American actor and author Peter Coyote was born on October 10, 1941 in New York City. He was raised in what he called a “highly intellectual” family, and grew up aware of left-wing politics. During his stay as a student of Grinnell College, he was one of the students who went to Washington D.C. to support John F. Kennedy’s “peace race,” which attracted considerable press attention. After graduating in 1964 with a literature degree, he pursued further studies at the San Francisco State University in California.
Coyote’s first acting experience came with the political street theater group San Francisco Mime Troupe. His performances, notably in Olive Pits which he also co-directed and –wrote, earned critical acclaim. He became a prominent member of the San Francisco counterculture community, as the co-founder of the Diggers, an anarchist group who operates anonymously without funding. During the time, he has written many stories, which were later compiled in 1998. He moved on to become a member, and later president, of the California Arts Council.
Coyote started acting again in 1978, initially in theater, until he was cast in the comedy film Die Laughing. This started a string of appearances on film and television. His film credits include roles in ET, Bitter Moon, Terminal Justice, Patch Adams, Random Hearts, Erin Brockovich, and A Walk to Remember. Apart from his guest roles on television, Coyote also played notable starring roles in different series. He played the role of Vice President Warren Keaton in the short-lived political drama Commander-in-Chief. In the crime series The Inside, playing manipulative FBI agent Virgil Webster. In The 4400, he was the sympathetic NTAC director Dennis Ryland. He also had a recurring role in Brothers & Sisters.
Coyote is also known for his narration of many do!$#!#entaries. His work on the historical do!$#!#entary The Pacific Century earned him an Emmy award in 1993. He also provided the narration for an episode of Lost.
-Peter is a songwriter who sings and plays the guitar.
-In 1964, Peter graduated with a B.A. in English Literature.
-Peter tested for the role of Indiana Jones in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. The role eventually went to actor Harrison Ford.
1980 Die Laughing
1982 Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
1982 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1985 The Legend of Billy Jean
1985 The Blue Yonder
1987 Un homme amoureux
1988 Heart of Midnight
1991 A Grande Arte
1992 Bitter Moon
1994 Breach of Conduct
1995 Moonlight and Valentino
1997 Murder in My Mind
1998 Patch Adams
2000 Erin Brockovich
2001 Jack the Dog
2002 Femme Fatale
2002 A Walk to Remember
2003 Bon Voyage
2004 Grand role, Le
2005 The Inside
2005-2006 Commander in Chief
2004-2006 The 4400
2006 Behind Enemy Lines II
2007 Brothers and Sisters
2008 Five Dollars a Day
2008 All Roads Lead Home
-Acting is about discovering what's true in the moment. It's playing jazz on your own nervous system.
-I'm a Zen-Buddhist student first, actor second. If I can't reconcile the two lives, I'll stop acting. I spend more time off-screen than on.
-TV has just decimated intellectual life in this country. I don't like it, and I don't watch it. Occasionally, though, something of quality will come through that piques my interest.