Actor Ron Glass was born Ronald Earle Glass to Lefia Mae Gibson Glass and Crump Allen Glass on July 10, 1945, in Evansville, Indiana. A spelling bee champion at St. John’s Elementary School, Glass attended St. Francis High School where he excelled at athletics and singing. After graduating in 1964, Glass attended the University of Evansville where he received his B.A. degree in drama and literature.
In 1968, Glass made his stage debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Moving to Hollywood in 1972, Glass got his first television role in an episode of Sanford and Son. Other roles followed in All in the Family (1972); Maude (1972); Hawaii Five-O (1973); Good Times (1974); When Things Were Rotten (1975); and Streets of San Francisco (1976). In 1975, Glass became a regular on the police comedy Barney Miller; he later went on to play Felix in The New Odd Couple (1983). Glass appeared in series as varied as The Twilight Zone (1985); 227 (1985); Deep Space (1987); Family Matters (1989); Murder She Wrote (1984); Friends (1994); Star Trek Voyager (1995); Teen Angel (1997); and The Practice (1997). In 2002, Glass played the role of Shepherd Book in Firefly, which he reprised for Serenity, the 2005 movie based on the show.
Active in the community, Glass served on the boards of the American Repertory Dance Company, the Ka-Ron Lehman Dancers, and St. Thomas University. Glass was also the chairman of the Al Wooten, Jr. Heritage Center in Los Angeles, California.