Television and film work began to beckon in the 80s as well. Heald played a recurring role on the ABC daytime drama "All My Children" and guest starred on "Miami Vice" and "Spenser For Hire," but his first big TV appearance was as Kevin Kensington, one of the family of raisin barons in the 1986 CBS spoof miniseries "Fresno," co-starring Carol Burnett. Other small screen credits include a turn as an incestuous doctor in a 1991 "CBS Schoolbreak Special" entitled "Abby, My Love" and the final episode of the hit sitcom "Cheers." By the early 80s, Heald had begun to gain small roles in features (as a doctor in Mike Nichols' "Silkwood" 1983, as a cop in "Teachers" 1984). His first prominent role was Weldon, the government agent posing as an acting student, in "Outrageous Fortune" (1987). While Nichols cast him in a more prominent role in "Postcards From the Edge" (1990), Heald hit pay dirt in 1991 when director Jonathan Demme cast him as Dr. Chilton, the arrogant psychiatrist brought down by his own hubris--and Hannibal Lechter--in the Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs." Despite the notice, however, Heald never fully graduated to major roles. Throughout the 90s, he has continued to alternate between features and the stage. On screen, Heald was Annabella Sciorra's former boyfriend in the undistinguished thriller "Whispers in the Dark" and had a small role in the superior "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (both 1993). Heald has appeared in three adaptations of John Grisham best-sellers: Alan J Pakula's "The Pelican Brief" (1993) and "The Client" (1994) and "A Time to Kill" (1996), both directed by Joel Schumacher. In Barbet Schroeder's 1995 remake of "Kiss of Death," he was cited for his depiction of a sleazy lawyer. On stage, Heald has excelled in two plays by Terrence McNally: in "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" (1991), he was Christine Baranski's slightly stuffy husband, while in the Tony-winning "Love! Valour! Compassion!," he was half of a successful gay couple. Heald demonstrated his versatility in multiple roles in A.R. Gurney's off-Broadway hit "Later Life" (1993) and more than held his own against heavyweights George C Scott and Charles Durning in the 1996 revival of "Inherit the Wind."