Between 1963 and 1964 while training in the Theatre Arts Department at LACC, Mr. Winfield performed (at the age of 19) in the title role in Shakespeare's Othello, in Antigone, and as the Director in Six Characters in Search of an Author, among other productions. He returned to the campus in 1994 to share the stage with twelve other notable alumni including Cindy Williams and Hugh O'Brien and other notable celebrities including Steve Allen and Gary Owens in the highly successful alumni fund-raising event, Radio Live.
As noted in the LA Times, "The tall, imposing Winfield was only the third African American actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for best actor when he was honored for his performance as Nathan Lee Morgan, the loving sharecropper father in the 1972 classic, "Sounder." Marlon Brando won the best actor Oscar that year for "The Godfather." In 1978, People Magazine described Mr. Winfield as "the most ubiquitous black TV/Movie actor of the decade." In 1995, Mr. Winfield received an Emmy Award for his performance as a federal judge in "Picket Fences."