American opera singer. He began his career on Broadway as a baritone in New York City in 1950. In 1952 he decided to focus on opera and left to study as a baritone in Italy. This led to a tour of Spain with an Italian opera company and eventually with opera houses in Europe ending his baritone career after three years at the Vienna State Opera and the San Francisco Opera in California from 1953 to 1961. He retrained his voice as a tenor, and from 1963 had great success in the Dramatic/Wagnerian tenor repertoire at major theatres internationally. After retiring from the stage in the 1970s, he devoted his time to develop dramatic voices. He is also known for portraying the role of Jesus Christ in the 1959 classic film Ben-Hur.