To develop novel polypeptide-based thin films, a series of star polypeptides modified with nonlinear optical chromophores has been synthesized. Using amino-substituted tetraphenyl porphyrin as an initiator, the N-carboxy anhydride of γ-benzyl L-glutamic acid was polymerized onto the porphyrin at a monomer to initiator ratio 20:1. The resulting four-branch star was modified with a selection of dyes. Dyes that modified both the N-terminus and benzyl side chain were used. We demonstrated feasibility of insertion of a metal ion into the polypeptide porphyrin core. The polypeptide series was characterized by UV/VIS, FTIR, and CD. The UV/VIS data suggested ease of modification of both the N-terminus and side chains. The FTLR and CD data show the resulting polypeptides were ∝-helical. The results demonstrate the feasibility of modifying the optical properties of a porphyrin by three approaches: insertion of metal, attachment of dye to N-terminus or modification of γ-benzyl L-glutamate side chain.