A sixth-generation grandson of Benjamin Franklin, in turn related to President John Calvin Coolidge Jr. and a remote descendant of the old Earls of Orkney and the ancient Kings of Scotland.
Graduated from Duke University in 1980, where he studied acting.
Has one daughter Tess, born in 1999, who appeared in the Wes Craven film Red Eye.
In theater, he won the 1986 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in "Bouncers".
Studied acting at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and Writers' Boot Camp.
Gained TV notice after replacing Al Corley in the role of "Steven Carrington", one of prime-time television's first openly gay characters, on the night time soap "Dynasty".