His earliest movie memory is of being so scared by The Phantom of the Opera at age 9 that his grandmother allowed him to sleep in the bed with her that night.
He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.
During his lean salad days, he supported himself as a Radio City Music Hall tour guide and as a catalog model for Montgomery Ward.
He was Warner Bros. original choice to play Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He was offered the role and seriously considered it but passed away before he could give them an answer.
His favorite singers were Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson. He was also a big fan of Elton John.
The character he is most famous for was voted the greatest screen hero of all time by the American Film Institute in May 2003, only two weeks before his death (beating out Indiana Jones, who was placed second, and James Bond who came third).