Crenna had a long career in films, appearing in such movies as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, First Blood (and its following Rambo sequels), Hot Shots! Part Deux and The Flamingo Kid
Suffering from pancreatic cancer, Crenna died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California at the age of 75.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6714 Hollywood Blvd. Crenna's son Richard Anthony Crenna is also an actor