On stage, Butler played Jonathan Harker opposite Bela Lugosi in the latter's final tour of Dracula (1951). Butler was a frequent presence on British television since the 1950s, appearing in a range of one-off television plays and anthologies. He also appeared on Coronation Street, a first season installment of The Avengers, the Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes series, and Z Cars. Butler had supporting roles in the TV movie The Naked Civil Servant (with John Hurt) and the miniseries The Singing Detective (with Michael Gambon), Traffik, and the 1994 Middlemarch. His most visible roles were in the 1981 film The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (as Nostradamus, with Orson Welles narrating) and in Four Weddings and a Funeral (as the vicar for the fourth wedding).