A devout anti-war pacifist, he nevertheless served during WWII and was discharged as a sergeant, but a curvature of the spine kept him from seeing any combat during his active duty.
After moving to Ireland in 1963, Whitehead became, first and foremost, a distinguished pioneer who devoted the final three and a half decades of his life to the nurturing and consolidation of the distinctive Bahá'í community in Ireland as a historian and chronicler.
Appeared as O.Z. Whitehead (as he is usually listed) in a Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Cowardly Lion", which had a pussycat lion and a baby gorilla named Toto.
Attending Harvard University and switched majors from English to dramatics against the wishes of his parents. He also developed a lifelong friendship with Katharine Hepburn's brother Dick while there.
Beat out the likes of Mickey Rooney and Glenn Ford for his role of Al Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
Father was a banker and the family lived in the privileged upper East Side of Manhattan.
Played the relatively quiet role of the night porter in the 1966 Irish premiere of Eugene O'Neill's "Hughie" and was awarded "best supporting actor" at the Dublin Theatre Festival. He played the role again in a 1989 production.