Peter Coyote has performed as an actor for some of the world's most distinguished filmmakers, including: Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski, Pedro Almodovar, Steven Spielberg, Martin Ritt, Steven Soderberg, Sidney Pollack and Jean Paul Rappeneau. In 2000 he was the Co-Host of the Oscars with Billy Crystal.
He is an Emmy-Award winning narrator of over 120 documentary films, including Ken Burns, National Parks, Prohibition, The West, the Dust Bowl and this year's acclaimed The Roosevelts for which he received his second Emmy nomination in July 2015. Mr. Coyote has written a memoir of the 1960's counter-culture called Sleeping Where I Fall which received universally excellent reviews, appeared on three best-seller lists, sold five printings in hardback and was re-released with a new cover and afterword in May, 2009. A chapter from that book, "Carla's Story," won the 1993/94 Pushcart Prize for Excellence in non-fiction. His new book, The Rainman's Third Cure: An Irregular Education, about mentors and the search for wisdom was released April 14, 2015 by Counterpoint Press, and in July it was second on the Marin County Best-Sellers list.
From 1975 to 1983 he was a member and then Chairman of the California State Arts Council. During his Chairmanship and under his tenure, expenditures on the arts rose from 1 to 16 million dollars annually. He is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest who has been practicing for 40 years and is currently in the process of receiving Transmission from his teacher granting him autonomy and the right to ordain priests and establish his own lineage. He is and has been engaged in political and social causes since his early teens. He considers his 1952 Dodge Power Wagon to be his least harmful addiction.