Remembered for his appearances in nearly two hundred films of the 1920s, '30s, '40s, '50s, and '60s, he is perhaps most famous for his starring role in the 1960s ABC crime series Burke's Law. His big screen credits include roles in The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart and His Girl Friday with Cary Grant.
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in drama, he pursued a professional theatre career and was cast in Broadway and internationally touring productions.
In the late 1960s, he played the role of Dr. Stuart in CBS's Petticoat Junction.
He and his three siblings grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His marriage to Kathryn Scott Toomey lasted from 1925 until 1981.
He and actress Jane Wyman shared a more than three-minute-long on-screen kiss in the 1941 film You're in the Army Now.