A solid, curly-haired and ruggedly handsome leading man, Robert Foxworth achieved TV stardom with his six-year (1981-87) run as Chase Gioberti, the family man who inherited vineyards from his father and did battle with his powerful aunt (Jane Wyman) on the popular CBS primetime serial "Falcon Crest". The Houston native had spent his teenage years observing the actors at the Alley Theater and he eventually began his professional career there in 1959. After further studies at Carnegie-Mellon, Foxworth spent several seasons at the prestigious Arena Stage in Washington, DC (where he worked with Jane Alexander, among others) and the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT.
After making his Broadway debut in 1969 as the Chorus in "Henry V", Foxworth landed his first series role as an idealistic attorney who worked among the downtrodden of L.A. in "The Storefront Lawyers" (CBS, 1970-71). The network revamped the series in early 1971, moving Foxworth's character to a fancy law firm and calling the show "Men at Law" but it still failed to impress audiences. For much of the next decade, the actor divided his time between Broadway (where he was an impressive John Proctor in a 1972 revival of "The Crucible"), films (the best of which was 1980's "The Black Marble") and TV. The small screen proved particularly hospitable to Foxworth's abilities. He proved equally at home as the earnest do-gooder and as despicable villains. One of his better turns came as titular gangster in "The FBI Story: The FBI Versus Alvin Karpis, Public Enemy Number One" (NBC, 1974). That same year, he was the romantic lead to Elizabeth Montgomery in the Western "Mrs. Sundance" (ABC, 1974), which also marked the beginning of their off-screen relationship. In "Peter and Paul" (CBS, 1981), Foxworth was the former, holding his own against Anthony Hopkins' showy turn as the latter. "Falcon Crest", however, solidified his position as a leading man, but not content to rest on his laurels, he moved behind the camera to helm several episodes of the series as well. When he vacated the role, his character was killed on the series.
Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, Foxworth continued to act in the occasional TV-movie, like "Double Standard" (NBC, 1988), a based-on-fact drama about a judge living a double life complete with two wives. He returned to series work in a recurring role on the "2000 Malibu Road" (CBS, 1992) but the show proved a bust in the ratings department Gradually shedding his persona as a dramatic actor, Foxworth made guest appearances on sitcoms, paving the way for his return to TV series on NBC's "Lateline" (1998-99). As the pompous anchor Pearce McKenzie in this spoof of network news programming, he proved an unexpected delight, delivering his lines with the right panache and nearly stealing every one of his scenes. Foxworth had not forsaken the stage, though, co-starring with Kevin Kline in a Broadway production of "Ivanov" in the fall of 1997 and reuniting with Jane Alexander (as her adulterous husband) in 1998's "Honour".