American actor best known for his Academy Award-winning role in An Officer and a Gentleman. He gained further fame for his Emmy Award-winning role as Fiddler in the miniseries Roots. He has also had prominent roles in A Raisin in the Sun, Iron Eagle, and The Punisher.
He turned down the chance to play basketball for New York University to concentrate on theater.
He wrote the famous Richie Havens song, "Handsome Johnny."
He is the cousin of The Closer actor Robert Gossett. He married three times and has two sons named Satie and Sharron Gossett.
Peter Benchley wrote the screenplay for the film The Deep, in which he starred as a druglord.