Attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
He owns a California farm and when he isn't acting, he is a working citrus rancher.
He auditioned to play a role in the film Slap Shot (1977) but broke his leg while skating in the audition.
He has served as the spokesman for the National Search Dog Foundation, and serves on community committees including the Ojai Youth Foundation, the Ojai Music Festival, and the Ojai Film Society.
He teaches public speaking at local high schools in California.
Once owned the property now known as "Peter Strauss Ranch", a park operated by the National Park Service in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in Southern California. The property, once know as "Lake Enchanto", had been an amusement park in the mid-1930s but fell into disrepair and finally closed in the early 1960s. He purchased the property and restored it in 1976, living there until 1983, when he sold the property to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
Has voiced not one but two cartoon mice in his roles as a voice actor, namely Justin from "The Secret of NIMH" and Stoker from both series of "Biker Mice From Mars".
Does TV commercials for Miracle Gro Plant Food. 
He is of German Jewish descent.