Planned to study law at the University of Chicago until public speaking and debating classes turned him to acting
Joined a little theater group while working in Washington, DC on summer vacation
Professional stage debut, "At Mrs. Beam's" with Frances Farmer and Mildred Natwick in summer stock at Mt. Kisco, NY
Spent two years in the original Broadway production of "Golden Boy"
Moved to California
Signed by 20th Century Fox after being spotted by a talent scout in William Saroyan's one-act play "Hello, Out There" in a Santa Barbara stock company
Feature acting debut (as Henry Morgan), "To the Shores of Tripoli"
Prominently featured as Henry Fonda's traveling companion in the Western drama "The Ox-Bow Incident"
First of six films with director Anthony Mann, "Bend of the River"
Debut as a TV series regular, played cranky neighbor Pete Porter on the popular sitcom "December Bride" (CBS); garnered first Emmy nomination, for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy in 1959
Last film with director Mann, "Cimarron"
Starred as Pete Porter in the sitcom spin-off "Pete and Gladys" (CBS)
Appeared as a "repertory" member on "The Richard Boone Show," an ambitious dramatic anthology series (NBC)
Played a regular on the family comedy-drama "Kentucky Jones" (NBC)
Co-starred as Officer Bill Gannon opposite Jack Webb's Sgt. Joe Friday on the NBC revival "Dragnet 1967"
Directed episodes of the Jack Webb-produced "Adam-12" (NBC)
TV-movie debut, "But I Don't Want to Get Married!" (ABC)
Co-starred with Robert Conrad on the short-lived legal drama "The D.A." (NBC); also directed episodes
Narrated and played a recurring role on the Western detective series "Hec Ramsey" (NBC); also directed episodes
Appeared in an acclaimed guest spot as a crazed general on the hit comedy-drama series "M*A*S*H" (CBS), the third season opener episode titled "The General Flipped at Dawn"
Became series regular on "M*A*S*H" (CBS) the following season as acerbic but kindly Colonel Sherman Potter; also directed episodes; nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for the "M*A*S*H" episode "Stars and Stripe" (aired 12/17/79)
Appeared in "Roots: The Next Generation" (ABC), the sequel to the landmark miniseries
Perfectly cast as President Harry S. Truman in the docudrama miniseries "Backstairs at the White House" (NBC)
Starred as Dr. Sherman Potter on the sequel series "After MASH" (CBS)
Co-starred as the recovering con man father of magician-detective Hal Linden on "Blacke's Magic" (NBC)
Returned to features after an eight-year absence to reprise the role of Bill Gannon, now a Captain, for the feature spoof of "Dragnet" starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks
Cast as Judge Stoddard Bell opposite Walter Matthau and Susan Blakely in the CBS TV-movie "The Incident"
Reprised Judge Stoddard Bell role, co-starring with Walter Matthau and Susan Blakely in the CBS sequel "Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore"
Third appearance as Judge Bell, reteamingwith Matthau for "Incident in a Small Town" (CBS)
Voiced the animated version of Bill Gannon on Fox series "The Simpsons"
Landed a recurring guest apperance on NBC's "3rd Rock from the Sun"
Final feature film appearance, "Family Plan" with Leslie Nielsen and Judge Reinhold
Acted in the comedy short "Crosswalk"
Featured in the documentary special "'M*A*S*H': 30th Anniversary Reunion" (Fox)
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma