- Went to school in Englewood, NJ, with Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, and used to ice-skate with John Travolta.
- In 1971 made professional stage debut in the Parisian production of Hair. Got the part when his brother failed to show up for work.
- Upon moving to London, he formed the Majestics, a soul band, in 1973. Also provided background vocals for a few musical artists, including Joan Armatrading, David Essex and the group Heatwave (who had the hit single "Boogie Nights").
- Made TV debut in the British series The Professionals in 1983.
- Wrote the musical revue Five Guys Named Moe, which won a 1991 Laurence Olivier Award in England for Best Entertainment. The revue later premiered on Broadway in 1992 and had more than 400 performances.
- In 1999 made Broadway acting debut as Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh. The performance earned him a Theatre World Award.
- Has worked steadily on the London stage, and received acting nominations for Olivier Awards for Chicago (1999) and Porgy and Bess (2007).