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Peter was born in New York City. His father, Alwin Michaelsen, is a financial consultant, and his mother, Gail, was once Alwin's secretary. Gail is the niece of Stork Club owner Sherman Billingsley, and cousin of Glenn Billingsley, who was married to actress Barbara Billingsley (1915–2010). Gail was the one who initially took the children around to auditions. She once took the children to Browns Mills, New Jersey, for a commercial commemorating US troops.
Billingsley received his early childhood education from a combination of tutors (including child actor tutor Wesley Staples), public schools, and private institutions (including the Professional Children's School in New York City), Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley & Longview Elementary School in Arizona, and eventually passed his California High School Proficiency Exam at the age of 14. He seems to have also attended some public secondary schools following the GED, including Arcadia High School, Phoenix, Arizona. In the late 1980s, he took a brief break from show business to attend Phoenix College.
Billingsley was a spokesman for the young astronaut program and was present at launch pad 39B (at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida) for the doomed launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Billingsley's first acting role was as a two-year-old in a Geritol commercial with Betty Buckley playing his mom. He went on to star in about 120 television advertisements throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. At 12, he was quoted as saying, "After 100 (commercials), you lose count." He was likely best known for a series of commercials for Hershey's chocolate syrup in which he portrayed the popular character Messy Marvin. n 1981, he appeared in Honky Tonk Freeway, and that October was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In 1982, Billingsley starred in several features, including Death Valley, Massarati and the Brain, and the made-for-TV movie Memories Never Die with Lindsay Wagner and his sister, Melissa. He had a featured guest role as Gideon Hale on Little House on the Prairie, began a three-year stint as a co-host on NBC's popular Real People (for which he earned another Young Artist Award nomination), (Source:
In 1983, Billingsley starred in A Christmas Story, based on Jean Shepherd's In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, which built its audience slowly over the years and is now broadcast for 24 hours from Christmas Eve until Christmas Day on TBS. The film earned Billingsley another Young Artist Award nomination, and is arguably the one role with which he is most associated. He has been quoted as saying that people still approach him on the street, only to say "you'll shoot your eye out, kid!"
His next Schoolbreak Special appearance was in The Writing on the Wall (1994), starring Hal Linden as a rabbi who teaches three boys about the horrors of intolerance after they are caught defacing his home, temple, and car with swastikas and antisemitic graffiti. Billingsley was nominated for an Emmy Award for this role.
Billingsley served as executive producer on director Favreau's Iron Man feature film; he also acted in the film, playing William Ginter Riva, a scientist who works for Obadiah Stane; he reprised the role later in 2019 in the film Spider-Man: Far From Home(Source: en.wikipedia.org Billingsley's acting career continues, as well, with small roles in Sherman Oaks, Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare, Elf, L.A. Heat, and No Deposit, No Return, which was voted Best Feature Film at. the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2000. (Source:en.wikipedia.org))
McKittrick, Christopher (April 25, 2016). "Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn & Peter Billingsley: Friends & Frequent Collaborators". ThoughtCo.com. Retrieved May 8, 2017. (Source: en.wikipedia.org ^ Peter Billingsley's Guide To Beating The Child Star Odds Archived December 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine; accessed April 2, 2014. (Source:en.wikipedia.org wPeter Billingsley has been a member of the Hollywood community since he was a small child, achieving success and accolades, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. The highly-successful child actor-turned-producer received an Emmy Award nomination, in 2005, as co-executive producer on the critically acclaimed Independent Film Channel show, Dinner for Five (2001), with Jon Favreau. He also served as executive producer on the hit summer film, The Break-Up (2006), and recently wrapped production on Marvel Comics feature film, Iron Man (2008), directed by Jon Favreau. (Source:ww.imdb.com)))
Billingsley also served as co-producer on the Artisan Entertainment classic, Made (2001), starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, as well as Sony's recent science fiction release, Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), directed by Favreau. (Source: www.imdb.com)
Growing up in the public eye, Billingsley began his acting career, at the age of three, in some of the '70s most memorable television commercials. After appearing on numerous television shows and films during his youth, the Emmy Award-nominated actor delivered a performance for the ages in the beloved holiday film, A Christmas Story (1983). Playing humorist Jean Shepherd's youthful alter-ego "Ralphie", Billingsley's repeated requests, in the film, for a genuine Red Ryder B-B gun quickly catapulted the actor to instant stardom and has since driven the film into pop culture lore as the classic modern-day Christmas tale. (Source: www.imdb.com Billingsley recently became a principal in "Wild West Picture Show Productions". The production company, founded by Vince Vaughn, currently has a first look production deal with Universal Studios. (Source:www.imdb.com))
Great-grandnephew of Stork Club impresario Sherman Billingsley (his paternal great-grandfather was Fred Billingsley who was Sherman's brother). (Source: www.imdb.com Born in New York City, Billingsley currently resides in Los Angeles. (Source:www.imdb.com wYounger brother of Melissa Michaelsen and Neil Billingsley. (Source:ww.imdb.com)))
Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver on "Leave It To Beaver" was briefly related, by marriage (1940-1947), to actor/producer Peter Billingsley's father. Barbara's first husband Glenn Billingsley's cousin is Peter's father. (Source: www.imdb.com Peter Billingsley was actually on hand at launch-pad 39b at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. (Source:www.imdb.com hNo matter how many times you watch A Christmas Story, it never gets old. The movie has a cult following now and is played countless times during the holiday season. Peter Billingsley, 49, starred as the adorable and mischievous Ralphie, a young boy who attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect Christmas gift for him. Peter was 12 years old when he had his big breakout role as Ralphie in the 1983 film, and he is still widely recognized for the role 37 years later. (Source:ollywoodlife.com)))
Peter Billingsley in 1983 and 2018. (The Everett Collection) (Source: hollywoodlife.com So, what is Peter Billingsley doing now? Peter is still acting! He recently appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home as William Ginter Riva, a role he also played in 2008’s Iron Man. In 2020, Peter appeared in the Netflix docuseries Challenger: The Final Flight about the 1983 Challenger space shuttle disaster. His other acting credits include Elf, The Dirt Bike Kid, Arcade, and more. (Source:hollywoodlife.com hPeter Billingsley is best known for playing Ralphie in ‘A Christmas Story.’ (The Everett Collection) (Source:ollywoodlife.com)))