William was born on August 26, 1921 in Columbia, PA. He obtained a Master's degree in English literature from Penn State. William Preston started an acting career late in his life, giving up his career as a book keeper in a Philadelphia trucking firm to begin acting at age 50. He had extensive stage experience, performing in over 60 Shakespeare productions as well as being nominated for Florida's state supporting actor award. He appeared on Broadway in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a regular on The Conan O'Brien Show from 1993 to 1998 as Carl "Oldy" Olson. Among Preston's many movie roles, he played John, the bum, from The Fisher King (1991), a blacksmith in Far and Away (1992), and the flask mourner in Family Business (1989). He later appeared in Waterworld (1995), _Reckless (1995/I)_, Blue in the Face (1995), and The Crucible (1996). Preston died on July 10, 1998.
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