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Anthony Zerbe
Anthony Zerbe in trailer for The Laughing Policeman (1973)
Anthony Jared Zerbe

(1936-05-20) May 20, 1936 (age 87)
Alma mater Pomona College
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
Arnette Jens
(m. 1962)
Children 2

Anthony Jared Zerbe (born May 20, 1936) is an American actor. His notable film roles include the post-apocalyptic cult leader Matthias in The Omega Man, a 1971 film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel, I Am Legend; as an Irish Catholic coal miner and one of the Molly Maguires in the 1970 film The Molly Maguires; as a corrupt gambler in Farewell, My Lovely; as the leper colony chief Toussaint in the 1973 historical drama prison film Papillon; as Abner Devereaux in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park; as villain Milton Krest in the James Bond film Licence to Kill; Rosie in The Turning Point; Roger Stuart in The Dead Zone; Admiral Dougherty in Star Trek: Insurrection; and Councillor Hamann in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Life and career

Zerbe was born in Long Beach, California, the son of Catherine (née Scurlock) and Arthur LeVan Zerbe. He went to Newport Harbor High School. He attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, graduating in 1958. His parents were also alumni of Pomona College. He served in the United States Air Force from 1959 to 1961.

Zerbe's interest in acting was kindled by stage productions when he was 17. He studied at the Stella Adler Studio in New York City. He made his New York City stage debut at the Greenwich Mews Theatre on October 15, 1961 with The Cave Dwellers. On television, he has played guest roles on such series as Naked City, The Virginian, Kung Fu (2 episodes), The Big Valley, Route 66, The Wild Wild West, Twelve O'Clock High, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible (5 episodes), Gunsmoke, Hawaii Five-O, Mannix (4 episodes), It Takes a Thief, The Chisholms, Ironside, The F.B.I., The Rookies, The Rockford Files, Dynasty, and Columbo, among others.

Zerbe had a starring role in The Young Riders. He co-starred on Harry O from the second half of the first season through the series' conclusion at the end of the second season as Lieutenant Trench, known for his stentorian baritone, alternately heard yelling for his underling, Sergeant Roberts, or, at a lower decibel, horse-trading for information with the title character, P.I. Harry Orwell, played by David Janssen. He was seen as Pontius Pilate in the miniseries A.D. and as General Grant in North and South: Book II. He appeared in many episodes of the mini-series Centennial, in 1978. In 2013, he played Senator Horton Mitchell in the black comedy/crime film American Hustle. He was Mr. Crumwald in the 2014 Hungarian-American film, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.

Zerbe is the former artistic director of Reflections, A New Plays Festival at the Geva Theatre in Rochester, New York, and toured the United States, in 1981, with Behind the Broken Words, a performance of contemporary poetry, comedy, and dramatic works with fellow actor Roscoe Lee Browne.

In 1976, Zerbe won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Lieutenant K.C. Trench in the private detective series Harry O. In 1981, he played eldest brother Benjamin Hubbard in a Broadway revival of The Little Foxes.

Personal life

Zerbe has been married to Arnette Jens (sister of actress Salome Jens), since October 7, 1962; the couple have two children.

Selected filmography

  • 1967 Cool Hand Luke as "Dog Boy"
  • 1967 Will Penny as "Dutchy"
  • 1970 The Molly Maguires as Dougherty
  • 1970 The Liberation of L.B. Jones as Willie Joe Worth
  • 1970 They Call Me Mister Tibbs! as Rice Weedon
  • 1971 The Omega Man as Jonathan Matthias
  • 1972 The Hound of the Baskervilles (TV Movie) as Dr. John Mortimer
  • 1972 The Strange Vengeance of Rosalie as Fry
  • 1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean as The Hustler
  • 1973 Papillon as Toussaint
  • 1973 She Lives! (TV Movie) as "Dr. W"
  • 1973 Carola (TV Movie) as Campan
  • 1973 The Laughing Policeman as Steiner
  • 1974 The Parallax View as Professor Nelson Schwartzkopf (uncredited)
  • 1975 Farewell, My Lovely as Laird Brunette
  • 1975 Rooster Cogburn as "Breed"
  • 1977 The Turning Point as Rosie
  • 1978 Child of Glass (TV movie)
  • 1978 Who'll Stop the Rain as Antheil
  • 1978 Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park as Abner Devereaux
  • 1980 Attica (TV Movie) as William Kunstler
  • 1980 The First Deadly Sin as Captain Broughton
  • 1981 Soggy Bottom, U.S.A. as Morgan
  • 1983 Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. as Justin Sepheran
  • 1983 The Dead Zone as Roger Stuart
  • 1986 Off Beat as Mr. Wareham
  • 1986 Opposing Force as Becker
  • 1987 P.I. Private Investigations as Charles Bradley, Joey's Father
  • 1987 Steel Dawn as Damnil
  • 1989 Listen to Me as Senator McKellar
  • 1989 See No Evil, Hear No Evil as Sutherland
  • 1989 Licence to Kill as Milton Krest
  • 1997 Touch as Father Donahue
  • 1998 Star Trek: Insurrection as Admiral Matthew Dougherty
  • 1999 True Crime as Henry Lowenstein
  • 2003 Behind the Broken Words
  • 2003 The Matrix Reloaded as Councillor Hamann
  • 2003 The Matrix Revolutions as Councillor Hamann
  • 2007 Veritas, Prince of Truth as Porterfield
  • 2013 American Hustle as Senator Horton Mitchell
  • 2014 Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks as Mr. Crumwald
  • 2016 The Investigation as Ash


  • Naked City (TV series) (1963) – Phil Karshow
  • The Big Valley (TV series) (1965) - S1 Ep 13 - "The Guilt of Matt Bentall"
  • The Wild Wild West (1967) – Deke Montgomery
  • The Virginian (1968) – Jake Powell
  • Gunsmoke (3 episodes, 1968–1973) – Talbot / Heraclio Cantrell and Father Hernando Cantrell / Nick Skouras
  • Mission: Impossible: "The Photographer" (1967) – David Redding
  • Mission: Impossible: "Live Bait" (1969) – Colonel Helmut Kellerman
  • Mission: Impossible: "The Amnesiac" (1969) – Col. Alex Vorda
  • Bonanza: "A Ride in the Sun" (1969) – John Spain
  • Mannix: "Death in a Minor Key" (1969) – Chief Walt Finley
  • Mission: Impossible: "The Amateur" (1970) – Eric Schilling
  • Mission: Impossible: "The Connection" (1971) – Reece Dolan
  • Mannix: "Cry Silence" (1972) – James Conway
  • Cannon (1972, 1973) – three episodes
  • The Streets of San Francisco (1973) – Eddie Whitney
  • Kung Fu (1973 and 1974) – Rafe / Paul Klempt
  • Hawaii Five-O (1974) S6/Ep22 – Cord McKenzie in "Mother's Deadly Helper"
  • Harry O (1975–1976) Season 1 (after episode 14), Season 2 – Lt. KC Trench, 30 episodes
  • Once an Eagle (1976) – Dave Shifkin
  • How the West Was Won (1976–1977) – Martin Grey / Provost Marshal Captain Martin Grey
  • The Red Hand Gang (1977)
  • The Rockford Files: "The Gang at Don's Drive-In" (1978) – Jack Skowron
  • Centennial (1978) – Mervin Wendell
  • Little House on the Prairie "The Wild Boy" (1982) - Dr. Joshua McQueen
  • George Washington (1984) – General St. Pierre
  • A.D. (miniseries) (1985) – Pontius Pilate
  • Highway to Heaven (1985) – Jabez Stone in "The Devil and Jonathan Smith"
  • Dream West (1986) – Bill Williams
  • One Police Plaza (1986)
  • North and South, Book II (1986) – Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
  • The Equalizer: "Memories of Manon" (1987) – Phillipe Marcel
  • Baja Oklahoma (1988) – Ole Jeemy Williams
  • Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988) – Livanos
  • Columbo: "Columbo Goes to the Guillotine" (1989) – Max Dyson
  • The Young Riders (1989–1992) – Teaspoon Hunter
  • Murder, She Wrote: "Murder of the Month Club" (1994) – Matt Matthews
  • Tales from the Crypt: "Revenge is the Nuts" (1994) - Arnie Grunwald
  • Walker Texas Ranger: "Break In" (1996) – Joey Galloway
  • Asteroid (1997) – Dr. Charles Napier
  • Frasier: "RDWRER" (2000) - Clifford
  • Judging Amy: "Accountability" (2004) – Judge Henry Sobel

See also

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