Joined the U.S. Navy in December 1941 and served on the destroyer USS Marshall during World War II
Began professional acting career in a non-union stock company in New York
First television appearance was in a CBS production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
Made Off-Broadway debut as Harold Koble in "End as a Man"
Made feature acting debut in Elia Kazan's "On the Waterfront"
Broadway debut as Joe Foster in "Festival"
Cast as Gooper in the Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
Nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for William Inge's "Dark at the Top of the Stairs"
Received rave reviews in title role of Archibald MacLeish's "J.B." on Broadway
Offered the title role in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), but could not do it due to near fatal accident; Burt Lancaster won a Best Actor Oscar as Elmer Gantry
Narrated Elia Kazan's "Wild River"
Breakthrough feature supporting role as Warren Beatty's father in Kazan's "Splendor in the Grass"
Appeared as Parnell James in the Broadway production of James Baldwin's "Blues for Mr Charlie"
Appeared in the first stage revival of "The Glass Menagerie"
Played the Gentleman Caller in a CBS-TV adaptation of "The Glass Menagerie"
First film with Clint Eastwood, "Hang 'Em High" (also appeared with Eastwood in "The Gauntlet" 1977 and "Sudden Impact" 1983)
TV-movie debut, "The Ballad of Andy Crocker" (ABC)
Succeeded Richard A. Dysart as Coach in Jason Miller's "That Championship Season" on Broadway
Played a colorful Depression-era doctor in the ABC TV-movie, "The Last Angry Man"
Debut as a TV regular, played Chief Paulton on the short-lived ABC detective series "Stone"
Gave an amusing performance as a true screen swine, in Stephen King's directorial debut "Maximum Overdrive"
Cast as a regular in the short-lived CBS drama "Blue Skies"
Portrayed Police Commissioner James Gordon in Tim Burton's "Batman"; took the job so his wife could see London
Cast as mob boss Bobo Justice in "The Grifters" opposite Anjelica Huston
Played J. Edgar Hoover in the HBO movie "Citizen Cohn"
Reprised the role of Commissioner Gordon for Burton's "Batman Returns"
Again played Commissioner Gordon for Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever"
Had a fourth go as Commissioner Gordon in "Batman & Robin"
Portrayed Officer Wylie in the USA movie "The Member of the Wedding"
Acted the part of Benjamin Franklin in the Broadway revival of "1776"
Returned to series TV as regular on the ABC drama "The Court"
Cast opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
Co-starred in the comedy "Waltzing Anna"