Peter Burns is a principal character on drama soap Melrose Place. He is portrayed by Jack Wagner.


Peter is a generally strict but good-natured doctor who first appeared in the third season, serving as the new chief-of-staff at Wilshire Memorial Hospital. Romantic feelings soon blossomed between he and Amanda Woodward. Their relationship began a downward spiral, however, after Peter and a group of other doctors bought Amanda's advertising firm, D&D. When professional differences began to mount between the couple, Peter eventually drugged Amanda in secret—causing her to test positive for illegal substances. Amanda was consequently stripped of her job, and Peter's ex-girlfriend Caitlin assumed the position. As Amanda discovered the extent of Peter's actions and prepared to expose them, he sedated her and attempted to have her killed on an operating table. However, Dr. Michael Mancini interfered by knocking Peter unconscious.


Peter appeared again later by bailing Michael out of jail after he'd been falsely accused, on the condition that Michael testify in Peter's favor at a medical hearing. Peter followed a generally reformed path from that point forward, though he was still prone to extreme acts of self-interest on occasion. A truce was formed between he and Michael that eventually became a friendship.


Peter soon expressed an interest in the disturbed Dr. Kimberly Shaw, following her treatment after she'd been institutionalized. During this story line, it was revealed that Peter's sister, who he'd been very close to, was seemingly misdiagnosed in the past, and institutionalized herself. This event had motivated him to become a doctor, as he didn't want to see anyone else suffer the same if he could help it.

He was later held captive by an unbalanced Kimberly after she'd gained control of a mental institution herself, but was eventually rescued, with help from Nurse Benson, after Michael and Amanda came looking for him.

Return of the pastEdit

Peter's relationship with Amanda healed over time, and the two were eventually married after he'd been briefly arrested for a crime he hadn't committed. It was during this time that a chapter from Peter's past was revealed, as Amanda learned from Detective Wylie that he'd been previously married and his real name was Peter Howell. Following his release, he and Amanda grew slowly distant after a woman named Taylor McBride moved into 4616 Melrose Place with her husband Kyle (who eventually became a friend of Peter's). As Peter entered an ongoing slump, occasionally turning to alcohol, Taylor began coming on to him. She later revealed that she was the sister of his ex-wife; he'd simply failed to recognize her following the years that they'd been separated.

During a period in which he'd become disheartened for reasons both personal and professional, Peter witnessed a car accident and managed to save a woman's life afterwards. Following this moment, which was overseen by a crowd of bystanders, his spirits began to rise again.

Later in the series, it is revealed that Peter, who comes from nothing, was raised in Texas by an alcoholic father, who after years of abuse, led his mother to run off, seemingly never to be heard from again. Peter's father, a failed golf pro, forced his son to spend hours practicing his golf swing at the trailer/driving range they lived at, critisizing young Peter to tears.



Peter with Amanda

Amanda Woodward

Despite their difficulties, Peter remained faithful to Amanda until he was led to believe that she'd cheated on him. Soon afterwards, he wound up sleeping with Taylor while drunk. The two then began an affair which was eventually discovered by Amanda, bringing the marriage to an end.

Taylor McBride

Peter's relationship with Taylor became abusive on both ends, with Taylor trying to turn into her sister (and later being forced to be exactly like her by Peter), and schemes by Michael and Taylor in order to soften Peter and make him lose his job as chief of staff at Wilshire Memorial. The relationship came to an end shortly afterwards.

Lexi Sterling

Peter then entered a relationship with Lexi Sterling, but broke up with her because of his feelings for Amanda.

Eve Cleary

Peter attempted to get Amanda back with no success so he began a relationship with Eve Cleary. Peter and Eve fell in love and got married. Lexi made several attempts to get Peter back from Eve, which had failed. Peter and Eve remained a couple until Amanda changed a schedule on her business trip which lead to Peter and Amanda spending more time together. During this trip Peter and Amanda realised they have always loved each other no matter who they are with resulting in Peter being unfaithful. Peter broke up with Eve soon after. A series of events including Eve's discovery that Amanda was guilty of a crime that she was jailed for and the knowledge Peter and Amanda were growing close again lead Eve to become destructive and mentally unstable.

As the show reached its conclusion, Peter and Amanda left the country in an attempt to avoid jail time, also becoming rich. They were assisted by their longtime friend, Michael, who they paid one million dollars. The couple concluded the series by eloping on a secluded island and walking off into the sunset together.