|Made his Broadway debut in Katharine Cornell's 1947 production of Anthony and Cleopatra; he later made his silver screen directorial debut with 1971's Anthony and Cleopatra.|
|In high school, he performed with a local theater company which subsequently gave him a drama scholarship to Northwestern.|
|Served in the Air Force during World War II before moving to New York to pursue an acting career.|
|In the 1960s, he supported Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the campaign for passage of the Civil Rights Act.|
|In 1997, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.|
|His autobiography In the Arena was published in 1995.|
|President Reagan selected him to co-chair the White House Task Force on the Arts and Humanities in 1981.|
|Spent his early years in a small rural Michigan town where he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse.|
|Big break came when Cecil B. DeMille cast him as Moses in the 1956 classic epic The Ten Commandments (his months-old son joined him on-screen as baby Moses).|
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