Peter Donat (born Pierre Collingwood Donat; January 20, 1928 – September 10, 2018) was a Canadian-American actor.
Pierre Collingwood Donat
January 20, 1928
|Died||September 10, 2018 (aged 90)|
|Education||Acadia University (BA)|
(m. 1956; div. 1972)
|Children||3, including Lucas Donat|
Pierre Collingwood Donat was born in Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada, the son of Marie (née Bardet) and Philip Ernst Donat, a landscape gardener. Richard Donat, who starred on the television show Haven, is Peter's younger brother. His uncle was Oscar winning British actor Robert Donat. Peter Donat emigrated to the United States in 1950, studied drama at Yale University, and first came to attention as a stage actor in the lead of a production of Cyrano de Bergerac. In 1961, he played a leading role in Donald Jack's stage play The Canvas Barricade, the first Canadian play performed at the Stratford Festival.
His credits include: Mission: Impossible, Banacek, The Waltons, Hawaii Five-O, Mannix, Charlie's Angels, Lou Grant, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Captains and the Kings, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, The Feather and Father Gang, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, Dallas, Quincy, M.E., Hart to Hart, Hill Street Blues, Simon & Simon, Murder, She Wrote, and the 1976 series Sara. He also starred in Cyrano de Bergerac playing the title role, in 1974 on the PBS anthology Theatre in America. He was a regular cast member of the 1980s primetime serial, Flamingo Road as Elmo Tyson, in 1993 on the series Time Trax as the antagonist Dr. Mordecai Sahmbi, and more recently had a recurring role as Bill Mulder, Agent Mulder's father, in The X-Files.
Donat also worked extensively in films. Some of his more prominent roles included The Godfather Part II (1974), The Hindenburg (1975), F.I.S.T. (1978), The China Syndrome (1979), The War of the Roses (1989), Skin Deep (1989) and The Game (1997). Donat was a prominent member of the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) in San Francisco for a number of years. He was also active in local theater, most notably playing his first singing role as Professor Higgins in the 1988 Cabrillo Stage production of My Fair Lady.
Donat was married to actress Michael Learned from 1956 until 1972, when they divorced. They had three children — Caleb, Christopher and Lucas. From 1983 until his death, he was married to his second wife, Marijke. He was a naturalized United States citizen. He also narrated the biographical film chronicling the life and work of famed mythologist Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey: A Biographical Portrait (1987) and moderated the multi-volume video series, The World of Joseph Campbell: Transformation of Myths Through Time (1989), giving insightful commentary and celebrating Campbell's brilliance as a scholar and storyteller.