Birthday: October 10, 1942 Birth
Place: Colver, Pennsylvania, USA Height: 6' 3"
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There are several theories as to why Peter Cohon chose the stage name of Peter Coyote; for his part, the actor is reluctant to discuss an event that apparently was the end result of an evening's experimentation with controlled substances. In the late 1960s, Coyote quit his job as a dockworker to "turn on, tune in and drop out." With hair so long that he could sit on it (by his own admission), Coyote was a "fringie" with such varied organizations as the Grateful Dead and the Hell's Angels, and also worked for a while with a guerilla mime group. After years of deprivation, Coyote dropped back into society in 1975, accepting a job as a drama teacher at a public school. Rapidly approaching middle age, Coyote entered films with 1980's Die Laughing. Throughout the 1980s, he alternated between good guys, villains, and a vaguely defined stereotype known as "loser boyfriends." As the vengeful public prosecutor in The Jagged Edge (1985), Coyote turns out not to be the film's principal heavy; even so, we leave the picture disliking his character more than anyone else's. Leading roles came his way in such films as Exposure (1991), but even here he could not completely escape an aura of slime (his ostensibly heroic character burrows through the seamy underside of Rio in search of a prostitute's murderer). One of Coyote's few unconditionally "nice" roles was as the enigmatic scientist Keys in the champion moneymaker E.T. (1982). In the late 1990s, Coyote published Sleeping Where I Fall, a candid memoir of his years as a cultural drop out.
With Peter unseen (as in voiceovers or radio adverts), his voice is strongly reminiscent of that of Henry Fonda.
Along with Glenn Close, he narrarated the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.
Before becoming an actor at the age of 39, Peter Coyote spent 15 years in the counter-culture of the 60s. Coyote wrote a memoir of that time called "Sleeping Where I Fall". It has sold 5 hardback printings and is in its second paperback edition. "Carla's Story", a chapter from the book, won the Pushcart Prize for Excellence in Non-Fiction in 1993/1994.
Tested for the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
He was one of the organizers of a group of twelve students who traveled to Washington, DC during the Cuban Missile crisis supporting President Kennedy's "peace race." President Kennedy invited the group into the White House (the first time protesters had ever been so recognized) and they met for several hours with McGeorge Bundy.
Was a member of the Radically political theatre performance troupe "The San Francisco Mime Troupe"
Graduated with a B.A in English literature in 1964
Given the actor's unusual second name, it's ironic that, prior to his acting career, he once plucked chickens for a living
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