Portrayed the gruff sea captain Quint in Jaws in 1975, and was also a talented novelist.
He debuted as a stage actor in regional theaters throughout England, making his first London appearance in Cairo William.
He was in The Sting and From Russia with Love opposite Sean Connery.
He was raised by a single mother, after his father committed suicide when he was twelve. He eventually settled in Ireland.
He starred in The Deep with Nick Nolte.