He became known for playing villains, and won and Oscar for his acting in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. His acting in the Naked Gun and Airport film series bolstered his fame.
He made his stage debut at age two, but left show business to serve in the U.S. Army for 16 years.
Acting in over 200 films, he played the roles of Joe Patroni and Captain Ed Hocken.
His mother, Helen, was a former ballet dancer and his father was a musician and orchestra leader.
He played a supporting role to the great Paul Newman in the classic prison drama Cool Hand Luke.