Childhood & Early Life
He was born on May 18, 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S, in a Greek American family.
He was drawn towards acting and stage at an early age and was eventually taken to a community theatre by his mother.
He received his undergraduate education in theatrical arts from Saint Louis University and obtained a Master's degree in theatre from Indiana University, in 1969.
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In 1971, he started touring and performing with Peter Brook's international theatre company in improvisational and prepared theater pieces on stages ranging from Lincoln Center to barrios in Venezuela.
He made his film début in ‘Série Noire’ (1979); the film was about a door-to-door salesman who plans a murder.
In 1981, he took a small role in ‘Ragtime’, a semi-fictional mosaic of 1906 America, alongside James Cagney. The film was based on the novel of the same name and was nominated for eight academy awards and seven golden globe awards.
In 1981-82, he starred in CBS’s soap opera, ‘Guiding Light’, as a mysterious one-eyed man, Lucien Goff, who tries to kill the character of Mike Bauer twice.
In 1986, he moved to Los Angeles in search of bigger and better roles in movies and on television.
In 1988, he featured in the HBO TV movie ‘Steal the Sky’, based on the true story of Iraqi pilot, Munir Redfa, flying a MiG-21 fighter jet from Iraq to Israel in 1966.
In 1989, he appeared in the American action film, ‘Next of Kin’, alongside Patrick Swayze and Adam Baldwin. The film was a huge success at the box office.
From 1989 to 1994, he played the recurring character of Romulan Commander Tomalak on the TV series ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’.
In 1992, he portrayed the role of ‘Mr. Scarpa’, a Mafioso, in the British-American comedy movie ‘Blame It on the Bellboy’. It revolves around a case of mistaken identity of three individuals with similar sounding surnames staying at the same hotel.
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In 1993, he was seen playing the role of a serial killer in a movie, ‘The Fugitive’, alongside Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.
He played the role of Ambassador G'Kar in the television series ‘Babylon 5’, from 1994 to 1998.
In 2002, he reprised his role of Ambassador G’Kar in the television film ‘Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers: To Live and Die in Starlight’.
In 2003, he also played ‘Vissian Captain Drennik’ in the ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ episode titled ’Cogenitor’. It was one of his last appearances on the television before his death.
He also appeared in a few made-for-TV movies. These include: ‘The Neon Empire’ (1989), ‘The Death of the Incredible Hulk’ (1990), and ‘New York Cop’ (1993).
One of his earliest guest appearances was in a 1982 episode of the soap opera, ‘General Hospital’. He followed this with appearances on ‘Max Headroom’ (1987-1988), ‘Alien Nation’ (1989), ‘Murder, She Wrote’ (1990), ‘Capital News’ (1990),‘Millennium’ (1999), and ‘NYPD Blue’ (2003).
He is best known for his role of ‘Ambassador G'Kar’, on the popular science fiction television series, ‘Babylon 5’. The series is set between the years 2257 and 2262, and depicts a future where Earth has sovereign states, and a unifying Earth government.
His most recognized film role is that of the murderous one-armed man, Sykes, in the 1993 thriller ‘The Fugitive’, based on the classic series of the same name. The movie was an instant hit worldwide and received critical acclaim for its engaging storyline.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was married twice. His second marriage was with Gilla Nissan Kastulas and he had two children from a previous marriage, Michael and Katherine.
He was a heavy smoker and was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer in early 2005.
He died on February 13, 2006, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., at the age of 59, due to lung cancer. His remains were buried at St. Matthew Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.