Won a scholarship to attend Interlochen Arts Academy High School in Michigan. Featured in the 1971 Broadway production of The Me Nobody Knows. Auditioned for role of James 'J.J.' Evans Jr. in the CBS series Good Times; lost out to Jimmie Walker. In 1975, replaced Michael Evans as Lionel Jefferson in the CBS comedy series The Jeffersons. Nominated for a Best Actor Olivier Award in 1992 for portrayal of Joe in the London stage production of Carmen Jones. Has sung with the London Symphony Orchestra.