Irving appeared in television shows like Car 54, Where Are You?, The Patty Duke Show and All In The Family. He had a run on the soap opera Ryan's Hope and lent his voice talents as the Narrator for Underdog and playing the iconic role of Heat Miser in both The Year Without A Santa Clause (1974) and A Miser Brothers' Christmas (2008). But he was best known for his stage work which included Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Can-Can, Bells Are Ringing, Me And My Girl (Tony nomination) and as Major General Stanley in Joseph Papp's 1981 revival of The Pirates Of Penzance opposite of Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt.
In 1973, Irving played the flamboyant Madam Lucy in Irene opposite of Debbie Reynolds. The role won him the Tony for Best Peformance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The musical also marked the stage debut of Reynolds daughter Carrie Fisher. Reynolds also received a Tony nomination for her performance.
In 2008, Irving received the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. His wife, actress Maria Karnilova, passed away in 2001. He is survived by two children and three grandchildren.