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Larry Peerce (born April 19, 1930, The Bronx, New York City, New York)[1] is an American film and TV director whose work includes the theatrical feature Goodbye, Columbus, the early rock and roll concert film The Big T.N.T. Show, and One Potato, Two Potato (1964), the first U.S. movie to portray an interracial relationship between an African-American and a Caucasian.


The son of operatic tenor Jan Peerce[1][2] and talent agent Alice Peerce,[1] Larry Peerce attended the University of North Carolina.[3] He made his directing debut with One Potato, Two Potato, released in 1964 by the distributor Cinema V. The groundbreaking drama about an interracial marriage between a white divorcee (played by Barbara Barrie, who won the Best Actress award at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival for the role) and an African-American office worker (Bernie Hamilton) was the first U.S. movie to portray such an interracial relationship.

Peerce went on to direct several episodes of the Western television series Branded and the campy superhero series Batman, among other shows, before directing the early rock and roll concert film The Big T.N.T. Show, released in 1966 by American International Pictures and featuring such performers as The Byrds, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Donovan, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Ronettes and The Ike & Tina Turner Revue.

Following more TV, Peerce returned to film in 1967 with The Mystery of the Chinese Junk and, more notably, the well-received crime drama The Incident, which gave actors Martin Sheen and Tony Musante some of their earliest movie roles. He followed this with the acclaimed Goodbye, Columbus, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel. The movie earned Peerce a DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, and screenwriter Arnold Schulman an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Peerce's subsequent theatrical features included The Sporting Club A Separate Peace, Ash Wednesday, and The Other Side of the Mountain.

He made a TV movie, The Stranger Who Looks Like Me (1974) and directed several episodes of the children's TV series The Ghost Busters a.k.a. The Original Ghostbusters, after more theatrical films that did not meet success, became a frequent director of television miniseries, including Queenie (ABC, 1987), The Neon Empire (Showtime, 1988), the Jacqueline Kennedy biography A Woman Named Jackie (NBC, 1991) and John Jakes' Heaven and Hell: North and South Book III (ABC, 1994). He additionally did several more TV movies, ending with Second Honeymoon (2001), starring Roma Downey and Tim Matheson.

He directed one episode of the 1960s CBS series The Wild Wild West as "Lawrence Peerce".

Peerce was married for a time to Marilyn Hassett, who appeared in several films he directed in the mid to late 1970s.[1]




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