Alan North became involved in theater as a stage manager, and eventually debuted on Broadway in 1955. Though North did have two prior television appearances, his first real exposure came in the 1970s. In the early part of the decade he appeared alongside Al Pacino in the gritty undercover cop drama "Serpico" and worked with the actor once again in 1979's " And Justice for All", as a deputy sheriff. North picked up considerably more parts in the 1980s, beginning with appearances on the satiric "Police Squad!" television show. He continued to appear primarily on television, with parts on the police procedural "Hill Street Blues" and the soap opera "Guiding Light". But he also landed a number of film roles during the decade, including parts in the teacher drama "Lean on Me" (as a New Jersey mayor) and the action fantasy "Highlander" (as a police lieutenant). North continued to be a presence on television in the 1990s, with continued roles on procedural dramas, including the mothership of the genre, "Law & Order".