- Studied acting at New York's famed Herbert Berghof Studio after serving in the U.S. Air Force.
- Before his acting career took off, worked as a lumberjack, janitor and short-order cook.
- While living in Rome, dubbed Italian films into English and appeared in films by neorealist director Roberto Rossellini.
- First high-profile screen role was in Clint Eastwood's 1979 prison thriller Escape From Alcatraz.
- His acclaimed performance as doomed astronaut Gus Grissom in The Right Stuff (1983) led to one of his few starring roles, in 1985's Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
- Marie-France Ward — Wife
- Django Ward — Son
- Silvia Ward — Ex-wife