Peter Frederick Weller, Ph.D. (born June 24, 1947) is an American film and stage actor, director and history lecturer who has appeared in more than 70 films and television series, including turns as the title characters in blockbuster hits RoboCop and RoboCop 2, and the cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.
Weller was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the son of Dorothy Jean (née Davidson), a homemaker, and Frederick Bradford Weller, a lawyer, federal judge, and career helicopter pilot for the United States Army. Weller had a “middle-class Catholic” upbringing. As a result of his father’s army work, Weller spent many years abroad during his childhood. His family lived in Germany for several years before eventually moving to Texas, where he attended Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio. While enrolled at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), he played trumpet in one of the campus bands. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and began his acting career after attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Weller’s stage career began in the 1970s with appearances on Broadway in Full Circle, directed by Otto Preminger, and Summer Brave, William Inge’s rewrite of his play Picnic. About this time, he became a member of the famed Actors Studio.
In a 1977 episode of the television series Lou Grant, he plays Oberster SA-Führer Donald Sterner/Stryker, a tragically disillusioned Jewish-American Neo-Nazi leader who later committed suicide off-screen with his Colt 45 near the end of the episode when his heritage was discovered.
In 1984, Weller appeared in the film Firstborn with Corey Haim, where he played the abusive boyfriend of Haim’s mother (played by Teri Garr).
Weller has also appeared in such critically acclaimed films as Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, the Oliver Stone-produced The New Age and David Cronenberg’s movie of William Burroughs’s novel Naked Lunch. He received an Academy Award nomination for his direction of the 1993 short Partners, in which he also acted. In television, he hosted the show Engineering an Empire on the History Channel.
In 1995, he appeared in Screamers, a science-fiction film based on the short story Second Variety by Philip K. Dick and directed by Christian Duguay. He also played Christopher Henderson in the fifth season of 24 and Stan Liddy in the fifth season of the Showtime original series Dexter.
On April 15, 2010, Weller guest-starred in an episode of the science fiction drama Fringe and had a guest appearance in the December 22, 2010 episode of Psych; where he played villain Yin. In 2013, Weller returned to the Star Trek franchise, with a role in the film Star Trek Into Darkness.
In 2013, he played the part of the villain in the remake of the Hookman episode of the original Hawaii Five-O. The part was originally played in 1973 by J. J. Armes. In seasons six and seven of Sons of Anarchy, he plays the ruthless ex-cop Charles Barosky, a boss at the Stockton port and has dealings with the SAMCRO motorcycle club.