Robert Peter Cohon
October 10, 1941
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Grinnell College, B.A. 1964|
San Francisco State University
|Occupation||Actor, author, director, screenwriter, narrator|
(m. 1975; div. 1998)
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
|Partner(s)||Eileen Ewing (1965-1972)|
Peter Coyote (born Robert Peter Cohon; October 10, 1941) is an American actor, author, director, screenwriter, and narrator of films, theatre, television, and audiobooks. He is best known for his work in various films such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Cross Creek (1983), Jagged Edge (1985), Patch Adams (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), A Walk to Remember (2002), Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) and Good Kill (2014). He was also known as the "Voice of Oscar" for the 72nd Academy Awards ceremony, the first Oscars announcer to be seen on-camera.
Coyote's voice work includes his narration for the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics and Apple's iPad Retina Display campaign. He narrated the PBS series The Pacific Century (1992), winning an Emmy, and eight documentaries directed or produced by Ken Burns: The West (1996), The National Parks: America's Best Idea (2009), Prohibition (2011), The Dust Bowl (2012), The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014), The Vietnam War (2017), The Mayo Clinic: Faith--Hope--Science (2018), Country Music (2019) and Hemingway (2021). He won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Narrator in 2015 for his work on The Roosevelts. His voice has often been said to resemble that of actor Henry Fonda.
Coyote was one of the founders of the Diggers, an anarchist improv group active in Haight-Ashbury during the mid-1960s, including the Summer of Love. Coyote was also an actor, writer and director with the San Francisco Mime Troupe; his prominence in the San Francisco counterculture scene led to his being interviewed for the book Voices from the Love Generation. He acted in and directed the first cross-country tour of The Minstrel Show, and his play Olive Pits, co-authored with Mime Troupe member Peter Berg, won the troupe an Obie Award from The Village Voice. Coyote became a member, and later chairman, of the California Arts Council from 1975 to 1983. In the late 1970s, he shifted from acting on stage to acting in films. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), he acted in several television shows. He speaks fluent Spanish and French.