Actor, narrator, director, author, and smooth customer.
It was not until 1982 that he landed a big-time role — playing the 'good' scientist, Keys, in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He then found himself in high demand in Hollywood, but seemed ill-fit for a leading man. Later, Coyote was cast as the overzealous prosecutor in Jagged Edge (1985) and finally seemed to have found his niche: that of the antagonist who may be right.
Beginning in The '80s, Peter began doing voice-overs, which has led to a very successful side venture, now numbering over 120 films. He continues to lend his voice to narrations for commercials and documentaries (including many a Ken Burns production, like The Vietnam War), and often donates his voice to films that support issues close to his heart.
- Awesome McCool Name: There are several theories as to why he chose the stage name of Peter Coyote. The actor is reluctant to discuss the change, apparently the end result of an evening spent experimenting with controlled substances. (Apparently he mistook his shoe-prints for paw-prints.)
- Former Teen Rebel
Notable screen roles:
- Keys in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
- Det. Ringwald in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
- Cap. Harold C. Barnes in Sphere (1998)
- Kurt Potter in Erin Brockovich (2000)
- Dennis Ryland in The 4400 (12 episodes, 2004-06)
- Special Agent Virgil "Web" Webster in The Inside (13 episodes 2005)
- General Cook in Deadwood ("Sold Under Sin", 2004)
- Ned Quinn in NCIS ("Silent Night", 2005)
- Warren Keaton in Commander in Chief (7 episodes, 2005-06)
- President Dave Segovia in Flash Forward (2 episodes, 2009)
- D.A. Jerry Hardin in Law & Order: LA (8 episodes, 2010-11)