William Atherton Biography (1947-)

Born William Atherton Knight II, June 30, 1947, in New Haven (some sources say Orange), CT; son of Robert Atherton and Myrtle (Robison) Knight; married Bobbi Goldin, December 8, 1980. Education: Received scholarship to Pasadena Playhouse; Carnegie-Mellon University, B.F.A., drama, 1969; trained for the stage at Aesthetic Realism Foundation, New York City, and with Consultation with Three, Ted van Griethuysen, Roy Harris, Sheldon Kranz, and Eli Siegel.Addresses: Agent-- Metropolitan Talent Agency, 4526 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010-3801. Career: Actor and song performer. Member of Long Wharf Theatre Company while in high school. Toured with United Service Organizations (USO) shows in Europe in the 1960s. Awards, Honors: Theatre World Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award,and two Obie Award nominations, Village Voice, 1972, all for Suggs; Joseph Jefferson Award for Misalliance. Addresses: Agent:Metropolitan Talent Agency, 4526 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010-3801.

Actor, song performer
Birth Details
June 30, 1947
New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Famous Works

  • Stage Appearances
  • (Stage debut) The Boyfriend, Clinton Playhouse, Clinton, CT, 1964
  • Kenny, Little Murders, Civic Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1970
  • Victor, Goodbye and Keep Cold, Loft Theatre, New York City, 1970
  • Ronnie Shaughnessy, The House of Blue Leaves, Truck and WarehouseTheatre, New York City, 1971
  • Title role, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public/Newman Theatre, New York City, 1971
  • (Broadway debut) David Ragin, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Longacre Theatre, 1972
  • Title role, Suggs(also known as Suggs in the City), Forum Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York City, 1972
  • Leonidik, The Promise, Bucks County Playhouse, PA, 1974
  • Lord Ravensbane, The Scarecrow, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1975
  • Aubrey, The Show-Off, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, 1975
  • Bing Ringling, Rich and Famous, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, New York City, 1976
  • Percival, Misalliance, Lake Forest, IL, 1976
  • Richard, Passing Game, American Place Theatre, New York City, 1977
  • Roy Lane, Broadway, Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA, 1978
  • William Atherton: Acting, Ethics, Person, Terrain Gallery, New York City, 1978
  • Johnny Case, Happy New Year, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1980
  • Lee Baum, The American Clock, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 1980
  • Richard, Three Acts of Recognition, New York Shakespeare Festival,Public/Anspacher Theatre, New York City, 1982
  • Lieutenant Commander John Challee, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,Circle in the Square Theatre, New York City, 1983
  • Dr. Lucchesi, Fugue, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, OH, 1992-93
  • Also appeared in Child's Play, Los Angeles, CA; and Loco Motives, Los Angeles.
  • Film Appearances
  • (Film debut) The New Centurions(also known as Precinct 45: LosAngeles Police), Columbia, 1972
  • Fraternity president, Class of '44(also known as Tre kompisar), Warner Bros., 1972
  • Clovis Poplin, The Sugarland Express, Universal, 1974
  • Tod Hackett, The Day of the Locust, Paramount, 1975
  • Boerth, The Hindenburg, Universal, 1975
  • James Morrissey, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Paramount, 1977
  • Walter Peck, Ghostbusters, Columbia, 1984
  • Professor Hathaway, Real Genius, TriStar, 1985
  • Allan Deveneux, No Mercy, TriStar, 1986
  • Richard Thornburg, Die Hard, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988
  • Dick Thornburg, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1990
  • Arthur, Grim Prairie Tales, Coe Hahn, 1990
  • Overton, Oscar, Buena Vista, 1991
  • Bob Gminski, The Pelican Brief, Warner Bros., 1993
  • Terence McCone, Saints and Sinners, MDP Worldwide, 1995
  • Dr. Noah Faulkner, Bio-Dome, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1996
  • Thomas E. Dewey, Hoodlum(also known as Gangster and Hoods), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1997
  • Dohlen, Mad City, Warner Bros., 1997
  • James Denit, Michael Kael in Katango(also known as Michael Kaelcontre la World News Company and Michael Kael vs. The World News Company), Bac Films, 1998
  • President Fields, Executive Power, Naegele-derrick Productions, 1998
  • Butterfly Legend,1999
  • Nathan Randall, The Crow: Salvation, Dimension Films, 2000
  • Stanton, Race to Space, Lions Gate Films, 2000
  • Film work
  • Song performer, "What'll I Do?" (theme song), The Great Gatsby, Paramount, 1974
  • Television Appearances
  • Miniseries
  • Jim Lloyd, Centennial, NBC, 1978
  • Stan Harvey, Malibu,1983
  • Movies
  • Jim Spence, Tomorrow's Child, ABC, 1982
  • Michael Rosen, A Fight for Jenny, NBC, 1986
  • Doggett, Intrigue, CBS, 1988
  • Cortland Van Owen, Buried Alive(also known as Till Death Do UsPart), USA Network, 1990
  • Sheriff Ethan Blackwell, Chrome Soldiers, USA Network, 1992
  • Eric Walker, Diagnosis of Murder, CBS, 1992
  • Neil Roemer, Broken Trust(also known as Court of Honor), TNT, 1995
  • Dr. Reginald Holloway, Robin Cook's Virus(also known as Formula for Death, Virus, and Robin Cook's Formula for Death), NBC, 1995
  • Allan Pinkerton, Frank and Jesse, HBO, 1995
  • Philip Thorne, Raven Hawk(also known as Ravenhawk), HBO, 1996
  • Darryl Zanuck, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, HBO, 1999
  • Specials
  • Lawrence Selden, "The House of Mirth," American Playhouse, PBS, 1981
  • Episodic
  • Larry Holleran, "Murder in the Afternoon," Murder, She Wrote, CBS,1985
  • Dundee, "Night of the Meek," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1985
  • Greg Dalton, "Murder, She Spoke," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1987
  • Gene Bellows, The Law and Harry McGraw, CBS, 1987
  • Martin "Alpha" Loeber, "Blood and Wine: Parts 1 & 2," The Equalizer, CBS, 1987
  • Brian Wolfe, "The Card," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1987
  • Gideon, "17 Zebra," The Equalizer, CBS, 1989
  • "Easel Kill 'Ya," Tales from the Crypt, HBO, 1991
  • Andy Henley, "Judge Not," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1991
  • "The Collector," Tales from the Crypt, HBO, 1992
  • Dr. Linus Mills, "Key Witness," Nash Bridges, CBS, 1996
  • Assistant district attorney Pratt, "First Degree," The Practice, ABC, 1997
  • Ron, "A Simple Touch," Chicken Soup for the Soul, PAX TV, 1999

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