William Forsythe

William Forsythe

Actor
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Life Story

Dynamically entertaining heavyset US actor with piercing eyes, William Forsythe has a superb talent for playing some truly unlikable and downright nasty characters that dominate the films in which he appears! If you're cast as the hero against Forsythe's villain, then you have your work cut out for you, as Forsthye's raw energy and menace on screen is second to none. He started out in a couple of minor film roles and guest appearances in high-rated TV shows including CHiPs (1977), Hill Street Blues (1981) and T.J. Hooker (1982). He quickly moved into high-quality feature films, including playing a small-time hoodlum in Once Upon a Time in America (1984), an hilariously funny performance as a bumbling jail escapee alongside John Goodman in the knockout Raising Arizona (1987) and as a renegade soldier in Extreme Prejudice (1987).

The energetic Forsythe portrayed comic book villain "Flattop" in Dick Tracy (1990), was foolish enough to tangle with vengeful cop Steven Seagal in the hyper-violent Out for Justice (1991) and locked horns with ex-NFL linebacker Brian Bosworth in the biker action film Stone Cold (1991). With his expertise in playing icy villains, Forsythe was perfect to portray Prohibition mobster Al Capone in the short-lived '90s revival of the classic '60s crime show, The Untouchables (1993), and he continued the motif of playing edgy, nefarious individuals in the thought-provoking The Waterdance (1992), the oily film noir piece Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), as real-life mobster Sammy Gravano, aka "The Bull", in Gotti (1996) and supporting another ex-NFL player's foray into film acting, when L.A. Raider Howie Long debuted in Firestorm (1998).

Family

Melody Munyon (? - ?) ( 3 children)

Trivia

Studied acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Was in the alternate ending for Scary Movie 3 (2003) as Cindy's psychiatrist, but was left on the cutting room floor. (The scene is featured on the DVD.)
Began acting at age 10 and made his first acting appearance in the title role of "Julius Ceasar" in a school production at the same age.
Made his professional stage debut at age 16 in NYC.
Has co-starred with two former NFL players in their first starring roles. Brian Bosworth in Stone Cold (1991) and Howie Long in Firestorm (1998).
He has three daughters, Rebecca, born in 1990, Angelica, born in 1992 and another daughter named Chloe, born in 1993.
By age 17, he was appeared in over 40 plays in various dinner theaters, touring companies, stock and repertory before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a film career.
His personal favorite of all his roles is Burt the Booster in Weeds (1987).
He once confessed to disguising himself as a gas company worker and even a singing telegram performer in a gorilla suit to gain entry into casting sessions.
His interest in performing did not fully develop until a teacher forced him to play Caesar in a school production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar.".
He is of Italian (from his maternal grandfather), Scottish, English, Irish, and German descent.

Personal Quotes 

"I love what I do. And in the true sense, from my training, I try to create a character each time. It is something I do. But I don't want that term to limit what I can do. I prefer people to say to me, "You're one of my favorite actors," rather than "You're one of my favorite character actors." It sounds like a slam. At least it sounds that way to me." - On being referred to as a character actor.
Oh, please, please. I was never a "bad" kid, but I did get into minor juvenile trouble. Look, I grew up in Brooklyn. This was the 60's and the neighborhood was rapidly changing and not without its problems. All the kids of the neighborhood "did their thing," breaking windows and the like. I was no different. I went to Catholic school and there was this teacher, a Brother, who saw I could go either way, good or bad. He took an interest in me and got me to do a play. I got hooked on acting and it gave me something constructive to do. I had a lot of energy. (on his childhood days)
Well, this film came together faster than anything else I think I've ever done. I literally got a phone call at something like 10 o'clock in the morning. I was in New York and I was asleep. My agent said, "I don't know how to say this, but pack your bag. You may be leaving for Bulgaria today. I'm going to get the script over to you right now." So it was a very quick, strange thing. I got the script within the hour and read it. I really like doing science-fiction. I really like it, and it's only in the past couple of years that I've done it. So I said, "OK, Bulgaria. Let's go." That was the quickest decision I've ever made in my life. - On getting his part in SharkMan (2005) .
When I grew into a teenager, I became obsessed with Marlon Brando, Montgomery Cliff, and James Dean. In my late teens, I had already started acting in theater. I walked into a movie theater by accident and saw the movie Mean Streets. I was so moved by it and I had no idea who Robert De Niro or Martin Scorsese were. I left the theater then went back and I got a job as an usher. I worked at the theater until the movie closed, and then I quit. Suddenly I was off in that world, the world of those guys, the guys who are real with very raw work. Those were my biggest influences. I really love Robert Duvall, who I think is maybe the best American actor. I love Robert Duvall because the ability that he has to change and do the most amazing work. You sit and watch Tender Mercies and then you watch Stalin and he has a real amazing power and diversity in his work. I got to work with most of these guys, so it's great. It's a wonderful thing. Al Pacino is one of those guys, as well as Dustin Hoffman. I was drawn to the guys who were just putting it out there and that whole reality thing.

Filmography

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