- Was a member of the music group Archie Bell and the Drells as a teenager.
- Served in the Army.
- Performed in a gospel group called Southern Clouds of Joy.
- Is a member of the Actors Studio.
- Considered by playwright Lyle Kessler to be "one of the great American actors."
- Dolorita Noonan Robinson — Wife
- Venus Duran — Ex-wife