Fast Facts

  • Was employed as a dock worker and a feather peddler before his film career began.
  • Served as chairman of the California State Arts Council from 1976 to '83.
  • Made his film debut with an uncredited bit in 1978's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • Tested for the role of Indiana Jones in 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. The next year, director Steven Spielberg cast him in a pivotal part in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. 
  • Won a 1993 Pushcart Prize for nonfiction for Carla's Story, a chapter from his memoir Sleeping Where I Fall about his days in the '60s and '70s counterculture.
  • Served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996 and wrote about the experience for the magazine Mother Jones.
  • Has a distinctive voice that has brought him a considerable amount of voice-over work, including narrating 2005's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.
  • Worked for Baykeepers, an organization that tracked polluters of the San Francisco Bay.
  • Was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in August 2011.


  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2015, Emmy — Outstanding Narrator: Winner


  • Morris Cohon — Father
  • Marilyn McCann — Ex-wife
  • Ariel — Daughter
  • Ruth Fidler — Mother
  • Stefanie Pleet — Wife


  • Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA (BA in English Literature, 1964); Attended San Francsico State University, San Francisco, CA

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  • Birth Name: Rachmil Pinchus Ben Mosha Cohon
  • Birth Place: New York, NY
  • Profession: Actor, Writer, Director

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