He received a Tony Award for his performance in Bedroom Farce and a Tony nomination for Breaking the Code. His other appearances on Broadway include Compulsion and The Fighting Cock.
The actor is perhaps best known for playing the butler Alfred in Tim Burton's Batman, a role which he reprised in Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Among his other screen credits are Burton's Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow, and Alice In Wonderland, as well as The Boys From Brazil, Out of Africa, The Fourth Protocol, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and The Age of Innocence.
He is survived by his fourth wife Henrietta and two children from previous marriages.