Bonerz grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he attended Marquette University High School, gaining his first theatrical experience with the Prep Players under rigid conditions. At Marquette University he participated in the Marquette University Players under the Rev. John J. Walsh, S.J. After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in 1960, he decided to seek a career in theater, beginning with The Premise, an improv group in New York. After compulsory service as a draftee in the US Army he joined The Committee, an improv troupe in San Francisco.
He had a number of roles in several films, including Medium Cool (1969) and Catch-22 (1970), before landing a leading role as Jerry Robinson, an eccentric orthodontist on The Bob Newhart Show, whose most frequent comic foil was Marcia Wallace as Carol, the sharp-tongued secretary. The show, which began in 1972, ran for six seasons—with ratings among the top 20 in the first three seasons.
He came on to become a film and TV director. In one of his later acting roles he played a psychiatrist in Serial (1980). He directed a large number of sitcom episodes for series such as Friends, NewsRadio, Home Improvement, and ALF.
- Peter Bonerz at the Internet Movie Database