Date of Birth : Jul 10th 1945
American actor. He is known for his roles as the witty Detective Ron Harris in the television sitcom Barney Miller (1975-1982), and as the spiritual Shepherd Derrial Book in the science fiction series Firefly and its sequel film Serenity.
Glass was born in Evansville, Indiana. Graduating from Saint Francis Seminary in 1964, Glass was already as multi-talented as he was sociable. An excerpt from the 1964 graduation issue of the Brown & White states:
A man with as many talents as friends is Big “G” from Evansville, Indiana… tops in any sport… handles his subjects with ease… knows as many words as Webster and has the best voice in the school. Ron always steals the show with his solo when the Glee Club performs. He maintains that nothing can compare with opera in beauty, and that no one has seen real acting till he has seen a good Shakespearian actor. He eats the most in the class, is always borrowing some tobacco, is forever laughing…– Brown & White.
Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis before moving to Hollywood. His earliest TV appearances include episodes of Sanford and Son in 1972 and episodes of Good Times in 1974. In 1975, he landed the role of Det. Ron Harris in Barney Miller which ran until 1982. The following season, Glass also co-starred with Demond Wilson on television in the short-lived remake of The Odd Couple, called The New Odd Couple. In 1992, he costarred in the short-lived sitcom Rhythm and Blues, a kind of “black WKRP, playing “the fifth Top” opposite Roger Kabler.
Since then, Glass has appeared in dozens of television series, including the Disney children’s series Teen Angel where he played God’s cousin Rod, Star Trek: Voyager (Nightingale) and the cult science fiction series Firefly (2002), in which he played Derrial Book, a religious man with a mysterious past. Glass himself is a Buddhist. Glass reprised his role from Firefly in the film Serenity (2005). He even had a small role in Friends as Ross’s annulment lawyer, Russel.