About the Artist

Peter Van Norden

  • Peter is a native New Yorker whose feature film credits include The Accused (as defense attorney “Ted Paulsen” opposite Academy Award winner Jodie Foster), The Naked Gun 2 1/2(as White House Chief-of-Staff, “John Sununu”), Police Academy 2 (as Steve Guttenberg's inept partner, “Vinnie Schtulman”), An Innocent Man (as Tom Selleck's lawyer), as the lead in Don’t Call Me Frankie at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, Love Hurts (with Jeff Daniels), The Best of Times (with Robin Williams and Kurt Russell), Hard to Hold (with Rick Springfield), Roadhouse 66 (with Willem Dafoe and Judge Reinhold), The Rosary Murders (with Donald Sutherland), West Virginia Stories, Hunky Dory, and the 1988 Academy Award winning short film Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall.

  • On television, he was seen as “Ralph Brentner,” one of the leads in the Stephen King 8-hour mini-series, The Stand. Among his MANY other TV credits are recurring roles on L.A. Law,Murder, She Wrote and LifeGoes On, and appearances on Without A Trace, ER, Caroline in the City, Nash Bridges, In the Heat of the Night, Matlock, The Client, Tales From the Crypt, Wings, Hill St. Blues, Cheers, St. Elsewhere,Newhart, Family Ties, Three's a Crowd,Benson, Double Switch (Disney Sunday night movie) and as “Pierre Salinger” in the mini-series Blood Feud.

  • In N.Y., he appeared in five Broadway shows: Saint Joan (with Lynn Redgrave), The Inspector General, and Romeo and Julietat Circle-in-the-Square; Macbeth at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre; and as the evil “Anthony Anstey” opposite Donny Osmond in George M. Cohan's Little Johnny Jones at the Alvin Theatre (also at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in L.A., and on Showtime TV).

  • Off-Broadway in N.Y., he most recently appeared as 'Henry Kissinger' in Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers(N.Y. Theatre Workshop). He also played the “First Gravedigger” opposite Kevin Kline in Hamlet, at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival/ Public Theatre. Other appearances include Jungle of Cities with Al Pacino, the N.Y. Shakespeare Festival productions of Henry V (with Meryl Streep), and Hamlet (with Sam Waterston) in Central Park, and the original musical, Shakespeare's Cabaret at The Colonnades Theatre Co.

  • In L.A., Peter most recently appeared as 'Roote' in Harold Pinter's The Hothouse for the Antaeus Thr. Co., where he is a long-time member. At The Rubicon Thr. Co. in Ventura he has appeared in lead roles in Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, in Ronald Harwood's Taking Sides, and as 'Ebeneezer Scrooge' for three years in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Other LA appearances include the 'guest second actor' in Tim Crouch's acclaimed play, An Oak Tree (Odyssey Thr.). The Blank Thr. Co.'s Loot by Joe Orteon (for which he won the very first Backstage West Garland Award for outstanding performance as “Inspector Truscott”) For The Blank Thr. he also appeared in The Wild Party, The Fantastiks (Ovation Award, best musical), as “John Barrymore” in Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood (at the Laguna Playhouse), The Cradle Will Rockand numerous appearances in their Young Playwrights’s Festival. He has garnered Drama-Logue Awards for his performances as “Oscar Wilde” in the one-man-show, Wilde...and Wonderful, as "Archie" in William Inge's The Last Pad at the Friends and Artists Theatre, as "Jackie" in Cuba and His Teddy Bear at the Callboard Theatre, and as “Henry Kissinger” in Nixon’s Nixon at San Jose Rep. He also appeared in the Ovation Award winning musical Dinah Was at both the Coast Playhouse and at ITC in Long Beach (where he was nominated for an Ovation Award as best featured actor in a musical), and as the title role of Eliot Rosewater in Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater at the Matrix Theatre. As a member of the Antaeus Co., he has appeared as 'The Lawyer' in the musical version of "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (part of the show entitled American Tales), as both 'Duncan' and 'The Porter' in Macbeth,  in Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck (Ivy Substation) in David Ives The Liar, and in several of their Summer Classics/Fest. Other L.A. appearances include the musicals The Wasps (the inaugural production at the Getty Villa and then again at The Lost Colony Thr.), and Tug of War (also at the Getty Villa), with the L.A. Philharmonic at Disney Hall in First Night: Mahler’s First Symphony, the Mark Taper Forum Spring Repertory season (as “Pompey” in Measure for Measure, and in Tom Stoppard’s Undiscovered Country), Jailbirds on Broadway at the Tiffany Theatre (as the tough-singing "female" prisoner, “Maude”), the LATC production of Chekhov's The Seagull, and the Catalina Production of the musical The Wrong Box.

  • Regionally, Peter has had the privilege of appearing as the first American actor in the title role of Mike Bartlett's King Charles III at Arizona Thr. Co., where he also appeared in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys and in Stephen Dietz's Inventing Van Gogh. At San Jose Rep. he appeared as 'Henry Kissinger' in Nixon’s Nixon (also at Seattle Rep.),Groundswell, Moonlight and Magnolias (also at Seattle’s Intiman Thr.) Major Barbara (as “Andrew Undershaft” – winning the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for Outstanding Male Performance), The Odd Couple, Art, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, The Matchmaker, and the musical Enter the Guardsman. He performed in The Magic Fire at the Gurthrie Thr., Berkeley Rep. and The Old Globe Thr. in San Diego (directed by Jack O’Brien), and then as the title character in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (directed by Dan Sullivan) and Love’s Labor’s Lost (directed by Roger Rees) also at The Old Globe. He has also appeared at Baltimore’s Center Stage (where he performed the role of “John Tarleton” in Shaw’s Misalliance, directed by Irene Lewis), at Berkeley Rep. (Menocchio), and at the San Diego Rep., where he played the role of “Scrooge” for two years in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, appeared as “The Judge” in David Mamet’s Romance, as “Kent” in King Lear, and as the title character in the Flying Karamazov Brothers version of Don Quixote

  • He recently voiced all the characters in the audio book version of John Updike's The Maple Stories, for BBC America. 

  • Peter is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Colgate University, and studied with Sanford Meisner, William Esper, Richard Boone, and Peter Gennaro at the Neighborhood Playhouse in N.Y.C. His favorite role is that of husband to his lovely and amazing wife, Wendy (now retired science teacher extraordinaire at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City), and their longest-running production to date is their son, Robert (currently working in the film industry in L.A.).