Peter Greene was born in Montclair, New Jersey, on October 8, 1965. Greene began acting in his twenties, landing several lead roles before appearing as Zed in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction. He has since appeared in many television shows and movies, including The Mask and Judgment Night, often playing troubled or sadistic characters.
Peter Greene was born in Montclair, New Jersey, on October 8, 1965. His surname at birth was spelled Green—without the "e"—and changed later in life for professional purposes. He is the oldest of three siblings and was raised in an Irish Catholic family.
Greene dropped out of high school at a young age and moved to New York City. He began using and selling drugs during this period, developing dependencies that would prove difficult to abandon.
Greene did not embark on an acting career until the 1990s, when he was in his twenties. He began by performing in small-scale stage productions while taking acting classes in New York. He quickly landed leading roles in several small movies, including the 1992 film Laws of Gravity, and Clean, Shaven in 1993. Greene received an Independent Spirit nomination for Laws of Gravity. His work soon attracted the attention of director Quentin Tarantino, who cast Greene as the sadistic Zed in his 1994 movie Pulp Fiction.
Pulp Fiction was a turning point in Greene's career. After the film's success, Greene appeared in The Mask opposite Jim Carrey and the acclaimed drama The Usual Suspects. He has acted consistently in feature films from the early 1990s through the present day. Greene's thin build, pale skin and sunken eyes have contributed to his regular casting as a villain or an underworld character.
In addition to his film work, Greene has appeared in a number of television programs during the course of his career. He had a leading role on the NBC drama The Black Donnellys, which aired in 2007, and has since appeared on the FX program Justified and the reboot of Hawaii Five-O.
Greene has struggled with substance abuse problems throughout his career. He entered rehab in the late 1990s following several arrests. Director Jordan Alan encouraged Greene to seek treatment after discovering him using heroin with Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr. Starr died of a drug overdose in 2011. After years with no documented drug issues, Greene was arrested in New York City in July 2007 for possession of crack cocaine.
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