For Peter Onorati: With Much Respect and Appreciation

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Peter Onorati knocked the ball out of the park in his role as Jeff Mumford in SWAT!

For Peter Onorati: With Much Respect and Appreciation

By Richard James Mabey Jr.

Peter Onorati’s role as Jeff Mumford in the new CBS television show, SWAT, was electric, high-energy and incredibly intense. Once again, Peter brings his trademark controlled anger and intense energy to a network television series. Peter’s vital acting skills sizzle and electrify in this new role.

There is something very unique in Peter’s approach to acting. In pantomime, without Peter even delivering a line, the television viewers can sense what Peter is thinking, they can feel Peter’s frustration and anger. To say that this energy flows is an understatement. It is like saying that the water coming down Niagara Falls flows downward. When, in reality, we all know that the water dropping down from Niagara Falls ferociously roars down the cliff side.

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Peter Onorati uses every muscle in his face and neck to bring intensity and controlled anger to his character in the new television drama, SWAT.

Peter seems to use every muscle in his face to convey the emotions that he is feeling. And, in his role of Jeff Mumford, Peter’s acting skills seem to jump out from the viewer’s television screen. Peter’s intensity in this role seems to shoot out from the pores in his face. With wrinkled forehead, clenched jaw muscles, tightened neck muscles, fire bursting from his eyes, anger bursting from his furrowed eyebrows; Peter Onorati knocks the ball out of the park in this new role!

I hold a very high respect for Peter Onorati, both as an actor and as a person. He is a good, family man with high principles and earnest values and a caring heart. For being such a big celebrity, Peter is a very down to earth, really nice guy. And for those reasons, among many others, Peter is a most beloved television star and celebrity. I don’t think Peter could act stuck up, even if he tried. I mean in real life, not in the role of a character.

I don’t think the average person realizes how many long hours and how much hard work that an actor puts into creating just the right facial expressions to convey certain emotions in a role. When I was a younger man, I tried my hand at acting. I hit the jackpot in landing the role of Jefferson Smith, in a theatrical adaptation of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I must have spent well over a hundred hours rehearsing that famous filibuster speech in front of a mirror. I wanted to get just the right facial expressions for every single word of that heart rendering speech. Good acting does not come easy. It is hard, hard, hard work.

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Without saying one single word, the television viewer can feel the controlled anger, the frustration, the fury that Peter’s character is feeling in heart, mind and soul. Truly, the mark of a great actor!

There is a point in the show, where Peter’s character does not say a single word while the camera focuses on his face. But still the television audience can feel Peter’s emotions jump out of their television screen. The controlled anger, the pent-up frustration, the wild fury; all of it roars like a lion. And the amazing thing is for a few seconds, Peter does not say one word. His eyes, his facial muscles, his neck muscles, his jugular vein popping out; bespeaks it all!

# Peter 4 Sal Malavolta

Peter Onorati in his role as Sal Malavolta in the “Slice of Death” episode of the “Castle” television show.

The trademark acting quality of Peter Onorati, bringing to life the controlled anger, the frustration, the fury through facial expressions came to life, big time, in Peter’s role as Sal Malavolta in an episode of the Castle television show. Sal is brought in for questioning. And in the process of being questioned for a murder, Peter rips.

There is this thing that Peter does with his facial expressions. In many ways, he represents that frustration that we all feel from time to time. We are doing our best, working hard, towing the line; and it just seems like the whole system is working against us. But we can’t put it into words. And, better than putting it into words, Peter Onorati emulates this frustration, this anger, this sense that something is totally unfair, through his varied facial expressions.

There is something so very important that needs to be recognized about Peter’s integrity. Peter grew up in the small town of Boonton, New Jersey. He was a most talented football player on his high school football team. As a young man, Peter went on to play football in college and also played football for the semi-professional football team, which was based in his hometown of Boonton. In high school Peter also shined in wrestling and baseball.

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As President of the student body, Peter Onorati would often give speeches to the entire student body!

But not only was Peter a star athlete at Boonton High School. Peter was elected as the President of the entire student body at Boonton High. Peter did an outstanding job of serving as the President of the student body. Even at a young age, Peter developed outstanding stage presence. You see, as School President, Peter would often give speeches to the entire student body.

This was no easy task, by any means. At that time Boonton High School was a regional high school, with a student population that more closely resembled a stage college than a high school. Back then, Boonton High School took in the towns of Boonton, Boonton Township, Montville, Pine Brook, Towaco and Lincoln Park. There were close to 2,000 students attending Boonton High at that time!

There were too many students to fit into the school’s auditorium, so the administration would have all-school assemblies in the gymnasium. But, even then, all of the students could not fit into the bleachers. Many of the students would be sitting on the gym floor. Peter would come out with his famous number 17 football jersey and give an incredibly inspiring speech to the entire student body. You could just sense that Peter was marked for fame.

If you missed the first episode of SWAT, you just don’t want to miss it again. SWAT is on every Thursday night at 10 o’clock, eastern time, nine o’clock central time, on CBS. If you’re not going to be home then, or if you go to bed early, be sure to set your DVR to record SWAT. You just don’t want to miss it.

Alas, it’s time to wrap up this blog chapter. To Peter Onorati, a toast for continued success in his acting career. And, a most earnest prayer that SWAT becomes TV’s number one television show! For truly, Peter Onorati, is the celebrity who never forgot his old friends and never forgot his way back home to dear old Boonton!



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