This Arkansas native was born on 26 November 1945 to parents who owned a movie theater. He often felt that his desire to become an actor came from the fact that he spent so much time in the theater's "crying room" for babies - and listening to the likes of Tyrone Power and others. His first "professional" work came at the age of 11 when he became a member of the cast of a children's TV series broadcast from Little Rock - "Betty's Little Rascals". His formal acting training came from the Arkansas Arts Center (a fine arts conservatory with its own repertory company), followed by work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and 6 years with the American Conservatory Theatre, among many others. He also taught acting classes while at ACT. His love of the theater has continued through his career. He has played in nearly every Shakespeare play and an untold number of musicals (he's an accomplished singer) and straight plays. For the year 2000 Tony Awards, he was recognized with a nomination as best actor in a featured role for his performance in "Wrong Mountain". When The Nanny (1993) first went on the air, many people believed that the very British butler "Niles" was definitely being played by a British actor. This Southern boy was so convincing in his role that many fans wrote to the show and suggested that he teach Charles Shaughnessy (a true British native) how to improve his accent!
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