Tried out for a part in his high school production of "The Crucible" only because his girlfriend was auditioning; he got a part while she did not
Drafted in the military after graduating from college; served an 11-month tour of duty in Vietnam
After military service, organized several theater companies in the Chicago area with some college friends
Joined the Organic Theater Company in Chicago
Professional acting debut in the play "Cops", co-starred Joe Mantegna and Meshach Taylor
Co-wrote the popular play, "Bleacher Bums"; later broadcast on PBS
Feature debut, Robert Altman's "A Wedding"
First film with director Brian De Palma, "The Fury"
Moved to L.A. on the advice of Altman and De Palma; traveled cross-country with Mantegna and Mantegna's wife
Debut as TV series regular, "Chicago Story" (NBC)
Began association with Steven Bochco with a two-episode guest spot on "Hill Street Blues" (NBC)
Cast as part of the ensemble in Bochco's short-lived (four episodes) baseball series, "Bay City Blues" (NBC)
Joined the cast of "Hill Street Blues" as Lieutenant Norman Buntz
Starred in the "Hill Street" spin-off, "Beverly Hills Buntz" (NBC)
Played a cop in the big-screen actioner "Die Hard 2: Die Harder"
Had cameo in Robert Altman's "The Player"
Starred as Andy Sipowicz in Bochco's controversial cop show, "NYPD Blue" (ABC); won four Emmy Awards (to date)
Acted in the film version of David Mamet's play "American Buffalo" opposite Dustin Hoffman
Had featured role as an angel who eschews his celestial life for the pleasure of living on earth in the romantic drama "City of Angels"
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (February 19)
Lampooned his tough-guy image by giving a hilarious turn as an abusive husband-turned-rotting-corpse in the Dixie Chicks' music video "Goodbye, Earl"