A veteran of stage, screen and television, Peter Gerety (born in 1940) first caught the acting bug while a student at Boston University, participating in productions at the Charles Playhouse. In 1965, he joined the Providence, Rhode Island, theater troupe Trinity Repertory Company, where he appeared in more than 125 productions, including classics like All the King’s Men, The Tempest, and Juno and the Paycock, and the American premiere of Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse (which swept Mr. Gerety into a larger spotlight when, in 1982, the play moved over to the Great White Way). Later, in 1992, opposite Judd Hirsch and Tony Shalhoub, he earned critical acclaim in the original Broadway cast of Conversations with My Father. He has continued to work both off and on Broadway, most recently appearing at the Lyceum Theatre in Martin McDonagh’s Tony Award-nominated play The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2006).
His face though is probably more familiar from his appearances on the big and small screens. He took his onscreen bow in a 1981 TV movie version of The House of Mirth (with Geraldine Chaplin as the tragic Lily Bart), but it was not until a decade later that his career really took off. Starting in the 1990s, he gained supporting work in films by directors such as Mike Nichols (Wolf ), James Ivory (Surviving Picasso ), Woody Allen (The Curse of the Jade Scorpion , Hollywood Ending ) and Steven Spielberg (War of the Worlds ). This skilled character actor’s latest big-screen projects include Syriana (2005), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Leatherheads (2008) and Public Enemies (2009). Despite these impressive film collaborations, Mr. Gerety remains best known for his work in television. Many viewers will recognize him as Detective Stuart Gharty, the role he played for three seasons (1996-1999) on the Barry Levinson-produced NBC police drama Homicide: Life on the Street, based on David Simon’s nonfiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. Baltimore and Mr. Simon must be his good-luck charms because Mr. Gerety struck gold again in the 2000s with the recurring character of Judge Daniel Phelan on the HBO gritty crime series The Wire. He is still very much a force in episodic television; in the 2009-2010 season alone, he had recurring guest roles on Brothers & Sisters, The Good Wife, Mercy and Rubicon.