He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Ordinary People (1980) and The Artist (2011).
He has been directed by ten Oscar-winning directors: Delbert Mann, Stanley Donen (Lifetime Achievement Award), Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford (twice), Ron Howard, Blake Edwards (Lifetime Achievement Award), Michel Hazanavicius, Paolo Sorrentino (Best Foreign Language Picture), and Ethan and Joel Coen.
He has worked with fourteen Oscar winning actors: Sophia Loren in Lady Liberty, Gene Hackman and Liza Minnelli in Lucky Lady, Dustin Hoffman and Martin Balsam in All the President's Men, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Comes a Horseman, Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Christopher Plummer in "The Moneychangers", Mary Steenburgen in Pontiac Moon, Jane Fonda in The Electric Horseman and Comes a Horseman, Christopher Walken in Communion and The Milagro Beanfield War, Renee Zellweger in Down With Love, J.K. Simmons in 3 Geezers! and Jean Dujardin in The Artist. He also appeared with Oscar winners Philip Seymour Hoffman in Culture; Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People; George Clooney, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton in Hail, Caesar!; and Shirley MacLaine in The Last Word, but shared no scenes with them.
He worked with two Oscar winning actors in films for which they won the award, Jason Robards in All the President's Men and Jean Dujardin in The Artist.
He is one of only two actors who has worked four times with actor/director Robert Redford, twice with Redford as an actor and twice with Redford as the director. Jane Fonda is the only other actor who has worked four times with Robert Redford, with Redford as an actor but never as the director.
In 2008 he served in Beirut as U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Lebanon.
He appeared in "Cactus Flower" at Playhouse on the Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, for producer Robert Ludlum two years before publication of "The Scarlatti Inheritance," the first of Ludlum's twenty-six best selling novels. Eleven of those have been filmed for movies and television.
He appears in director Peter Medak's 1986 "Twilight Zone" television production of "Button, Button" and director Richard Kelly's 2009 feature film, The Box, both based on Richard Matheson's short story, "Button, Button." He is the only actor to have appeared in both productions. His role of Steward in the television original is played by Frank Langella in the film version.
In more than half of the feature films in which he has appeared at least one actor or the director are Academy Award winners. In seven of the films: Lucky Lady, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Electric Horseman, Ordinary People, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Artist, and Hail, Caesar!, the director and one or more of the actors are Oscar winners.
When he arrived in Hollywood in 1974, no movie/TV agent would represent him. In 1978 after appearing in six major studio pictures for distinguished directors including two future Oscar winners (and three films for directors who were nominated but didn't win), he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Four years later, director Ron Howard cast him in Night Shift. It was the first feature in which he was hired from an audition. He has worked with five Academy Award winning directors for whom he had never auditioned.
He was followed in the role of Professor in "South Pacific" at Jones Beach, New York, by James Woods.
He created a dialogue sequence for himself (at the directors' requests} in two pictures that won Academy Awards for Best Screenplay: All the President's Men (Best Screenplay Oscar winner William Goldman) directed by Alan J. Pakula; and Ordinary People (Best Screenplay Oscar winner Alvin Sargent) directed by Robert Redford.
He has been directed by two Academy Award winning cinematographers, Guy Green (Best Black and White Cinematography for Great Expectations) in a television movie, "Jennifer: A Woman's Story"; and Haskell Wexler (Best Cinematography for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Bound for Glory) in a television commercial for Prestone Antifreeze.
He has appeared in films with two actors who later became Oscar winning directors: Robert Redford, in All the President's Men and The Electric Horseman, won the Academy Award for directing Ordinary People; and Kevin Costner, in Night Shift, won the directing Oscar for Dances with Wolves.
He has worked with two cinematographers who have a total of eighteen Academy Award nominations with only one win: Owen Roizman (The Electric Horseman), five nominations and no wins; and Roger Deakins (Hail, Caesar!), thirteen nominations and one win, for Blade Runner 2049.