Two time Tony Award winner for his performances in Redhead and Man of La Mancha, the latter of which he created the role of Don Quixote. He also won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his performances in The Thorn Birds and A Year in the Life.
He studied at Chicago's Barnum Dramatic School before serving in the United States Navy during World War II. He then returned to acting after the war.
He also won an Emmy for his guest appearance in Picket Fences and garnered Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Separate But Equal.
He was married to Mary Bell Wood from 1948 until 1967 and Patricia Ferrier from 1968 until 1999.
He was introduced as the narrator in the Steven Spielberg directed film Jurassic Park.