Also an actor, playwright, occasional screenwriter, and novelist, he is most remembered for such non-fiction works as Agony in New Haven (1973) and The Existentialism of Alberto Moravia (1972). His plays include The White Crow and The Devil's Advocate.
He was born in Chicago, but he grew up primarily in Alexandria, Louisiana. Early in his career, he published a non-fiction work called The Killing of RFK.
He taught at a myriad of universities, including the University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Leeds (UK).
He was born into a Jewish family. He and his wife, Patricia Rae Freed, settled in Los Angeles, California.
He taught at the University of Southern California, the alma mater of stylist Brad Goreski.