Star of Canadian television who played the humorless Dean Wormer in Animal House and portrayed the mayor of San Francisco in Dirty Harry. He also played a villain in Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
He starred in the CBC dramas A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers and Uncle Vanya before moving to the U.S. for film roles.
He also did voice work for cartoon series, including The Marvel Super Heroes Show and Batman: The Animated Series.
His older daughter, Kate Vernon, starred on the CBS soap opera, Falcon Crest. His youngest daughter became a popular folk musician.
He spoofed his common villainous roles in the Keenen Ivory Wayans blaxploitation spoof, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.