Went to school in Englewood, NJ, with Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, and used to ice-skate with John Travolta.
In 1971 made professional stage debut in the Parisian production of Hair. Got the part when his brother failed to show up for work.
Upon moving to London, he formed the Majestics, a soul band, in 1973. Also provided background vocals for a few musical artists, including Joan Armatrading, David Essex and the group Heatwave (who had the hit single "Boogie Nights").
Made TV debut in the British series The Professionals in 1983.
Wrote the musical revue Five Guys Named Moe, which won a 1991 Laurence Olivier Award in England for Best Entertainment. The revue later premiered on Broadway in 1992 and had more than 400 performances.
In 1999 made Broadway acting debut as Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh. The performance earned him a Theatre World Award.
Has worked steadily on the London stage, and received acting nominations for Olivier Awards for Chicago (1999) and Porgy and Bess (2007).
1992, Tony — Book (Musical): Nominee
2017, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner