William Atherton

1947

William Atherton's career has spanned motion pictures, Broadway and television. He first achieved international recognition as the leading man in Steven Spielberg's debut feature The Sugarland Express (1974), and next starred in John Schlesinger's The Day of the Locust (1975), Robert Wise's The Hindenburg (1975) and Richard Brooks' Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). He is known worldwide for what have become his signature film characters: the television reporter, Dick Thornburg in the action blockbusters Die Hard (1988) and Die Hard 2 (1990), the EPA official, Walter Peck in Ghostbusters (1984), Professor Jerry Hathaway, the conniving professor in Real Genius (1985) and Dr. Noah Faulkner, the mad scientist in Bio-Dome (1996). Among his more than 30 feature films are co-starring roles in John Landis' Oscar (1991), Bill Duke's Hoodlum (1997), Richard Pearce's No Mercy (1986), Alan J. Pakula's The Pelican Brief (1993), Costa-Gavras' Mad City (1997) and Edward Zwick's The Last Samurai (2003).

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