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William H. Macy

William H. Macy

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Also Known As: W H Macy, William Hall Macy Jr. Died:
Born: March 13, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Miami, Florida, USA Profession: actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director, acting teacher, musician, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Cooler," playing a man so overwhelmingly unlucky he is employed by a Las Vegas casino to spread his infectious misfortune, until a torrid affair with a gorgeous cocktail waitress (Maria Bello) turns his luck around. On television, Macy starred opposite David Arquette in the Showtime telepic "Stealing Sinatra" (2003), and earned an Emmy nomination for playing a not-so-clever culprit who holds Frank Sinatra's son for ransom in the story of a real-life kidnapping case from the 1960s.He re-teamed with Huffman on the Showtime miniseries "Out of Order" (2003) about the personal lives of married Hollywood screenwriters, and joined his wife and Tom Selleck for the 2004 CBS miniseries "Reversible Errors," a legal potboiler based on the Scott Turow novel. In 2004, Mamet cast Macy in the edgy political thriller "Spartan" in what at first appeared to be a subdued, walk-on role that helped Macy nearly walk away with the entire film. The actor was again at the top of his game in the equally gimmicky and inspired thriller "Cellular" (2004), spinning his world-weary persona into a seemingly routine, by-the-books veteran police officer who dreams of opening a day spa upon retirement, only to prove that the old dog...

Cooler," playing a man so overwhelmingly unlucky he is employed by a Las Vegas casino to spread his infectious misfortune, until a torrid affair with a gorgeous cocktail waitress (Maria Bello) turns his luck around. On television, Macy starred opposite David Arquette in the Showtime telepic "Stealing Sinatra" (2003), and earned an Emmy nomination for playing a not-so-clever culprit who holds Frank Sinatra's son for ransom in the story of a real-life kidnapping case from the 1960s.

He re-teamed with Huffman on the Showtime miniseries "Out of Order" (2003) about the personal lives of married Hollywood screenwriters, and joined his wife and Tom Selleck for the 2004 CBS miniseries "Reversible Errors," a legal potboiler based on the Scott Turow novel. In 2004, Mamet cast Macy in the edgy political thriller "Spartan" in what at first appeared to be a subdued, walk-on role that helped Macy nearly walk away with the entire film. The actor was again at the top of his game in the equally gimmicky and inspired thriller "Cellular" (2004), spinning his world-weary persona into a seemingly routine, by-the-books veteran police officer who dreams of opening a day spa upon retirement, only to prove that the old dog does have a few new tricks when he is drawn into a bizarre kidnapping case. For cable television's TNT, Macy penned and starred in the telepic "The Wool Cap" (TNT, 2004) as the mute superintendent of a ramshackle apartment building who becomes the unwilling guardian of a little girl with an attitude. He earned another Emmy nomination as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his performance before starring in Mamet's film version of his 1982 play "Edmund" (2005), playing a bland businessman who encounters a mysterious fortune teller who sends him on a darkly funny descent into a modern urban hell.

Back on the small screen, Macy earned another Emmy award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King" (TNT, 2005-06), an anthology series based on a trio of stories penned by the master of horror himself. In one of the following year's most talked about independent films, Macy had a role in "Thank You for Smoking" (2006), as a Vermont senator trying to take down a tobacco lobbyist with a gift for spin. After voicing characters in animated features "Doogal" (2006) and "Everyone's Hero" (2006), Macy joined an all-star cast for the docudrama "Bobby" (2006), director Emilio Estevez's engaging look at the 16 hours prior to Senator Robert F. Kennedy's assassination at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Macy made a surprisingly commercial career choice when he joined John Travolta, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence in "Wild Hogs" (2007), a hugely successful comedy about four down-and-out men who embark on a freewheeling, cross-country motorcycle trip in order to prove their manhood. He returned to more artful offerings in 2008, including "He Was a Quiet Man" (2008), a well-received limited release starring Christian Slater as a vengeful office worker and "The Deal," a comedy scripted by Macy and co-starring Macy, Meg Ryan and Jason Ritter in a satire of Hollywood action films. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, but failed to land distribution and was released on home video in 2008.

Macy lent his voice to the animated fantasy film "Tale of Despereaux" (2008) and returned to the big screen in 2009 in the comedy "The Maiden Heist," playing one of a trio of museum guards who plot to steal the artworks they have grown fond of. He also appeared in the Robert Rodriguez family comedy "Shorts" (2009) as the father of a boy who discovers a magical, wish-granting rock. Following supporting turns in "Maiden Heist" (2009) and "Bart Got a Room" (2009), Macy appeared in the critically maligned live action adaptation of the comic strip "Marmaduke" (2010). He next appeared as an investigator who doubts the innocence of an accused would-be murderer (Ryan Phillippe) defended by a slick attorney (Matthew McConaughey) who operates his business out of his Lincoln Town Car in "The Lincoln Lawyer" (2011). Back on the small screen, Macy delivered an attention-grabbing performance as a dysfunctional father of six and hopeless alcoholic who leaves his children to fend for themselves on the acclaimed series "Shameless" (Showtime, 2011- ), a remake of a British series of the same name that aired on the BBC the previous decade. Always one to choose interesting projects, Macy played an unorthodox priest who advises a nearly 40-year-old man (John Hawkes) who has spent most of his life inside an iron lung to hire a professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) so he can lose his virginity in the critically acclaimed drama, "The Sessions" (2012). After contributing a voice to the English-language version of Hayao Miyazaki's swan song "The Wind Rises" (2013), Macy made his debut as a feature director with the musical comedy-drama "Rudderless" (2014), starring Billy Crudup as a grieving father who comes across a cache of his musician son's unreleased demos and forms a band to perform the songs. Huffman, pop singer Selena Gomez, and comedian Kate Micucci co-starred.

as the repressed TV father in "Pleasantville" (1997) stuck in a black-and-white world while everyone around him blossomed into Technicolor. He was equally splendid in "A Civil Action" as a harried legal accountant with the thankless job of asking for more money while John Travolta's obsession with one case threatened to bankrupt the practice. He rounded out the year by stepping into Martin Balsam's shoes as private dick Milton Arbogast in Gus Van Sant's unnecessary shot-for-shot color remake of Hitchcock's classic, "Psycho" (1997).

Macy was his usual droll self as the unlikely superhero The Shoveler in the sharply written comedy "Mystery Men" (1999), and was even better when he reunited with Paul Thomas Anderson for "Magnolia" (1999), portraying damaged former "Quiz Kid" Donnie Smith, who has been reduced to a routine job in an electronics store and hopes that pricey dental work will revive his love life. Despite having broken through to high-dollar mainstream films, Macy still made time for more adventurous independent films like "Happy, Texas" (1999), where he played a gay sheriff, and the romantic drama "Panic," which debuted at Sundance in 2000. Macy co-wrote one of his best parts of 1999 â¿¿ that of a movie critic who turns out to be a philandering, larcenous murderer in TNT's "A Slight Case of Murder," for which the actor earned an Emmy Award for his lead acting. Co-scripted with "Mamet Mafia" mate Schachter, the movie cast him opposite new wife, actress Felicity Huffman. He was able to spend even more time with the missus by taking a recurring role as a ratings expert on her ABC series "Sports Night" during the 1999-2000 season. Back with Mamet for "State and Main" (2000), Macy played a libidinous Hollywood director on location in Vermont. He also acted that year in a London revival of "American Buffalo;" this time taking the larger and older role of Teach.

In 2002, Macy starred in the light-hearted caper comedy "Welcome to Collinwood," directed by the Russo Brothers and scored on television for his portrayal of a man afflicted with cerebral palsy who is determined to become a door-to-door salesman in the TNT movie "Door to Door" (2002), which Macy co-wrote with Schachter, the director. In 2003, Macy took home Emmy awards for his work as both lead actor and co-screenwriter in the real life story, and followed up by adding a welcome dose of comedy to the reverent historical film "Seabiscuit" (2003), the true-life story of the Depression Era racehorse-turned-folk hero, as the fast-talking, rumor-spreading sports announcer "Tick-Tock" McLaughlin. His performance was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination and in a nice bookend for the year, Macy turned in his ultimate "loser" performance in the offbeat film "The

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Rudderless (2014)
3.
  Lip Service (1988) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Bachelors, The (2017)
2.
 Layover, The (2016)
3.
4.
 Room (2015)
5.
 Stealing Cars (2015)
6.
 Walter (2015)
7.
 Blood Father (2015)
8.
 Cake (2014)
9.
 Two-Bit Waltz (2014)
10.
 Rudderless (2014)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began acting in high school in Maryland
1971:
Appeared in a Washington, DC staging of "Jesus Christ Superstar"
1972:
With David Mamet and Steven Schacter, moved to Chicago and co-founded the St. Nicholas Theater
1974:
First production at St Nicholas Theater, Mamet's one-act "Squirrels"
1975:
Stage directing debut, "The Poet and the Rent" at St. Nicholas Theater
1975:
Cast as Bobby in Mamet's "American Buffalo"; first produced at The Goodman Theater's second stage
1976:
Debut as a playwright, the children's play "The Adventures of Captain Marbles and His Acting Squad"
1978:
Credited as W H Macy in TV miniseries debut "The Awakening Land" (NBC)
1979:
Feature acting debut, "Foolin' Around" (credited as W H Macy)
1979:
Moved to New York City
1979:
Off-Broadway debut as director, Mamet's one-act "Shoeshine"
1980:
Off-Broadway acting debut, "The Man in 605"
1982:
Landed a recurring role on the NBC soap opera "Another World"
1983:
Began teaching at New York University
1983:
With Mamet, co-founded the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York City
1985:
Performed one season with the Goodman Theatre Company in Chicago; appeared in Mamet's "The Cherry Orchard"
1987:
First film with David Mamet, "House of Games"
1987:
Played a small role as a radio actor in Woody Allen's "Radio Days"
1988:
Made Broadway debut playing Howie Newsome in the revival of "Our Town" (credited as W H Macy)
1988:
Played a featured role in Mamet's "Things Changes"
1988:
Directed the off-Broadway production of "Boy's Life" at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater
1988:
Made TV directing debut with "Lip Service" (HBO); co-produced by Mamet
1990:
Moved to Los Angeles, CA
1991:
With Schachter, wrote first of two episodes for the ABC drama "thirtysomething"
1991:
Third film teaming with Mamet, "Homicide"
1992:
Appeared in the TV adaptation of Mamet's "The Water Engine" (TNT); directed by Schachter; shared a scene with then-girlfriend Felicity Huffman
1992:
Starred in the New York production of David Mamet's "Oleanna"
1994:
Reprised stage role in film version of "Oleanna"; also directed by Mamet
1994:
Directed the Los Angeles production of "Oleanna"
1994:
Landed a recurring role as chief of staff, Dr. David Morgenstern on NBC's medical drama "ER"; earned an Emmy nomination in 1997
1995:
With Schachter, who also directed, and Jerry Lazarus, co-wrote the HBO thriller "Above Suspicion"; also acted
1995:
Played the flat-topped vice principal in "Mr. Holland's Opus"
1996:
Featured role as Confederate Colonel Chandler in the TNT miniseries "Andersonville"
1996:
Breakthrough screen role, playing the duplicitous car salesman Jerry Lundegaard in the Coen brothers' "Fargo"; earned an Academy Award nomination for Supporting Actor
1996:
With Martin Davidson and Schachter, co-wrote the CBS TV-movie "Every Woman's Dream"
1997:
Directed the NY stage production "The Joy of Being Somewhere Different"
1997:
Landed supporting roles in "Wag the Dog" (co-scripted by Mamet) and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights"
1998:
Co-wrote (with Schacter) and starred in the USA Network drama "The Con"
1998:
Portrayed the repressed sitcom father in "Pleasantville"
1998:
Cast as private investigator Milton Arbogast in Gus Van Sant's remake of Hitchcock's "Psycho"
1999:
Co-wrote (with Schacter) the TNT movie "A Slight Case of Murder"; featured wife Huffman; garnered an Emmy nomination
1999:
Cast as former 'quiz kid' Donnie Smith in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia"
1999:
Played a recurring role as a ratings experts on the ABC comedy "Sports Night"; series starred wife Huffman; earned an Emmy nomination
2000:
Acted in London revival of Mamet's "American Buffalo," this time in the lead role of Teach
2000:
Portrayed a film director who keeps telling his star (Sarah Jessica Parker) to take off her shirt in Mamet's "State and Main"
2001:
Cast in the action adventure "Jurassic Park III"
2001:
Played leading role of a man mistaken for being Jewish after he buys a new pair of glasses in the film version of Arthur Miller's novel "Focus"
2002:
Portrayed Bill Porter, a cerebral palsy Fuller Brush salesman in the TNT biopic "Door to Door"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
2003:
Received a a Golden Globe nomination for his role in "Seabiscuit"
2003:
Co-starred as a down on his luck gambler in "The Cooler"
2003:
Starred in the Showtime movie "Stealing Sinatra," based on trial transcripts and various public documents on the 1963 kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr.; received an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor
2004:
Starred in the CBS miniseries opposite his wife Felicity Huffman in Scott Turow's crime thriller "Reversible Errors," also starring Tom Selleck and Monica Potter
2004:
Starred as Gigot, a mute who begins a friendship with a recently orphaned nine-year-old girl on TNT's "The Wool Cap"; earned Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Miniseries
2006:
Portrayed anti-smoking senator Ortolan Finistirre in the satirical comedy "Thank You for Smoking" by first time director Jason Reitman
2006:
Played a writer who trades places with his most famous character in the episode "Umney's Last Case," part of TNT's original miniseries "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From The Stories Of Stephen King"; earned SAG and Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
2007:
Cast in the comedy-adventure "Wild Hogs" as one of four middle-aged friends who decide to rev up their routine suburban lives with a freewheeling motorcycle trip
2008:
Replaced sick star Jeremy Piven in the New York theatre production of Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow"
2008:
Voiced the character of Lester in the animated film "The Tale of Despereaux"
2010:
Acted opposite Judy Greer and Lee Pace in the live-action film based on the comic strip "Marmaduke"
2011:
Starred as an alcoholic father of six on Showtime family drama series "Shameless"
2011:
Acted alongside Matthew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei in crime thriller "The Lincoln Lawyer"
2012:
Co-starred with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in Ben Lewin's drama "The Sessions"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Foreign Language League School: -
Foreign Language League School: -
Allegany High School: Cumberland , Maryland - 1968
Bethany College: Bethany , West Virginia - 1970
Goddard College: Plainfield , Vermont - 1972

Notes

Not to be confused with actor Bill Macy, best known for his role as Walter, Maude's husband, on the popular CBS sitcom of the 1970s, "Maude"

Macy had been actively involved with Boy Scout Troop 184 in L.A. until his career took off after "Fargo".

Question: Do you like writing or acting better?

Macy: I think I like acting. It's fabulous to go back and forth. That's the best of both worlds, but acting sure is easier. Writing is like homework.

--From Time Out New York, February 26-March 5, 1998.

"I am sort of an odd duck. I look really odd sometimes, then other times I look OK. I tend to get cast for who I am, which is a white guy who can talk a good game." --William H Macy quoted in Us, August 1997.

About the roles offered after receiving an Oscar nomination, Macy told The New York Times (April 20, 1997): "I am at the grown-ups' table now, for sure. All my pals are sending me scripts. I'm at the point where I say: 'I'll do anything. I'll give you money. I'll clean your house. But don't make me read your script.' So I'm reading more scripts. I'm getting paid more. And I'll get better roles."

"I like a director who talks action and objectives as opposed to emotions and feelings. It's very rare but I would love one who doesn't have his face in a fucking monitor. I want to direct a movie and when I do there's not going to be video playback. I think it's the devil. It slows down the process, actors want to watch it, it robs the director's power ... The director belongs right beside the camera looking at the action--that's what I think. I also think the direcor should have the entire film cut in his head before he starts a day of shooting." --Macy to Mike Jones in Indiewire.com, February 21, 1999.

"Movie stars are completely unfettered. You can be anti-social, and mean, and venal ... and no one will say anything as long as you're selling tickets.

"It's incumbent upon actors to keep their shit in one sock, because you can just run rampant--showing up late, taking drugs, being drunk, being mean, fucking around like a bandit ... And studios will just watch you kill yourself as long as they're making money off you ... Nobody should get paid what we get paid. I did a movie with a big fat star, and we calculated how much he made for screen time. You ready? $8000 a second. We timed a fart. It takes three seconds to fart. That's $24,000 a fart." --Macy to Andy Webster in Premiere, January 2000.

"The demands on a person when they are acting are: Speak up, remember your lines--that's a huge thing--and you have to hit your mark. That's not a big thing, but it takes one more bit of your attention. You take the director's notes; that's one more small piece of your mind. Then you gotta put all the attention you have left on the other person (in your scene) in order to get them to do what you want them to do.

"See, here's the issue for an actor ... I'm playing the king of England. A technical actor will say, 'This is how the king walks, this is how he talks, this is how he's different from me, la-da-di, la-da-doo.' I think it's jive. Limited. You'll see through it. The real answer is: There is no difference between me and the king. I got the role. I am the king. It's a trick. Magic. A parlor game. Give me a costume, put me on a set, on a throne. How does the king talk? He talks like me. The king is me." --Macy quoted in The Washington Post, January 10, 2000.

On his time with Mamet at Vermont's Goddard College: "It was one of the cutting-edge hippie schools of the Sixties and Seventies. No grades, no tests, no requirements. Basically, you did what you wanted. And, if you paid the tuition, it was pretty hard not to get a degree. Then this guy comes with short hair, navy pants which had been tailored, built like a brick shithouse. Basically, he walked in and said, 'This is an acting class. Anyone that doesn't want to learn how to act--get out. Anybody who wants to ask a lot of stupid student questions--get out. If you're not going to work hard--get out.' And us hippies with our long hair are sitting there, most of us stoned, going, 'Who the fuck does this guy think he is?'" --Macy quoted in The Daily Telegraph, January 31, 2000.

"One time Dave [Mamet] just totally disappeared for a month or so and then just as suddenly reappeared. I met him at a bar and said, 'Where the hell have you been?' And he slapped down this huge manuscript, and says, 'Check it out, I just finished it.' That was 'American Buffalo'. Oh, Lord, did I want the role of Bobby--and I got it. 'American Buffalo' got me my Equity Card, so to go back and play Teach--what?--25 years later, that's pretty sweet." --Macy quoted in The Guardian, January 27, 2000.

"You read about movie stars who fight about who looks better in the shot - who's taller, who has better hair, who gets the girl, but then there's the character whom everyone makes fun of. And the reason Bill Macy gets cast every time is because Bill Macy walks in that room and brings that character dignity, guts, and imagination"---Ron Livingston talks about Macy Premiere December 2003

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Felicity Huffman. Actor. Born on December 9, 1962; married on September 6, 1997; acted together in "Things Change" (1988) and both were featured in "Magnolia" (1999); best known as tough-as-nails producer Dana Whitaker on ABC's "Sports Night"; met when she enrolled in his Manhattan acting class in the mid-1980s; dated for several years but broke up and were apart until a mutual friend's funeral brought them back together in the early 1990s.

Family close complete family listing

father:
William Hall Macy Sr. Insurance broker, construction company owner. Awarded Distinguised Flying Cross and Air Medal for his heroism flying a B-17 bomber in World War II; ran a construction company in Atlanta and worked for Dun & Bradstreet before taking over a Cumberland, Maryland, insurance agency when Macy was nine years old.
mother:
Lois Macy. War widow; first husband Fred Merrill died in 1943; Macy describes his mother as a Southern belle.
half-brother:
Fred Merrill Jr. Older; from mother's previous marriage.
daughter:
Sophia Grace Macy. Born August 1, 2000; mother is Felicity Huffman.
daughter:
Georgia Grace Macy. Born March 14, 2002; mother is Felicity Huffman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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