He is an American actor and stage performer, known for his distinctive voice and personality. Over the course of his career, he has starred in several films that are widely considered classics and have been nominated for five Academy Awards. He was one of MGM's top contract stars (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). He also had a military career and was a World War II and Cold War veteran, who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the United States Air Force Reserve.