The Zeljko Ivanek Hall of Fame: Peter Jacobson

10 Aug

I’d like to use this edition of the Zejlko Ivanek Hall of Fame to salute nebbishy Jewish character actor Peter Jacobson.

Born in 1965, Peter Jacobson didn’t really get a chance to play a role of consequence until getting regular cast credit in the unbelievably short-lived (no wikipedia entry) Talk To Me, a comedy about a radio station which had only three episodes before cancellation, but featured the relatively high profile talent of Beverly D’Angelo, Kyra Sedgwick and Nicole Sullivan.  After that, he worked for five episodes on the short-lived TNT series Bull, appeared in HBO’s 61* about the home run race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and guest startrd in an episode of Ed before getting his second shot as a series regular, in the Scott Foley legal-sitcom A.U.S.A., which aired on NBC and also failed quickly.  Late in Law & Order’s run (though like any good theater actor he had appeared much earlier in the series as a different character) he guest starred in a couple of episodes as eccentric but brilliant defense attorney Randy Dworkin.

His path to relative stardom was still a long ways away.  He appeared in episodes of Scrubs, CSI:Miami, and Method and Red, along with two episodes of Hope & Faith (A two-parter.)  He showed up in five episodes of In Justice, an ABC mid-season replacement starring Kyle McLaughlin, Constance Zimmer and Marisol Nichols about a team who try to free innocent people who have been put into prison and he was a major character in trippy three part SciFi miniseries The Lost Room about a room filled with objects that have weird powers.  The miniseries starred Peter Krause, Julianna Marguiles, and Elle Fanning and Jacobson portrayed Wally Jabrowski, a drifter who is familiar with the objects in the mysterious room.

Jacobson got a chance to appear in relatively successful Debra Messing miniseries The Starter Wife, where Messing plays a woman who is divorced, after several years of marriage to aHollywoodbigwig, who leaves her for a younger woman.  Jacobson plays her ex-husband, who was eventually dumped by the younger woman he left Messing for.  The miniseries was picked up as a regular series, and Jacobson’s part was re-cast.  This was of course, Jacobson had finally found a home.  Not just a home, but rather a House, as Jacobson portrayed one of the candidates for House’s new team at the beginning of the fourth season, Chris Taub.  A plastic surgeon by trade, Taub is #39 during the period when House is choosing his new team.  He eventually makes it through, chosen by Cuddy, buoyed by his willingness to challenge House.  He cheats on his wife, eventually divorces her, and is now living with Foreman.  Jacobson, though a major character since season 4 had to wait until season 7 to finally get the main cast character he so richly deserved, and will enjoy it for what will probably be the last season of House coming up.

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