He appeared in over 80 films, including West Side Story, and made over 100 TV appearances on shows such as The Honeymooners. He appeared in the Three Stooges film, Nutty But Nice and You Nazty Spy!
He worked in Vaudeville and first appeared on Broadway in 1931 in a production of Counselor-at-Law.
He was frequently typecast as nervous, meek, or nerdy characters due to his thick glasses and nasally New York accent.
He married actress Kitty McHugh in 1935.
His next door neighbor was Three Stooges actor Moe Howard.