Born Mirfield, Yorkshire, England. Member of various local drama groups from about age 12. Left school at 15 to work as junior reporter on local paper; quit when Editor told him he was spending too much time at the theatre and not enough working. Spent a year as furniture salesman, saving cash to attend drama school. Accepted by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1957. Professional debut 1959 in Repertory in Lincoln; work at Manchester Library Theatre and a tour round the world with the Old Vic Company followed in the early 60s. Joined Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, to begin 27-year association. Following a spell with the Royal National Theatre in the mid 80s, he went to Los Angeles to star in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987), which ran from 1987-1994, playing the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He plans to return to theatre work on the end of this series.