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William Atherton (I)


William Atherton Knight was born on July 30, 1947 in Orange, Connecticut, the son of Robert Knight and Roby Raymond. He studied acting at the Drama School at Carnegie Tech and graduated from Carnegie-Mellon in 1969. A veteran of stage, film and television, Atherton began as a leading man in Steven Spielberg's The Sugarland Express (1974), John ... See full bio »

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Known For

Die Hard
Die Hard Richard Thornburg
(1988)
Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters Walter Peck
(1984)
Real Genius
Real Genius Prof. Jerry Hathaway
(1985)
The Day of the Locust
The Day of the Locust Tod Hackett
(1975)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actor (88 credits)
 2017 Clinical (post-production)
Terry
 2017 Lowlifes
 2014 Jinn
Father Westhoff
 2013 Childrens Hospital (TV Series)
Levon Bainter
- Wine Tasting (2013) ... Levon Bainter
 2012 The Citizen
Winston
 2012 Workaholics (TV Series)
Thor Holmvik
- The Meat Jerking Beef Boys (2012) ... Thor Holmvik
 2012 Jersey Shore Shark Attack (TV Movie)
Dolan
 2012 The Unknown (TV Series)
Jim Larson
- Yesterday (2012) ... Jim Larson
 2011 Castle (TV Series)
Dr. Ari Weiss
- Head Case (2011) ... Dr. Ari Weiss
 2010 The Kane Files: Life of Trial
Daniel Morgan
 2010 The Glades (TV Series)
Big Jack Hasker
- Booty (2010) ... Big Jack Hasker
 2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Ned Bogden
- Bedtime (2010) ... Ned Bogden
 2010 Lost (TV Series)
Principal Reynolds
 2009 Ghostbusters (Video Game)
Walter Peck (voice)
 2008 Monk (TV Series)
Commander Nathan Whitaker
- Mr. Monk Is Underwater (2008) ... Commander Nathan Whitaker
 2008 Ghouls (TV Movie)
Stefan
 2008 Black Crescent Moon
Jo Dexton
 2008 Aces 'N' Eights (TV Movie)
Howard
 2008 Strokes (TV Movie)
Richard McBride
 2007 Numb3rs (TV Series)
Warren Pierce
- Tabu (2007) ... Warren Pierce
 2007 The Girl Next Door
Adult David Moran
 2007 Totally Baked: A Pot-U-Mentary
Mr. Lyle Funonion (Segment "FunOnion Boardroom")
 2007 Hacia la oscuridad
John
 2007 Kush
King
 2006 Desperate Housewives (TV Series)
Dr. Barr
- Remember: Part 2 (2006) ... Dr. Barr
- Remember: Part 1 (2006) ... Dr. Barr
 2005 Headspace
Dr. Ira Gold
 2005 Gone But Not Forgotten (TV Movie)
Senator Raymond Colby
 2005 Into the Sun
CIA Agent Block
 2005 Boston Legal (TV Series)
A.D.A. Howard Zale
- It Girls and Beyond (2005) ... A.D.A. Howard Zale
 2002-2004 Law & Order (TV Series)
Dan Jensen / Don Snyder
- Evil Breeds (2004) ... Dan Jensen
- Dazzled (2002) ... Don Snyder
 2004 Who's Your Daddy? (Video)
Duncan Mack
 2003 Justice League (TV Series)
Dr. Destiny / John Dee
- Only a Dream: Part II (2003) ... Dr. Destiny / John Dee (voice)
- Only a Dream (2003) ... Dr. Destiny / John Dee (voice)
 2001 Race to Space
Ralph Stanton
 2001 Night Visions (TV Series)
William Price
- Hate Puppet (2001) ... William Price
 2001 Burning Down the House
Arthur Kranston
 2000 The Crow: Salvation
Nathan Randall
 1999/II The Stranger
Arthur
 1999 Chicken Soup for the Soul (TV Series)
Ron
- A Simple Touch (1999) ... Ron
 1998 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Franklin Murdoch
- To Tell the Truth (1998) ... Franklin Murdoch
 1997 Mad City
Dohlen
 1997 Executive Power (Video)
President John Fields
 1996 Nash Bridges (TV Series)
Dr. Linus Mills
- Key Witness (1996) ... Dr. Linus Mills
 1996 Raven Hawk (TV Movie)
Philip Thorne
 1995 Broken Trust (TV Movie)
Roemer
 1995 Virus (TV Movie)
Dr. Reginald Holloway
 1994 Saints and Sinners
Terence McCone
 1993 The Pelican Brief
Bob Gminski
 1992 Chrome Soldiers (TV Movie)
Sheriff Blackwell
 1992 Diagnosis Murder (TV Movie)
Eric Walker
 1985-1991 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
Prosecutor Andy Henley / Greg Dalton / Larry Holleran
- Judge Not (1991) ... Prosecutor Andy Henley
- Murder, She Spoke (1987) ... Greg Dalton
 1991 Tales from the Crypt (TV Series)
Malcolm Mayflower
- Easel Kill Ya (1991) ... Malcolm Mayflower
 1991 Oscar
Overton
 1990 Buried Alive (TV Movie)
Cortland 'Cort' van Owen
 1987-1989 The Equalizer (TV Series)
Martin 'Alpha' Loeber / Gideon
- 17 Zebra (1989) ... Gideon
- Blood & Wine: Part 2 (1987) ... Martin 'Alpha' Loeber
- Blood & Wine: Part 1 (1987) ... Martin 'Alpha' Loeber
 1988 Intrigue (TV Movie)
Doggett
 1985-1987 The Twilight Zone (TV Series)
Brian Wolfe (segment "The Card") / Mr. Dundee (segment "Night of the Meek")
- The Card/The Junction (1987) ... Brian Wolfe (segment "The Card")
- Night of the Meek/But Can She Type?/The Star (1985) ... Mr. Dundee (segment "Night of the Meek")
 1986 No Mercy
Allan Deveneux
 1986 A Fight for Jenny (TV Movie)
Michael Rosen
 1983 Malibu (TV Movie)
Stan Harvey
 1982 Tomorrow's Child (TV Movie)
Jim Spence
 1981 A Single Light (TV Movie)
 1978-1979 Centennial (TV Mini-Series)
Jim Lloyd
- The Crime (1979) ... Jim Lloyd
- The Storm (1979) ... Jim Lloyd
 1976 Independence (Short)
Benjamin Rush
 1975 The Hindenburg
Karl Boerth
 1974 The Sugarland Express
Clovis Michael Poplin
 1973 Class of '44
Fraternity President
 1972 The New Centurions
Johnson
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Producer (2 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (8 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

He acted in Tennessee Williams' play, "The Glass Menagerie," in a Classic Contemporary American Plays production at the Boston Court Performing Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California with Michael Learned, Monette Magrath, and Jeremy Peter Johnson in the cast. Michael E. Gross was director. See more »

Publicity Listings:

2 Interviews | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »

Height:

6' (1.83 m)
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Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I'm a farm boy from Connecticut, and I adopted urban life. See more »

Trivia:

Attended and graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1969. See more »

Trademark:

Known around the world for what have become his signature film characters: the television reporter, Dick Thornburg in Die Hard (1988) and Die Hard 2 (1990); the EPA official, Walter Peck in Ghostbusters (1984); Professor Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius (1985) and the mad scientist, Dr. Noah Faulkner in Bio-Dome (1996). See more »

Nickname:

Bill

Star Sign:

Leo

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is there a movie he's in where he isn't 'The Jerk' flyer3468
Just Mr. Atherton today at the bookstore in Glendale, CA grooveraider
Is Ted his brother? jmeyer627
His Ghostbusters nickname jpolk
'The Devil's Own' rwcass
WA Vital Link Between Sir Laurence Olivier and Paulie Shore mlknchz
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