His first role came in the 1976 television film Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys, in which he co-starred as Haywood Patterson. He followed this up with a number of supporting roles until 1979, when he appeared as Cochise in The Warriors, the role for which he is best remembered. He also appeared in the Robert Redford film Brubaker the following year. Throughout the 1980s, he appeared in a number of fairly high-profile films, and in the 1990s, he did mostly television work. He lent his voice to The Warriors video game in 2005, reprising his role as Cochise. In 2012, he appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Warden.