A Number of Famous People Wrote Letters of Support for Acting Coach Brian Peck

James Marsden, Taran Killam, and Alan Thicke were among the supporters who wrote letters.


Mar. 20 2024, Published 10:21 a.m. ET

Drake Bell during an interview in 'Quiet on Set.'
Source: Investigation Discovery

The four-part docuseries Quiet on Set has unveiled the horrifying abuse that was taking place across Nickelodeon, and included many of its child stars. One allegation that has received plenty of time on the show came from Amanda Show and Drake & Josh star Drake Bell, who opens up in the documentary for the first time about being abused by his acting coach, Brian Peck, when he was 15 years old.

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Peck was arrested in 2003 on 11 charges of child sexual abuse, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. Before he was sentenced, though, 41 friends and family, including several well-known celebrities, wrote letters in support of Peck. Those letters were sealed until the documentary crew successfully petitioned to have them unsealed in 2023. Here's what we know about who was behind some of these letters.

James Marsden at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Source: Getty Images
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Who wrote Brian Peck support letters?

  • James Marsden: Marsden said that he "couldn't breathe" when he found out that Peck had been arrested, and added that Peck was the person who had encouraged him to move to LA and pursue acting as a career. "I've known Brian for 14 years and never once did I ever see any sign of him being capable of something like this," he wrote. "I have lived at his house for months and shared hotel rooms with him and never once did he ever make me feel compromised or uncomfortable in any way."
  • Taran Killam: Although he's now best known for working at SNL, Killam worked on several Nickelodeon shows including All That and The Amanda Show before he appeared on SNL. Killam said he was "shocked" by Peck's arrest. "I have seen the [effects] this situation has had on Brian and I know for a fact that he regrets any mistakes made and that this is certainly not something that would ever happen again," he wrote.
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  • Alan Thicke: Father to Robin Thicke and former Growing Pains star Alan Thicke wrote that Peck was a "highly professional and nurturing mentor."
  • Joanna Kerns: Another former Growing Pains star wrote, "I have never known Brian to engage in the type of illegal activity with which he is charged and can only believe that there must have been some extreme situation or temptation exerted upon him to influence his actions." She later said her letter was based on misinformation.
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  • Ron Melendez: The former General Hospital star spent some time in his letter blaming Bell for the relationship. "I have met his family, seen his behavior, and understood that there were problems," he said of Bell. "I saw him pursue a friendship with Brian, maintain their close ties; saw his parents cede more and more of their parental duties to Brian."
  • Will Friedle: The former Boy Meets World star also wrote in defense of Peck. "I can only stress and honestly state that Brian must have felt an overwhelming sense [of] pressure and temporary loss of reason."
  • Rider Strong: Another former Boy Meets World star added that Peck was "one of the most dependable people."
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