Peter MacNicol

Peter MacNicol


4/10/1954, Dallas, Texas, USA

Birth Name

Peter MacNicol


out of 10
User Rating
159 votes


Peter is a boyish-looking actor who made a big splash on film in the early 1980s, with leading roles in the fantasy Dragonslayer and in Alan J. Pakula's acclaimed adaptation of Sophie's Choice (as the young writer 'Stingo'). After that, Peter concentrated on stage work and did not…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Peter's role as John Cage on Ally McBeal was his fifth major role as a lawyer. He also played an attorney in a guest star appearance on an episode of Tales from the Crypt.

    • In 2003 Peter starred in a sitcom pilot for CBS called Crazy Love. He and Valerie Bertinelli played a married couple who adopted a baby girl from China. William Daniels and Cloris Leachman played his parents and Jonathan Silverman played his friend. The show was not picked up by the network for the 2003-2004 season.

    • Peter is not related to Kristy McNichol. Their last names are spelled differently and Kristy has a brother named Jimmy.

    • According to Ausiello at TV Guide, Peter beat out Mark Linn-Baker for his role on 24.

    • Peter has narrated at least 20 audio books, including Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox and Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The Slave Dancer audio book won an AudioFile Earphones Award.

    • Peter's wife, Marsue, runs The Corie Williams Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for inner-city children in Los Angeles.

    • Peter has said that Maverick is his favorite television show of all time.

    • Peter received his education at the University of Minnesota and the New York University's filmmakers intensive program.

    • Peter plays the bagpipes.

    • Although Peter guest starred in the seventh episode of The Lyon's Den, the series was cancelled after the sixth episode, and American viewers never got to see him.

    • Peter starred in the short film Behind the Curtain.

    • Peter was nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for 'Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series', for Ally McBeal in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He won 'Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series', with the cast of Ally McBeal in 1999. The cast was also nominated for that award in 2000 and 2001.

    • Peter was nominated to receive a Golden Satellite Award for 'Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy or Musical' for Ally McBeal in 2003.

    • Peter won an Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series', for Ally McBeal in 2001. He was nominated for the same award in 1999 and 2000.

    • Peter played a happy camp counselor in the film, Addams Family Values, where he shared the screen with a nerdy young camper played by David Krumholtz. They also worked together on the short-lived series, The Lyon's Den when Peter guest starred in the episode "The Quantum Theory". Now they play friends (mentor and prodigy) on the TV show Numb3rs.

    • He spends his summer holidays in a small village in Northern Spain where a friend of his has a house.

    • Peter is 5'8" tall.

    • Peter has been married to Martha Sue Cumming since October 11, 1986. They have had one son together.

  • Quotes

    • Peter: (about his role in the film, "Bean") I play the person who exists to have his life destroyed by Mr. Bean. My character happens to be the curator of a heavily endowed art museum. But he's actually just the picnic to which Mr. Bean brings the ptomaine and salmonella.

    • Peter: Acting is about covering up traces of who you are and just being the character. I think it's easier to accept people in roles if you don't know a lot about them.

    • Peter: (On the movie 'Breakin' All the Rules', which he starred in) This movie is a romantic comedy but very old-fashioned in its structure, very classical and elegant. It's a throw-back feeling to movies of another era, complete with mistaken identities and smart wit. That's what drew me to this project. It was really the script.

    • Peter: (On his character on 'Numb3rs') This character is very
      mysterious. He's a little bit Yoda, a little bit [physicist] Richard Feynman, a little bit Dr. Watson. It was probably the third in a series of people [I've portrayed] who I would call a wise fool. It's appealing in that I don't know what is going on with this character. I don't understand his precise function in the story.

  • Jim from "DRAGONSLAYER"

    I cannot understand why Peter doesn't; want to be associated with the film "DRAGONSLAYER" 1981, he played a very good part in the movie, but he doesn't want it on his c v, does he think he is to good an actor to be included on this, because I think it is one of the best work he has ever done.
  • Review

    I select the classification only because I think that the show Numb3rs doesnt use him nearly enough as they should and one day I could see myself watching a new show simply because Peter is in it. I know Peter from "Numb3rs" and "24", so I will review each of his acting performances seperatly.

    Numb3rs- Its going to be the peak and highlight of his life. He plays this part to such perfection, both as a math professor and as a mentor to Charlie. So many times it is things that Peters character says that finnaly brings Charlie to the conclusion that he was looking for. Peter works wonders with the things he has to say in this show, mimicking Hugh Lauries performance in House, just with numbers in this show.

    24- Not the bets fit, but still a decent one. Most of the scenes with Peters character consulting the president I felt that he did a good job on, but the torture scenes during one part of the season I thought he did simply an average job. Numb3rs is his calling card, but 24 was a decent performance.

    Numb3rs - 10/10

    24 - 9.2 / 10moreless