Peter Riegert
Riegert at the premiere of The Rose in 1979
Born (1947-04-11) April 11, 1947 (age 76)
Alma materThe State University of New York (The University at Buffalo)
Years active1975–present

Peter Riegert (/rɡɜːrt/ REE-gert;) (born April 11, 1947) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Donald "Boon" Schoenstein in Animal House (1978), oil company executive "Mac" MacIntyre in Local Hero (1983), pickle store owner Sam Posner in Crossing Delancey (1988) and Lt. Mitch Kellaway in The Mask (1994). 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 Newark Assemblyman and later State Senator 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.

Early life and education

Riegert was born on April 11, 1947, in the Bronx, New York, the son of Lucille, a piano teacher, and Milton Riegert, a food wholesaler.[1] Riegert grew up in Hartsdale, New York, and was raised in a non-observant Jewish household.[2]

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.


Riegert's film debut came in 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House. He has subsequently appeared in films such as Crossing Delancey, Local Hero, The Mask, Traffic, and We Bought a Zoo.


Riegert made his television debut in two episodes of M*A*S*H. He has also portrayed Newark Assemblyman and later New Jersey State Senator 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). He also starred as composer Jake Rubin (based on real-life composer Irving Berlin) in the 1984 miniseries Ellis Island, the final episode of Seinfeld as the president of NBC, and the television movie Back When We Were Grownups. Riegert 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 appeared 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. Riegert has a recurring role as left-wing lawyer Roger Pugh on Season 3 of the HBO series Succession.[3]

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.

Voice work

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,[4] and has 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.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1978 National Lampoon's Animal House Donald "Boon" Schoenstein
1979 Americathon McMerkin
1979 Chilly Scenes of Winter Sam
1981 National Lampoon's Movie Madness Jason Cooper
1983 Local Hero MacIntyre
1987 A Man in Love Michael Pozner
1987 The Stranger Dr. Harris Kite
1988 Crossing Delancey Sam Posner
1989 That's Adequate Adult Baby Elroy
1990 A Shock to the System Robert "Bob" Benham
1991 The Object of Beauty Lawrence "Larry" Oates
1991 Oscar Aldo
1991 The Runestone Capt. Gregory Fanducci
1992 Utz Marius Fisher
1992 Passed Away Peter Syracusa
1994 The Mask Lt. Mitch Kellaway
1995 Coldblooded Steve
1996 Pie in the Sky Dad Dunlap
1996 Infinity Mel Feynman
1998 Jerry and Tom Stanley
1998 Hi-Life Minor
2000 Passion of Mind Dr. Peters
2000 How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog Larry
2000 Traffic Attorney Michael Adler
2003 Where Are They Now?: A Delta Alumni Update Donald "Boone" Schoenstein Video short
2004 King of the Corner Leo Spivak Also writer and director
2009 Love Conquers Paul Mr. Feigenbaum
2010 The Chosen One Bob
2010 White Irish Drinkers Whitey
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 Short
2016 American Pastoral Lou Levov


Year Title Role Notes
1977 M*A*S*H Cpl. Igor Straminsky 2 episodes
1984 American Playhouse Richard M. Nixon Episodes: "Concealed Enemies", Parts I-IV
1984 Ellis Island Jacob Rubinstein 3 episodes
1985 The Twilight Zone Gus Rosenthal Episode: "The Beacon/One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty"
1986 News at Eleven Eric Ross Television film
1989 American Masters W. Eugene Smith Episode: "W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult"
1989 Trying Times Bill Episode: "The Hit List"
1992 Middle Ages Walter Cooper 5 episodes
1993 Barbarians at the Gate Peter Cohen Television film
1993 Gypsy Herbie Television film
1995 The Infiltrator Rabbi Cooper Television film
1995 Mystery Dance Alan Baker Episode #1.1
1995 An Element of Truth Sidney Wiltz Television film
1996 Law & Order Jerold Dixon Episode: "Deceit"
1997 North Shore Fish Porker Television film
1997 Face Down Lieutenant Cooper (Coop) Television film
1998 Seinfeld James Kimbrough Episode: "The Finale"
1998 The Baby Dance Richard Luckman Television film
1998 Scandalous Me: Jacqueline Susann Story Irving Mansfield Television film
2000 Sports Night Jay Rydell Episode: "The Cut Man Cometh"
2001 Bojangles Marty Forkins Television film
2001 The Beast Ted Fisher 6 episodes
2001 Bleacher Bums Decker Television film
2001–2002 The Sopranos Assemblyman Ronald Zellman 6 episodes
2003 Family Guy Max Weinstein (voice) Episode: "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein"
2004 Back When We Were Grownups Zeb Davitch Television film
2004–2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Chauncey Zeirko 7 episodes
2007 Damages George Moore / The Executive 9 episodes
2008 Cashmere Mafia Len Dinerstein Episode: "Dog Eat Dog"
2009 Leverage Peter Blanchard Episode: "The Lost Heir Job"
2009–2012 The Good Wife Judge Harvey Winter 5 episodes
2010–2011 One Tree Hill Dr. August Kellerman 6 episodes
2013–2014 Dads David Sachs 19 episodes
2015 Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Ted Episode: "Supercalifragilisticjuliefriggingandrews"
2015 Show Me a Hero Oscar Newman 6 episodes
2017–2019 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Artie Goodman 9 episodes
2018 Disjointed Walter 5 episodes
2021 Succession Roger Pugh
2022 Bull Dr. Cohen
2023 Extrapolations Ben Zucker


  1. ^ "Peter Riegert Biography (1947-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  2. ^ Fox, Michael (June 3, 2005). "Peter Reigert gives voice to 'bad Jews' in directorial debut". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. Retrieved 17 November 2019. I was aware of being Jewish and I don't mean that in a small way.
  3. ^ Drysdale, Neil (November 1, 2021). "Peter Riegert in Succession: Will Local Hero lock horns with Logan Roy?". The Press and Journal. Aberdeen. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett on Audio Download". LearnOutLoud. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ "The Production Team". The First Basket. Retrieved 15 January 2017.