Before becoming an actor he taught junior high school for several years.
Although he often plays Italian-Americans, Hedaya is actually the son of Sephardi Jewish immigrants from Syria.
Graduated from Tufts University in 1962.
He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
He had a minor role ("Trini Cardoza") in Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995) and later played Nixon himself in Dick (1999).