Beginning his career at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, in the mid 1970s he made his TV and film debut, with a role in the film The Racer, and a television role in Second City First. Throughout his career TV appearances included Crown Court, Last of the Summer Wine, Minder, Casualty and Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV.
Peter's first major success came along in 1988 with the film, Distant Voices, Still Lives. Then in 1993 he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in In the Name of the Father. He is best known for his role as the mysterious lawyer Mr. Kobayashi in the 1995 film, The Usual Suspects. Other notable film roles included, Suite 16, Alien 3, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Romeo + Juliet, and Brassed Off.
In 2004 he received the O.B.E on the New Year's Honours List, and sadly passed away aged 64.