Honess was educated at Queen's College, Taunton from 1956-1963. He then became an apprentice editor at the United Kingdom branch of MGM, where his father was working. He moved to the United States in 1971, where he got his first editing credit for It's Alive! (1974), a cult horror film about a couple that become parents of a monster baby. When Honess returned to the United Kingdom, he was again employed as an assistant editor. In all, Honess spent fifteen years as an assistant. Honess acknowledges the mentoring by British editors Tony Gibbs (Tom Jones) and Thelma Connell (Alfie), "Thelma was quite an extraordinary woman. I was absorbed by how she edited. She cut very, very fast. That was also true of Tony. He'd cut the film in his head at dailies." After a ten-year hiatus, Honess was hired to edit the films Memed, My Hawk (1984) and Champion (1984), and thereafter he has worked regularly as an editor.
Honess's recent filmography includes Rob Roy (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Next Best Thing (2000), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Troy (2004), Aeon Flux (2005), Poseidon (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), I Love You, Beth Cooper (2008), Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2009), Burlesque (Cher's performance - 2010), Romeo & Juliet (2012), and Words and Pictures (2013).
Honess was nominated for an ACE Eddie Award for documentary editing for Following the Tundra Wolf (1974). In addition to its BAFTA Award for Best Editing, L. A. Confidential was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film Editing, an ACE Eddie Award, and the Satellite Award. The film was also included in a 2012 listing of the 75 best edited films of all time compiled by the Motion Picture Editors Guild based on a survey of its members. Honess has been elected to membership in the American Cinema Editors.
- Peter Honess on IMDb
- "Member Search" Archived 14 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Oldqueenians.com website. Information retrieved 2008-07-13.
- "Fine Cuts", The Hollywood Reporter, 1 March 2000.
- "The 75 Best Edited Films". Editors Guild Magazine. 1 (3). May 2012.
- "American Cinema Editors > Members", webpage archived by WebCite from this original URL on 4 March 2008.
- Honess, Peter; Urioste, Frank (July–August 2001). "Peter Honess & Frank Urioste: Two Long-Time Friends Talk About Their Work, Part I". Editors Guild Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.
- Honess, Peter; Urioste, Frank (September–October 2001). "Peter Honess & Frank Urioste: Two Long-Time Friends Talk About Their Work, Part II". Editors Guild Magazine. Archived from the original on 13 July 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
- Hogg, Trevor (30 May 2012). "Cutting Edge: A conversation with film editor Peter Honess". Flickering Myth.