Best known for his contributions to British theater as an actor and director in the '40s and '50s, Peter Cotes also occasionally worked in cinema and television. He was the oldest son in a family of theater folk who once managed a troupe in South Africa. In 1946, Cotes gained notoriety and respect when he staged the controversial hit Pick-Up Girl, a sordid American story of venereal disease and child abuse. The show was initially banned by censors, but the ban was lifted after the Queen Mother, Queen Mary, saw the show and gave it good reviews. Cotes would later cause controversy, not for a show, but for his public stance against the notion of "stars"; he believed the actors playing the roles were becoming more important than the story itself. Cotes made his first feature-film appearance in Pal O' Mine (1936) and his film directorial debut in The Young and the Guilty (1958). In addition to his contributions as actor and director, Cotes wrote several books, including a biography of Charlie Chaplin. Cotes was married to distinguished stage actress Joan Miller, with whom he founded a noted theater group.