Grew up in Evansville, Indiana. Attended High School at St. Francis Seminary, where his nickname was "Big G". He graduated from high school in 1964. He then attended the University of Evansville where he had a double major and received a BA degree in Drama and Literature.
After college he worked in theatre in Minneapolis and worked at many regional theaters in the US and Canada.. He then moved to Hollywood and had numerous guest appearances on television before being cast in the popular sitcom "Barney Miller".
Over his career Ron has received many awards in theatre, and has twice been nominated for Emmy Awards. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the "Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center".
In 2002, Ron landed a role as one of the main characters, Shepherd Book, on Joss Whedon's hit sci-fi show Firefly. The series only lasted 15 episodes, but it got a huge fan base in in 2005, the continuation movie Serenity was filmed. If there are any future Firefly projects, Ron probably won't be in them, as his character died in the movie.