I was a grunt, walking around in the jungle of Vietnam, trying not to find the enemy. Because I am so big, they were going to give me either a heavy radio or a huge machine gun to carry. I carried a radio.
Among the roles I've played on stage, television and in films were politicos as diverse as Abe Lincoln, Juan Peron, Herman Goering, George Wallace and both Roosevelts.
I was the adoring son of a Welsh-Irish father, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, a Catholic Knight of Columbus who was a blue-collar, trade union organizer and, not surprisingly, a fervid Nixon-hater.
Lyndon Johnson may have escalated the war, but when I was drafted and shipped off to Vietnam, the signature on my orders was Nixon's.
My first presidential primary vote was for Bobby Kennedy.
In film roles, I play a lot of heavies and a lot of bad guys, so I tend to be the jokester and the good-time Charlie on the set.
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