Cliff Robertson began his acting career on the stage and has many theatrical roles to his credit. He got his first break when he was selected for the touring company of Mister Roberts, and soon appeared with Helen Hayes in Wisteria Trees. Joshua Logan spotted his talent and cast him in his first movie, Picnic.

Among his most recent stage appearances is Love Letters. In this, he played opposite Elaine Stritch in the New York production, Michael Learned in San Francisco, and Carol Burnett in Southern California.