Peter Evans was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and attended Philips Academy Andover. He graduated from Yale in 1972 and studied for three years at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
He was a versatile actor who was acclaimed for a wide range of roles, from classical theater to musical comedy. Peter made his New York theater debut in 1975 in David Storey's play ''Life Class.'' The next year, he won his first critical acclaim, playing Richie in Mr. Rabe's ''Streamers.'' The work, which was directed by Mike Nichols, was first produced at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven and moved to the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in Lincoln Center.
The performance won him the 1976 Clarence Derwent Award and a nomination for a Drama Desk Award as outstanding actor. Performing on Broadway In 1977, he co-starred with Ellis Rabb in Mr. Mamet's ''Life in the Theater'' at the Theater de Lys, and in 1979, he played opposite Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard's ''Night and Day'' on Broadway.
In 1982, after touring for a year with the national company of Mark Medoff's ''Children of a Lesser God,'' he took over the lead role in the Broadway production. In The New York Times, John Corry wrote of his performance: ''Peter Evans now has the male lead in 'Children of a Lesser God,' and it has become something of a new play. It is now infinitely more moving.''
Peter also originated the role of the son in Mr. Miller's ''American Clock'' at the Spoleto Festival. His last major role on the New York stage was as Paul Verlaine in Christopher Hampton's play ''Total Eclipse.'' Important Off Broadway appearances included roles in ''Endgame,'' ''Geniuses,'' ''The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie'' and the Playwrights Horizons revival of ''Company.'' For several seasons, he was a resident actor at the Williamstown Theater Festival. A Comedy Series
Peter's film work included appearances in the movies ''Arthur'' and ''Imposters.'' On television, he appeared in ''A Life in the Theater'' and in the PBS series ''Best of Families.'' For the last several years, Peter lived in Los Angeles and played the continuing character of Russ Merman on the television comedy series ''9 to 5.''
He died of complications from AIDS, 38 years-old, at Century City Hospital in Los Angeles, California.