Peter Coyote studied English literature at Grinnell College and graduated in 1964 with the Bachelor's degree from. He then moved to San Francisco and graduated from the San Francisco State University is a master's degree. It was during the 1970s, part of the American subculture movement and was only at the age of 39 years actor. First, he played mainly minor roles in television productions until 1982, he more minor role in Steven Spielberg's classic ET - The Extra-Terrestrial took over. In the same year he had his first starring role in the movie Time Rider - The Adventure of Lyle Swann. The rest of the 1980s, he played in other film and television productions. 1992 Roman Polanski cast him for one of the lead roles in Bitter Moon, followed by roles in Sphere - The power of the universe, Patch Adams or Erin Brockovich.
Since the mid- 2000s, he is increasingly active in television series. He had a starring role in the series The Inside and recurring guest roles in Welcome Mrs. President, Brothers & Sisters and 4400 - the returnees.
About his time as a hippie, he wrote a biography of the Sleeping where I fall. She was a bestseller in the United States. In 1993 he received an Emmy for his participation in the documentary The Pacific Century. At the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, he led, together with Glenn Close narrates the opening ceremony.
Peter Coyote is married for the second time since 1998 and is the father of a son and a daughter from his first marriage. His first marriage ended in divorce after 23 years in 1998.