His father was a captain in the United States Navy; he grew up in California, Virginia, New York and Japan. He majored in drama at Los Angeles City College and made his acting debut on "The Bill Cosby Show" (1969) in 1970. He played a continuing role (Kent Murray) in TV's "General Hospital" (1963) and co-starred in the respected TV comedy series "The Texas Wheelers" (1974). Real fame came with his film debut (he was voice only in Wizards (1977)) with the hero role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). He experienced a disfiguring car crash, but later played in Broadway, returning to film in 1989.