North is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He relocated to California in 1982, where he resides in Newport Coast.
In a 1996 interview published in North’s hometown newspaper, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, he stated that he was “discovered” while modeling athletic wear at a private party in Los Angeles in the early ’80s. A man within the adult industry, whom North did not name, attended the party, was impressed by North’s physique and gave him his business card.
North states that he “entered the adult business in the spring of 1984 by accident. I was approached to do it but never really contemplated it or even thought I would be in the adult business”. Initially, North performed in gay pornography under the name Matt Ramsey. He later transited to straight pornography and became an in-demand performer.
North has appeared in over 2,500 adult films and also directed more than seventy movies (notably, his North Pole and Anal Addicts series), most of them between 1998 and 2007. He also produced over twenty movies, including fifteen in the North Pole series. In 2001, he successfully launched his own production company, Northstar Associates.
North became involved in the U.S. government’s 1986 investigation of Traci Lords’ under-age involvement in the industry. Lords was under-age when she made most of her movies, including several sex scenes with North. The government eventually dropped the investigation. In 1994, North had a book published, a guide to meeting and bedding beautiful women entitled Penetrating Insights.
Veteran pornographic star Christy Canyon confirmed a long-standing rumor in her 2003 autobiography Lights, Camera, SEX!, revealing that North does not like to have his hair touched during a scene, as it causes him to lose his concentration.
North is a member of the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) and the Adult Video News (AVN) Hall of Fame.
It is unclear where his pseudonym “North” originated. It may refer to his Canadian or northern roots. Writer Steven Strager speculated that North’s stage name, like that of many other male pornographic actors, “expresses the controlling man-as-penis metaphor while precisely articulating the masturbator’s big-dick fantasies.”. ”Peter North Stars” is also the name of a competition level, New York based hockey team which is sponsored by North.
In 2004, North was featured in a book and film project, Thinking XXX by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders who took photographs of 30 stars of adult movies, each pair of photographs in the same pose, clothed and nude. The film of the same name, which was made for HBO, chronicled Greenfield-Sanders’ photography of his subjects, and includes interviews with them.