Moved to LA from his native Ohio in 1968; worked for the California Youth Authority while trying to break into show business. First TV guest role was in a 1970 episode of That Girl. Had a recurring role on Sanford and Son as Officer "Smitty" Smith. Reprised his role of Sgt. L.C. Ross from Private Benjamin in the 1981-83 CBS sitcom version of the film. Costarred with Marla Gibbs in 227 on-stage in Los Angeles before it became an NBC series in 1985. Set up a scholarship fund for minority students studying TV communications in memory of his son Mark, who died in a camping accident in 1977. With 227 costar Gibbs, was honored at the Giving Back Corporation's spring 2010 Celebrity Roast & Toast.