North is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where he attended J. L. Ilsley High School. He relocated to California in 1982.
In a 1996 interview published in North's hometown newspaper, The Chronicle Herald, he stated that he was "discovered" while modeling athletic wear at a private party in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. A man within the adult film industry, whom North did not name, attended the party, was impressed by North's physique and gave him his business card.
North began his adult film career in 1983. Initially, North performed in gay pornography under the name Matt Ramsey. As Matt Ramsey, he starred in about 20 gay porn movies, making nine in 1984. He assumed both passive and dominant sexual roles in The Bigger The Better (Matt Sterling, 1984); one of Adult Video News' 10 Great Gay Movies. He later transitioned to straight pornography.
North has appeared in over 2000 adult films and also directed more than 70 movies (notably, his North Pole and Anal Addicts series), most of them between 1998 and 2007. He also produced over 20 movies, including 15 in the North Pole series. In 2001, he successfully launched his own production company, Northstar Associates.
Peter North appeared as "The Pit Boss" in the music video for the song "Been to Hell" by the rap rock band Hollywood Undead, along with pornographic performer Britney Beth (also known as Bibi Jones).
According to North's official website, he chose his stage name because "Your penis is also referred to as your Peter and when you are erect, it faces North. Plus, I am from the North."
North became involved in the U.S. government's 1986 investigation of Traci Lords' underage involvement in the industry. Lords was underage when she made most of her movies, including several sex scenes with North. The government eventually dropped the investigation. In a 1996 interview in Details magazine, North commented on his involvement in the scandal by saying: "Traci Lords didn't do much for me. She reeked sex, looked good and young. But I didn't know that she was that young. When the scandal broke, I thought it was a lot of baloney on her part. She knew what she was doing and she deceived a lot of people. She was sexually aggressive off camera to many people, so the whole 'innocence corrupted' scenario she came up with was a total farce."
In 1994, North had a book published, a guide to meeting and bedding beautiful women entitled Penetrating Insights.
North is a member of the X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) and the Adult Video News (AVN) Hall of Fame.
North sponors the competition-level, New York-based hockey team, the Peter North Stars.
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.
North and his wife, Nadia North, whom he married in 2016, have performed together in a series of adult films entitled Faithfully Unfaithful.
In his memoir, Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia (2009), Kenny Gallo recounts an altercation with North, which arose from North having starred as a bottom in homosexual pornographic films. Gallo stated that North was very sensitive about that particular period of his life and wished to keep it secret. Gallo stated he had received threatening phone calls from North in which North stated that Gallo "would pay" if he spread the information further. Gallo then set up a meeting with North in person to discuss the matter further. Gallo brought some back-up in the form of a "tattooed Nazi drug dealer" named "Speedy". Gallo and Speedy met up with North and threatened North with grievous bodily harm to his face and genitals. Gallo claims that, in the heat of the moment, he reached in his pocket for a knife but was stopped by Speedy before using it.
North was friends with fellow pornographic actress P.J. Sparxx, with whom he shared a "brother-sister type of relationship" during their professional career.
In mid-2015, North began dating his future wife, Nadia, whom he met through mutual friends. They married in mid-2016. They live on a 120-acre farm with horses Describing their similar interests, Nadia has commented, "We both love to travel. We love cars. I love motorcycles and he loves cars. We love engines. I’m actually a huge tomboy."1990 F.O.X.E Male Fan Favorite
1991 F.O.X.E Male Fan Favorite
1992 F.O.X.E Male Fan Favorite
1998 AVN Best Group Scene - Video for Gluteus to the Maximus