||Sam Magurie|
|1986||News at Eleven||Eric Ross|
|1987||The Stranger||Dr. Harris Kite|
|1988||Crossing Delancey||Sam Posner|
|1989||W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult||W Eugene Smith|
|1990||A Shock to the System||Robert (Bob) Benham|
|1991||The Object of Beauty||Lawrence ″Larry″ Oates|
|1993||Barbarians at the Gate||Peter Cohen|
|1994||The Mask||Lt. Mitch Kellaway|
|1995||The Infiltrator||Rabbi Cooper|
|1995||An Element of Truth||Sidney|
|1997||Face Down||Lieutenant Cooper (Coop)|
|1997||North Shore Fish||Porker|
|1998||The Baby Dance||Richard Luckman|
|1998||The Scandalous Me: Jacqueline Susann Story||Irving Mansfield|
|2000||Traffic||Attorney Michael Adler|
|2004||King of the Corner||Leo Spivak|
|2004||Mystery Dance||Alan Baker|
|2009||Love Conquers Paul||Mr. Feigenbaum|
|2010||The Stranger||Dr Harris Kildee|
|2011||The Hit List||Bill Grieber|
|2011||Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness||(himself)|
|2011||We Bought a Zoo||Delbert McGinty|
|2013||At Middleton||Boneyard Sims|
|2014||The Walk||Alfred Foxman|
|2016||American Pastoral||Lou Levov|
Riegert made his television debut in two episodes of M*A*S*H. He has also portrayed New Jersey State Assemblyman Ronald Zellman in The Sopranos and defense attorney Chauncey Zeirko in multiple episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He starred opposite former girlfriend Bette Midler in the television adaptation of Gypsy and was featured in the HBO drama Barbarians at the Gate (which earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special), then he starred as composer Jake Rubin in the miniseries Ellis Island, the final episode of Seinfeld as the president of NBC and the television movie Back When We Were Grownups, and he voiced the character of Max Weinstein in the controversial episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" of Family Guy. Riegert guest-starred in a Season 2 episode of Leverage as corrupt lawyer Peter Blanchard. In 2011, Riegert began a multi-episode arc on One Tree Hill as August Kellerman, Nathan's unforgiving college professor. Riegert appeared as the character George Moore in Season 1 of Damages. He also appears in a recurring role as Judge Harvey Winter in CBS' The Good Wife. He appeared in Dads as David Sachs, the father of Eli Sachs, played by Seth Green. Riegert also appeared in Seasons 3 and 4 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He made a multi-episode guest appearance in the second half of the Netflix original comedy series Disjointed.
Director and writer
Riegert made his screenwriting and directorial debuts with By Courier, based on a short story by O. Henry. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film and won him the Festival Award for Best First Feature at the Marco Island Film Festival.
Riegert also directed and co-wrote King of the Corner, a 2004 film featured at the Newport Film Festival, in which he also starred alongside Isabella Rossellini. It also featured Eric Bogosian, Dominic Chianese, Beverly D'Angelo and Rita Moreno.
Riegert narrated the audiobook of Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, which was nominated for a 2008 Audie Award in literary fiction. He also narrated the audiobook of The Voyage of the Narwhal, a mid-19th century romance with the Arctic, and also read the stories of Raymond Carver.
He was also the narrator for The First Basket, a documentary film on professional basketball's influence on Jewish culture.