Freeman appeared numerous times on Broadway in such shows as Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright," "Blues for Mister Charlie, Look to the Lilies, and Medea. He also appeared Off-Broadway in Dutchman, reprising the role of Clay in the film version, as well as Troilus and Cressida, and in the Public Theater's 1981 production of Long Day's Journey Into Night opposite Earle Hyman and Gloria Foster.
The actor also had a 40-year career in film and television, including his Emmy-Award winning role as Ed Hall on ABC's One Life to Live and Emmy-nominated turns in My Sweet Charlie and Roots. His many other credits included Finian's Rainbow, Hot L Baltimore, King, Malcolm X, Homicide: Life on the Streets.
At the time of his death, he was a professor at Howard University and chair of its theater department.