Peter Bonerz

Peter Bonerz Headshot

Actor • Director

Birth Date: August 6, 1938

Age: 85 years old

Birth Place: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

A beak-nosed comic actor with an improvisational background, Peter Bonerz went from playing Jerry the dentist pal on "The Bob Newhart Show" (CBS, 1972-78) to directing episodes of the series and then developed into one of the more prolific sitcom directors of the 1980s and 90s.

Bonerz first acted on stage in a production of "Agamemnon" at Columbia University in 1961, then made his Off-Broadway debut doing an improvisational character in "The Premise" (1962). He left New York and between 1963 and 1969 appeared with "The Committee," a revered San Francisco improv troupe.

When he returned to Manhattan, he made his Broadway debut in Paul Sills' "Story Theatre" (1970), with a cast which also included Paul Sand and Valerie Harper. (It was also adapted as a short-lived syndicated series in 1971.) By this time, Bonerz had already broken into TV--appearing on an episode of "The Addams Family" (ABC, 1964).

Moving to Los Angeles permanently in the early 1970s, Bonerz was cast as Jerry Robinson, the children's dentist on "The Bob Newhart Show." While performing on the show, Bonerz was also given the chance to direct and, as the series continued, he became one of its primary directors.

When the series ended, he began concentrating more on directing and acted less. In 1978, he directed the handful of produced episodes of "Apple Pie" (ABC), a short-lived Rue McClanahan vehicle, and, in 1979, helmed the first season of "Archie Bunker's Place" (CBS). From 1981-83, Bonerz did double duty, directing the ABC series version of "9 to 5" and also playing Franklin Hart Jr. (the role originated by Dabney Coleman in film version), but he did not stay with the series when it went into first-run syndication.

Instead, he directed the one-camera film show "Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs" (CBS, 1984). He then moved on to "It's Your Move" (NBC, 1984-85), a one-season vehicle for Jason Bateman. From 1985-86, Bonerz did "Foley Square" for CBS, then went on to "Alf" (NBC, 1987-89). He was the primary director on "My Sister Sam" (CBS, 1987-88), which featured Pam Dawber as a single woman who has to take in her much younger sister.

In 1988, he moved on to "Murphy Brown," winning a DGA Award for his efforts. In 1987, Bonerz directed the pilot for "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," which evolved into the long-running NBC Saturday morning franchise, "Saved By the Bell."

More recently, Bonerz directed the pilot for "Mr Rhodes," the 1996 NBC series about an unconventional English teacher. While Bonerz has directed one TV-movie, "Sharing Richard" (CBS, 1988) about a man (Ed Marinaro) with multiple girlfriends, he has acted in several longforms, beginning with "How to Break Up a Happy Divorce" (NBC, 1976).

In 1978, he played the cunning Girard in the syndicated miniseries "The Bastard." Bonerz first acted on the big screen as Perry, an actor, in "Funnyman," a 1967 independent feature he also co-wrote. In 1969, he was Gus the cameraman in Haskell Wexler's now famous "Medium Cool" and he played a featured role in Mike Nichols' "Catch 22" (1970).

Bonerz was in the ensemble cast of "Serial" (1980) and gave himself a small part and made his feature film directorial debut with "Nobody's Perfekt" (1981), which flopped with critics and at the box office. He took another stab at features in 1989 with "Police Academy 6: City Under Siege." He returned to series work playing the patriarch of the family featuring the titular "Three Sisters" in that NBC 2001 sitcom.

Credits

Viewer Direction Advised

Actor
Movie
2018

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond - Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton

Actor
Movie
2017

Retired at 35Stream

Guest Star
Series
2011

$#*! My Dad Says

Director
Series
2010
0%

Melissa & JoeyStream

Guest Star
Uncle Bert
Series
2010

Parks and RecreationStream

Guest Star
Series
2009
93%

My Big Fat Greek LifeStream

Director
Series
2003
0%

Good Morning, Miami

Director
Show
2002

What I Like About YouStream

Director
Series
2002

Kim PossibleStream

Guest Voice
Series
2002

The Fighting Fitzgeralds

Director
Show
2001

Three Sisters

Actor
George Bernstein-Flynn
Show
2001

Movie Stars

Director
Show
1999

Man on the MoonStream

Actor
Ed. Weinberger - Taxi Producer
Movie
1999
64%

Maggie Winters

Director
Show
1998

The Hughleys

Director
Series
1998

George & Leo

Guest Star
Show
1997

Soul Man

Director
Show
1997

Just Shoot MeStream

Director
Series
1997

NewsRadioStream

Director
Series
1995
95%

FriendsStream

Guest Star
Theater Patron
Series
1994
78%

Home ImprovementStream

Director
Series
1991

Home ImprovementStream

Guest Star
Series
1991

DinosaursStream

Guest Voice
Insurance agent
Series
1991
91%

1st & Ten: In Your Face

Director
Show
1990

WingsStream

Director
Series
1990

Doctor Doctor

Director
Series
1989

Dad's a Dog

Actor
Movie
1989

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege

Director
Movie
1989

Murphy Brown

Director
Series
1988

Richard pour trois

Director
Movie
1988

Sharing Richard

Director
Movie
1988

My Sister Sam

Director
Series
1986

ALFStream

Director
Series
1986

Circle of Violence: A Family Drama

Actor
Pete Benfield
Movie
1986

L'Engrenage de la violence

Actor
Movie
1986

The Recovery Room

Director
Show
1985

1st & Ten

Director
Series
1984

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Calhoun 'Cal' Fletcher
Series
1984

E/R

Director
Show
1984

Your Place or Mine

Actor
Phil
Movie
1983

Nine to Five

Actor
Franklin Hart
Series
1982

Nobody's Perfekt

Actor
Randall Kendall
Movie
1981

Nobody's Perfekt

Director
Movie
1981

Serial

Actor
Dr. Leonard Miller
Movie
1980

Password PlusStream

Guest
Game Show
1979

Good Heavens

Director
Show
1976

Good Heavens

Guest Star
Show
1976

How to Break Up a Happy Divorce

Actor
Carter Dowling
Movie
1976

The Bob Newhart ShowStream

Actor
Dr. Jerome "Jerry" Robinson
Series
1972

The Bob Newhart ShowStream

Director
Series
1972

Sanford & SonStream

Guest Star
Series
1972

McMillan & Wife

Guest Star
George Harvard
Series
1971

Jennifer en Mi Mente

Actor
Movie
1971

Jennifer on My Mind

Actor
Sergei
Movie
1971

The Mary Tyler Moore ShowStream

Director
Series
1970

Catch-22Stream

Actor
Capt. J.S. McWatt
Movie
1970
81%

The Governor & J.J.

Guest Star
Officer Hubble
Show
1969

Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?

Actor
Mr. Bentley
Movie
1969

Medium Cool

Actor
Gus
Movie
1969

The Committee

Actor
Movie
1969

Funnyman

Actor
Perry
Movie
1967

Funnyman

Screenwriter
Movie
1967

That GirlStream

Guest Star
Series
1966

The Pirates of Flounder Bay

Actor
Chips
Show
1966

The Pirates of Flounder Bay

Director
Show
1966

The Addams FamilyStream

Guest Star
Mr. Boswell
Series
1964
100%