Raised in Brooklyn, New York
Broadway debut, "Take a Giant Step"
TV debut on "Philco Television Playhouse"
Returned to Broadway supporting Shirley Booth in "The Desk Set"
Received an offer to play for the New York Knicks but turned it down to take a stage role in "A Raisin in the Sun"
Film debut, "A Raisin in the Sun"
Was a nightclub singer at the Bitter End, Folk City, Gaslight Club, Black Pussy Cat and Cafe Id in New York during the 1960s
Acted on Broadway in musical version of "Golden Boy", starring Sammy Davis Jr
Played Willie Nurse on Broadway in Sidney Poitier's directorial debut, "Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights"
Wrote protest song, "Handsome Johnny", performed by Richie Havens at Woodstock music festival
TV series regular on "The Young Rebels" (ABC), set during the American Revolutionary War era; played blacksmith Isak Poole
Provided comic relief in George Cukor's "Travels With My Aunt", playing Maggie Smith's fortune-telling companion
Acted alongside James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson in "The River Niger", a feature film based on the 1972 Tony-winning play
Played Fiddler on the landmark ABC miniseries "Roots"; garnered Emmy Award
Starred as Dr MacArthur St Clair on the short-lived ABC medical series "The Lazarus Syndrome"
Portrayed legendary baseball pitcher Satchel Paige in ABC movie "Don't Look Back"
Won Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the tough drill sergeant in "An Officer and a Gentleman"
Co-starred as the alien Dehay (alias Walt Shepherd) on NBC sci-fi series, "The Powers of Matthew Star"
Earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Anwar Sadat in the synicated miniseries "Sadat"
Offered a feature sci-fi turn as the lizard-like Jeriba Shiban in "Enemy Mine"
Created the role of Charles 'Chappy' Sinclair in "Iron Eagle"; reprised role in two feature sequels and one TV-movie
Picked up another Emmy nomination for his performance in "A Gathering of Old Men" (CBS)
Reprised his Emmy-winning role as Fiddler in the ABC holiday TV-movie, "Roots: The Gift"
Starred as an anthropologist in the rotating ABC adventure series "Gideon Oliver"
Played 'Honey' Roy Palmer in "Diggstown", with Bruce Dern and James Woods; then-wife Cyndi played on-screen wife
First producing credit (as co-executive producer), the NBC movie "Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice"; also starred
Executive produced and starred in two Showtime movies, "Inside", directed by Arthur Penn, and "Run For the Dream: The Gail Devers Story", in which he played track coach Bob Kersee
Executive produced and starred in the TV-movies "To Dance With Olivia" (CBS) and "In His Father's Shoes" (Showtime); latter won a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Children's Special
Co-produced and starred in feature film "Managua"
Narrated the AMC special "Small Steps, Big Strides: The Black Experience in Hollywood"
Was executive producer and star of the Showtime original thriller "The Inspectors"; reprised role and producer duties in the 2000 sequel "The Inspectors 2: A Shred of Evidence"
Featured in "Bram Stoker's Legend of the Mummy", aired on HBO
Contributed to the Showtime anthology drama "Love Songs", directing the "A Love Song For Champ" segment and acting in the other two segments of the dramatic trilogy
Played Vernon Jordan in the Showtime original film "Strange Justice"
Played the tough owner of a telemarketing firm with a cameo in the Canadian independent thriller "The Highwayman"
Executive produced and starred in the CBS TV-movie "The Color of Love: Jacey's Story"
Starred in and was executive producer of the sequel "For Love of Olivia"
Returned to Broadway playing Billy Flynn in the long-running revival of "Chicago"; left production after about a week reportedly due to ill health
Cast in the HBO original movie "Lackawanna Blues" based on Ruben Santiago-Hudson autobiographical one man show
Had a recurring role in "Stargate SG-1"
Starred in Tyler Perry's "Daddy's Little Girls"