(written from a Production point of view)
Savage is well known for his breakthrough role as Steven in the classic 1978 war drama The Deer Hunter with an uncredited Kurtwood Smith as a fellow Vietnam War prisoner. Another role for which he is famous is that of Claude in the 1979 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Hair. That same year, he starred as police detective Karl Hettinger in The Onion Field, a crime drama co-starring Phillip Richard Allen, K Callan, Ronny Cox, John de Lancie, Richard Herd, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Pataki and Franklyn Seales.
Savage's subsequent films include Richard Donner's Inside Moves (with Bert Remsen), the 1981 thriller The Amateur (co-starring Christopher Plummer, along with Ed Lauter and Graham Jarvis), Oliver Stone's Salvador (1986, with Tony Plana), Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989) and Summer of Sam (1999, with Bebe Neuwirth and Mike Starr), Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part III (1990), Ridley Scott's White Squall (1996), the 1999 drama Message in a Bottle (with Raphael Sbarge), and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1998, with Simon Billig, Michael McAdam, and Michael McGrady) and The New World (2006, with Christopher Plummer). During the 1990s, he began to act more on television, making guest appearances on shows such as The X-Files (in an episode directed by Rob Bowman) and Tales from the Crypt (with Bibi Besch and Anthony Zerbe).
More recently, Savage was a regular on the series Dark Angel, on which he worked with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Nana Visitor. He also had a recurring role as Henry "Hack" Scudder on the acclaimed HBO series Carnivàle, working alongside the likes of Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown, K Callan, John Fleck, John Carroll Lynch, Scott MacDonald, Matt McCoy, Diane Salinger, and Time Winters.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects in which Savage worked with other Star Trek alumni are listed below.
- Bad Company (1972; co-starring David Huddleston and Ed Lauter)
- The Killing Kind (1973; co-starring Peter Brocco)
- Maria's Lovers (1984; with Keith Carradine and Bill Smitrovich)
- The Dangerous (1994; with Joel Grey and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa)
- CIA II: Target Alexa (with Anthony De Longis)
- Killing Obsession (with Victoria Dillard)
- Carnosaur 2 (1995; with Cliff DeYoung, Christopher Darga and John Davis Chandler)
- Hostile Intent (1997; with Saul Rubinek; written by Manny Coto)
- Intoxicating (2003; with Art Chudabala)
- Easy Six (edited by Todd Ramsay)
- Kill Your Darlings (2006; with John Larroquette)
- Shortcut to Happiness (aka The Devil and Daniel Webster) (2007; with Kim Cattrall)
- Cade's County episode "Gray Wolf" (1971; with Sharon Acker)
- All the Kind Strangers (1974; co-starring Samantha Eggar)
- Eric (1975; directed by James Goldstone; co-starring Nehemiah Persoff)
- The Turning Point of Jim Malloy (1975; with John Hoyt, John McLiam, Allan Miller, and Byron Morrow; cinematography by Jerry Finnerman)
- Great Expectations (1989 mini-series; with John Rhys-Davies and Jean Simmons)
- Daybreak (1993; with Willie Garson)
- Op Center (1995; with Kim Cattrall, France Nuyen and Sherman Howard)
- The Jack Bull (1999; with Glenn Morshower)
- The Virginian (2000; co-starring Harris Yulin)
- They Nest (co-starring Dean Stockwell)
- Admissions (2004; with Christopher Lloyd)
- Love's Long Journey (2005; with Jeff Kober, Diane Salinger and W. Morgan Sheppard)