He was discovered by director Peter Bogdanovich while attending the University of Houston, and played a small role in his film, The Last Picture Show.
He won a Golden Globe Award for his memorable role as Cousin Eddie in the Vacation series.
He was married to Ella Jolly from 1980 to 1989, then married Evi Quaid shortly after his divorce from Ella. He has a daughter named Amanda.
He starred in Brokeback Mountain alongside Heath Ledger.