John Pagano Peters was born in St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank on June 2, 1945.

John was an extra in Ten Commandments, The (1956). They needed about 5,000 dark haired dark skinned people for the crossing scene and John happened to be near the set that day. His father was asked if he (John) could be in the scene, he agreed and they put him in.

An angry rebellious kid (his father died when John was ten), John spent several months laboring on a Youth Authority roadwork gang in the Santa Monica Mountains. He was chained to his bed at night. He dropped out of school in seventh grade and can barely read.

John moved to New York. He became a hairdresser. He moved back to Los Angeles and marred actress Lesley Ann Warren (1967-77). He cut Barbra Streisand's hair. They began an affair. He became her producer on the 1976 film A Star is Born.

He changed his name to Jon. Charming and bullying, he appeared prone to violence.

In 1980, Jon became close friends with Peter Guber. They ran Polygram's film company. In 1982 they were fired and they started Guber-Peters Company at Warner Brothers. Jon was a longtime friend of Terry Semel.

Semle started as a salesman at Disney. He replaced Warner Brothers studio president Frank Wells, who left the film business to climb the Himalayas. Terry's friendship with Jon Peters and Barbra Streisand in the late seventies helped him get out of distribution into the more glamorous world of production.

With partner Peter Guber, Jon became head of Sony Pictures. The pair were the subject of the book "Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood" by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters.