Family & Companions
A tall, gaunt, silver-haired WASPy character player of film and TV, Nicholas Pryor began his career on stage in his native Baltimore, appearing in several productions with the Drummond Players. The billed under his real name of Nicholas Probst, he went on to earn scholarships to study both at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Yale. His early TV credits included guest appearances on such anthology shows as "Omnibus" and "Kraft Television Theatre." By the time he adopted his stage name of Nicholas Pryor in the late 1950s, he had appeared on Broadway as well. For much of the 60s and early 70s, Pryor divided his time between stage and daytime television, amassing credits on several soap operas ranging from "Young Doctor Malone" to the premiere episode of "Another World" to "All My Children."
In 1975, Pryor had one of his better screen roles as Barbara Feldon's frustrated husband in Michael Ritchie's underrated gem "Smile." Since then, the actor has carved a niche in smaller character roles, generally as recessive, somewhat one-dimensional fathers or slick government officials. In the former category were his turns as Tom Cruise's duped father in the smash hit "Risky Business" (1983) and parent to coke casualty Robert Downey Jr in "Less Than Zero" (1987). More recently, Pryor was seen as the Secretary of State in "Executive Decision" and a judge in "The Chamber" (both 1996). He may also be familiar to TV viewers for his performances as straight-laced academicians on the NBC sitcom "The Bronx Zoo" (1987-88) and Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210" (in the recurring role of the college chancellor from 1993-97). More recently, he returned to his soap opera roots in the occasional role of the mentally ill father of a psychiatrist on ABC's "General Hospital" and its spin-off "Port Charles."
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made stage acting debut with the Drummond Players in Baltimore, MD in "Light Up the Sky", billed as Nicholas Probst
Received scholarship to study at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
TV debut in "Star for Tonight" (NBC)
Broadway debut in "Small War on Murray Hill"
Was a regular on the NBC daytime drama "Young Doctor Malone"
Was regular on the CBS soap "A Brighter Day"
Was understudy for the role of Nick in the Broadway production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
Film debut, "The Way We Live Now"
Assumed the role of James Daley in the Broadway production of Jason Miller's "That Championship Season"
Had featured role as Barbara Feldon's frustrated husband in "Smile"
Appeared in the ABC miniseries "Washington: Behind Closed Doors"
Played Tom Cruise's father in "Risky Business"
Cast as the father of Robert Downey Jr in "Less Than Zero"
Cast in the role of Victor Collins on both "General Hospital" and its spin-off "Port Charles"