Peter MacNicol Bio

(Actor, Voice Artist)

Relationship Statistics of Peter MacNicol

What is Peter MacNicol marital status ? (single, married, in relation or divorce):Married
When did Peter MacNicol get married ? (married date):, 1986
Is Peter MacNicol having any relationship affair ?: No
Is Peter MacNicol gay ?: No
Who is Peter MacNicol wife ? (name):Martha Cumming

More about the relationship

Peter MacNicol and Martha Sue Cumming were married on 11th October 1986. Marsue Cumming is the executive director of the 52nd Street Project, a theatre program for homeless children. She also runs a non-profit organization and assists inner-city children who want to pursue higher education and college scholarships.

Peter and Marsue met on a blind date, and the evening’s main diversion was ‘Password’. Marsue got him to say ‘pneumatic’. That was when Peter knew they are meant for each other.

Mr. and Mrs. MacNicol live in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California.

Who is Peter MacNicol?

Peter MacNicol is an award-winning veteran American Actor. Peter MacNicol is also renowned as a director, author, character artist, and voice over. His nick is ‘Peter Johnson’.

Peter is credited as audio voice-overs to his credit in ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Beach Music’. On audio, some of them are ‘Snowden’s Christmas, and ‘G.I.Joe’. As an actor in theatre, movies, and television, his roles include ‘Crimes of the Heart’, ‘Dragonslayer’, and ‘Mr. Bean’, ‘Ally McBeal’, and ‘Numb3rs’ among others.

Peter MacNicol- Birth Age, Early Life

Peter MacNicol was born on the 10th of April 1954 in Dallas, Texas, USA. His parents Johnson Wilbur MacNicol and Barbara Jean Gottlich-MacNicol raised Peter along with four siblings- two brothers and two sisters in Dallas, Texas. Peter is the youngest among his siblings, and one of his sisters is Becky MacNicol-Gregory.

Peter’s father John Wilbur was the local Priest in Dallas, and also the Executive Officer of a cooperative in Dallas.  Mr. MacNicol would take the young Peter on archaeological excursions during weekends and examine fossils were found in the countryside.

Peter’s mother Barbara Jean lives in Dallas, Texas.

Education, Professional Career

After High School, Peter first studied at the University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, and later enrolled at the  University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. This university offers one of the finest and the most intensive movie-making study programs. Peter completed his BFA in 1976 with a major in Theatre and Living Arts.


While studying at the University of Minnesota in 1978, he performed at the Guthrie Theatre for two seasons. At Guthrie Theatre, a talent agent from New York spotted Peter and with a little encouragement, Peter moved to Manhattan during the 1980s. Incidentally, his debut in Broadway’s ‘Crimes of the Heart’ coincided with his movie debut in 1980-81, ‘Dragonslayer’.

His first debut in the off-Broadway stage play, ‘Crimes of the Heart’ became a success after the production finally moved to Broadway. There MacNicol received his first Theatre World Award. Then with the assistance of another casting agent, Peter’s success in Broadway opened up the way for him to appear for the first reading of ‘Sophie’s Choice.

In 1987, Peter worked with the cast at the Trinity Repertory Company production in ‘All The King’s Men’. Moreover, he worked in the lead role of Shakespeare’s plays like ‘Romeo and Juliet’, and ‘Richard II’, at the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Television Career

Peter appeared in many TV Shows. He appeared as Martin in is an American live-action fairy-tale anthology television series ‘Faerie Tale Theatre’, in 1984, and then appeared as Sedgwick in HBO original movie ‘By Dawn’s Early Light’. He showed up as Bradley Grist in the 1992-93 American Sitcom ‘The Powers That Be’. His most recent TV Show is ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ in which he appears as Ishmael.

Some of Peter’s tele-movies are-

-‘Johnny Bull’

-HBO, ‘By the Dawn’s Early Light’

– Faerie Tale Theatre, ‘The Boy Who Left Home’


Television Series

On television, Peter was a regular actor in the series ‘The Powers That Be’ as John Forsythe’s press secretary. Peter appeared in the guest roles and some of his appearances are in ‘Cheers’, ‘The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd’, ‘Necessary Roughness’, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’, among others.

In 2015, Peter was Simon Sifter in the CBS series ‘CSI: Cyber’, and from 2016 and still going strong in 2019, is in the role of a political kingmaker in the HBO political comedy series ‘VEEP’. In 2019, Peter appeared as the guest-star Ishmael in the Netflix black-comedy drama ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’.

Episodic Television Director

1998, “Fools Night Out,” Ally McBeal, Fox

1998, “Making Spirits Bright,” Ally McBeal, Fox

2002 Girls Club

2002, “Chapter Forty-eight,” Boston Public, Fox

Life-Defining Television Series

The television series that really defined Peter MacNicol was ‘Numb3rs’ and ‘Ally McBeal’. The viewers of this television series couldn’t have enough of Peter MacNicol and his co-actors, especially in these prime-time Television series.

‘Numb3rs’– This prime-time series follows Robert Alan ‘Rob’ Morrow as the FBI Special Agent Don Eppes. Don hunts down unidentified subjects of complex crimes in the city of Los Angeles, along with Diane Farr-Chung as the FBI Agent Megan Reeves, Don’s brother Charlie Eppes, the mathematical wiz and prodigy as executed by David Krumholtz. Then there is their father Alan Eppes, as characterized by Judd Seymore Hirsch, Amita Ramanujan as characterized by Navi Rawat, and Peter MacNicol as Dr. Larry Fleinhardt, the physicist who theorizes the missing links in the inexplicable labyrinth of crimes.

This drama series examines how Charlie Eppes’ expert mathematical calculations solve even the most bizarre and complex crimes in Los Angeles. And despite all his mathematical conclusions, there are missing links in the sequence of the crime that just do not add up. This where Dr. Larry Fleinhardt or MacNicol’s character steps in and completes the puzzle. This, in turn, leads Agent Eppes to the unsub and the inevitable consequences.

‘Ally McBeal’- Another Television Series that defined Peter MacNicol and that got viewers seated in their living-rooms by prime-time was Fox’s ‘Ally McBeal’. It was hands down the series that most characterized the moods and ideas of the populace of the 1990s.

The entire series of ‘Ally McBeal’ is a legal-comedy and centered on hardened Boston lawyers, their cases and their lives. The main lead Ally McBeal is a tough Boston-based lawyer with her flaws and her imperfections. She believes in love and as society wants it, a husband, and a baby. None of them is forthcoming as she hears her biological clock tick-tick-g away.

The cast included among others Calista Flockhart, Jane Krakowski, Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Gil Bellows, Greg Germann, Lisa Nicole Carson, Vonda Shepard, and Peter MacNicol.

Where is the cast of the 2002 FX series ‘Ally McBeal’ in 2019?

-Calista Flockhart, aka Boston-based lawyer Ally McBeal is always on the lookout for real love. After ‘Alley McBeal’, Calista did a string of TV series like the 2006  ‘Brothers & Sisters’, the 2011 series by Lisa Kudrow, ‘Web Therapy’, and the 2015 CBS ‘Supergirl’. In 2010, Calista married Harrison Ford.

In 2004, Jane Krakowski, aka Elaine Vassal is Cage and Fish’s voluptuous office secretary and inventor of the Face Bra. Jane then went on to win the Tony Award for the Best Featured Actress for the Broadway musical ‘Nine’, and until 2015, has received five nominations for various other roles.

Peter MacNicol, aka Lawyer John Cage is a loner and tries hard to get the attention of his fellow-lawyers. Peter is the only series regular to win an Emmy for ‘Ally McBeal’, and works on television as of date.

In ‘Ally McBeal’ MacNicol found a part that defined his acting- eccentricity and that fit him like a glove. As John Cage, a.k.a. Biscuit, MacNicol plays the bagpipes, dances to the music of Barry White and succumbs to frequent scene-stopping “moments”- it means that for extended periods of time Cage takes to silently consider new legal strategy- music included mind you, even if it interrupts a matter of life-or-death trial!

His latest CBS series is, ‘CSI: Cyber’ where he stars opposite Patricia Arquette.

Portia de Rossi, aka Nelle Porter is the fiercest attorney in this mix of Boston-hardened lawyers. Portia de caught the biggest break as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on Fox’s critically acclaimed comedy series, ‘Arrested Development’ and won the Emmy more than twice. De Rossi is now married to Ellen DeGeneres.

Lucy Liu, aka Lawyer Ling Woo. Lucy was nominated for an Emmy for ‘Ally McBeal’. After its finale, she slid some but got back to her feet with ‘Chicago’, and Quentin Tarantino’s cult movie, ‘Kill Bill’. Additionally, she featured in ‘Southland’ and ‘Elementary’, as Dr. Jane Watson. She did voice-overs for the Kung Fu Panda series, which was released in 2016.

Courtney Thorne-Smith, aka Lawyer Georgia Thomas is Billy’s unpopular wife. After some non-laudable screen-presence, she made a come-back as Lyndsey Mackelroy on CBS’ ‘Two and a Half Men’ and stayed with the Emmy-winning series till its final season.

Gil Bellows, aka Billy Thomas, is the on-screen lawyer-husband of Georgia Thomas. Gil is now a producer with an Emmy under his belt for the Claire Danes-starring HBO biopic ‘Temple Grandin’.

Greg Germann, aka Richard Fish, the fetish-happy lawyer. Greg has been working steadily till date. Some of his appearances on television series are ‘How to Get Away with Murder’, ‘Once Upon a Time’, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’, and ‘In Case of Emergency’.

Lisa Nicole Carson, aka Lawyer Renee Raddick was Ally’s faithful roommate in the series. In 2012, Lisa appeared on an episode of NBC’s ‘Harry’s Law’. However, in 2015 Lisa returned home in New York City to get treatment for her bipolar disorder.

Vonda Shepard plays herself and became an overnight sensation when she sang the theme song of ‘Ally McBeal’, ‘Searchin’ My Soul’. She then released numerous albums. Today she is married to record producer Mitchell Froom. Mitchell has worked with most of the music-icons in the music industry-everyone from Pearl Jam to Sheryl Crow.

Movie Career

While working at Guthrie Theatre in 1978, Peter also worked for the movies like ‘The Pretenders’ and ‘Hamlet’ on the side, in the role of Cyrus Kinnick in the American action-thriller ‘Heat’, and as the Secretary of Defense in the science-fiction ‘Battleship’. In all, Peter has worked in more than 40 movies, more than 25 TV series, and theatre.

Peter debuted in the 1981 movie, ‘Dragonslayer’, the same time he made his Broadway debut for ‘Crimes of the Heart’. He was the lead actor Galen Bradwarden in the movie ‘Dragonslayer’, followed by ‘House-sitter’, and ‘American Blue Note’. Some of his notable movies include-

1982, as Stingo in ‘Sophie’s Choice’

1989, as Janosz Poha in ‘Ghostbusters II’

1993, as the camp organizer Gary Granger in ‘Addams Family Values’

1997, as David Langley in ‘Bean’

2012, as Rick Davis in HBO ‘Game Change’

Voice-over Career

The credits Peter received for voice-overs by BTVA is 37 Roles from 27 Titles- Popularity Rating for Peter is 1,022nd- an All Time High. He is the 2,122nd runner-up for 2019. Some voice-overs by Peter and worthy of mention are ‘Mad Hatter, Dr. Otto Octavius, Professor Ivo, Young Justice, Scooby-Doo, Star Wars Rebels, Tangled: The Series’, Snowden in the 1999 CBS animation ‘Snowden’s Christmas’, Fido in the 1999 FX animation ‘The Other Reindeer’, and as Firefly in ‘G.I. Joe: Renegades’.

These are the distinct classic-favorites that MacNicol has voiced-over, narrated, or even authored.

Credit, ‘The Slave Dancer’, author Paula Fox, Peter MacNicol, 1973

Narrator for ‘Treasure Island’, author Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1882

Performer, ‘Isaac Asimov’s Robot City, cassette, authors Isaac Asimov, Michael P. Kube-McDowell, 1988

Narrator, ‘Nemesis’, author Isaac Asimov, 1989

Narrator, ‘Imajica’, author Clive Barker, 1991

Narrator, ’Shiloh’, author Phyllis Reynolds in 1991

Narrator, ‘The Complete Shiloh Trilogy…’ author Phyllis Reynolds, other narrators are Michael Moriarty, Henry Levya, 1991

Reading, ‘Leaving Cold Sassy’, author Olive Ann Burns, 1992

Reading, ‘Beach Music’, author Pat Conroy, 1995

Reading, ‘Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Value Collection, author Phyllis Reynolds, other readers Henry Levya, Michael Moriarty, 2000

Author, ‘Beach Music’, author Pete MacNicol, 2002

Peter MacNicol is in the Video Games-

2008, as X the Eliminator in ‘Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law’

2011, as Mad Hatter in ‘Batman: Arkham City’

2013, as Mad Hatter in ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’

2014, as Mad Hatter in ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’

Peter MacNicol- The Actor

In a conversation in 1995, Peter confided to friends that as a youngster, his heart was set on becoming a paleontologist and study fossilized objects. However, mathematical calculations got in his way. Then as a child of nine years, he played the somber statue of St. Peter. Stony complexion aside, the talcum powder that was used to give him a fossil-like appearance, instead billowed on the audience-neighbors sitting in the front-pew and setting then off into peals of laughter. That was when Peter decided that acting is the way to go.

On stage, television, and movies, MacNicol prefers to personalize various characters and from time to time, his height, a diminutive 5 ft. 7 in. by Texan standards, factors one way or another. For instance, on why he was selected for the role of Galen Bradwarden in the 1981 movie ‘Dragonslayer’, Peter recalls in a perfect-Texan-imperfect-screech drawl, ‘the director wanted someone whose sleeves hung down his wrists- Well, I have no problem with that’!

In the 1982 movie ‘Sophie’s Choice’, Peter’s character is that of an over-six-feet-tall Southerner who falls in love with the character of Meryl Streep. Moreover, since Peter is only 5 ft. 7 in., he appears for the audition in full Texan regalia- tissue-paper stuffed boots and all! To sum it up- the rest, as they say, is living, movie history.

Peter is the oh-so-despicably evil and devious museum curator in ‘Ghostbusters II’. In addition, he portrays the character of the summer camp director to perfection in ‘Adam’s Family Values’.

The Ally McBeal creator-executive producer David E. Kelley initially conceived of Cage as a guest star who is materialistic to an extreme, jet-setting, without morals and a self-concerned narcissist. Nevertheless, everything changed once MacNicol got the part, he went even further. While shooting for the first episode, Peter-the-actor injected some quirks into Cage.  He pours himself a glass of water as he imagines his legal strategy, and keeps pouring, and pouring and pouring ever so loudly during the courtroom proceedings. And boy, the noise of poured water drowns the court into silence. The whole court then turns around to look at him. Consequently, as the supervising producer, Jonathan Pontell concludes, ‘indeed he brings it off’.

Many viewers recall the trouble-making government official Tom Lennox on the prime-time Fox series ‘24’- yes, that is Peter MacNicol.

In the internationally acclaimed CBS television series of 2007, ‘Numb3rs’, Peter is the crime-solving physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt. Dr. Fleinhardt is the key to the missing links in the mathematical calculations that the character Charlie Eppes overshoots time and again.


A few days after his nomination for an Emmy for the HBO comedy series ‘VEEP’, Peter was ruled ineligible for the award. The reason given is that his appearance in the guest-role exceeds the limit set by the Emmy Selection Committee. Dennis Miller and Henry Winkler are among those who along with Peter MacNicol, were found ineligible for the Emmy Award.

The good news for Peter is that in 2019, he was re-nominated in the same category but for the seventh season of ‘VEEP’.

More about ‘VEEP’- Peter is Jeff Kane in 2016 and still going strong in 2019 HBO series ‘VEEP’. Jeff Kane is the much-despised uncle of Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simmons). He is a politician who runs for Congress in an episode. In fact, he is a New Hampshire kingmaker. Whenever he gets the opportunity, Jeff does not hesitate to pull strings behind his nephew’s back.

Peter MacNicol- Awards, Presenter

Theatre Award- In 1981, Peter received the Theatre World Award for his first-ever Broadway debut on the theatre stage, ‘Crimes of the Heart’.

Nominations-Peter MacNicol is a nominee in the following categories.

1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Comedy Series

1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ensemble in a Drama Series

1994, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ensemble in a Drama Series

1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards- Comedy Series

1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ensemble in a Comedy Series

1999, Emmy- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Comedy Series

2000, Emmy, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

2000, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Ensemble in a Comedy Series

2019, Emmy, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Other Awards

1997-98, Quality Television Award, Best Supporting Actor- ‘Chicago Hope’

1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards- Winner, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

2001, Emmy- Winner, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series- ‘Ally McBeal’

Award Presenter

1999, Presenter, the 1999 Prime-time Creative Arts Emmy Awards, HBO

2000, Presenter, the 6th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT

2001, Presenter, Lifetime Presents Disney’s American Teacher Awards, Lifetime

2001, the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT

2001, Presenter, the British Comedy Awards 2001, ITV, England

Peter MacNicol- The Person

Peter is a person after his heart. This is why Peter decided to opt-out of the character of the hospital lawyer, Alan Birch when he found out that his friend David E. Kelley will not be so much involved in the day-to-day writing of the medical television drama ‘Chicago Hope’.

And for anybody who has a problem with his height, the not-so-tall-for-a-Texan, Peter has this to say- ‘… in Japan, I am considered tall, y’know!’ That’s Peter MacNicol, the self-effacing personality.

In his spare time and during rehearsals too, Peter enjoys playing the bagpipes and he dwarfs everything with the screeching of his bagpipes. As a child, Peter watched an episode of ‘Three Stooges’ and in one scene, the character Curly opens a door and sees a ghost playing the bagpipes. To sum up, Greg Germann his partner attorney in ‘Ally McBeal’ says that he is ‘inventive and idiosyncratic’ in everything he does’. Adam Arkin, a friend, co-actor and colleague from ‘Chicago Hope’ adds that ‘the boy in him is very much alive’. Adam and Peter worked together in New York Shakespeare Festival.

Then there are the yodeling tapes- ‘lets off steam, y’ know’. Peter is known to listen to this yodeling before most of his shoots.

The Better Half- Philanthropy

Peter assists wife Marsue with ‘The Corrie-Williams Scholarship Fund’, a non-profit organization that provides college scholarships for inner-city children in Los Angeles. Corie was a high school student with honors, who became the victim of a gang-related shooting that took place in a Los Angeles bus in 1997. On the same day Bill Cosby’s son was also killed.

Peter MacNicol- Net Worth

Peter’s net worth is estimated at $5 M US. His earnings accrue from acting, stage performance among others. His earnings as an actor is $75 k US and more.

Peter MacNicol- Height Weight

Peter MacNicol has black hair and brown eyes. His height is 5 Feet 7 Inch.

Peter MacNicol- Social Media

Peter MacNicol has 8.6 followers on his Twitter account. For his birthday, Peter MacNicol received a tweet that made his day. It said that Peter is very talented and is as ‘great as Amazo, X the Eliminator, Sidney Poindexter, Doc Ock, Man-Bat/ Kirk Langstrom, Chronos, Firefly, Professor Ivo, and Mad Hatter / Jervis Tetch’.

Here’s news for all- Peter ‘is’ the voice in ‘em all!

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