William H. Macy

Actor, Voice actor, Director
An astonishing character actor-turned-lead on stage and screen, William H. Macy was at his best when he was humanizing despairing, imperfect people trying to keep their head up while their world disintegrates. Macy was ... Read more »
Born: 03/12/1950 in Miami, Florida, USA

Filmography

Actor (145)

Blood Father 2015 (Movie)

Kirby Curtis (Actor)

Dial A Prayer 2015 (Movie)

Bill (Actor)

Misery Loves Comedy 2015 (Movie)

(Himself)

Shameless 2012, 2015 (TV Show)

Actor

Cake 2014 (Movie)

Leonard (Actor)

Ernest & Celestine 2014 (Movie)

Head Dentist (Voice)

Rudderless 2014 (Movie)

Trill (Proprietor) (Actor)

Two-Bit Waltz 2014 (Movie)

Carl (Actor)

A Single Shot 2013 (Movie)

Pitt (Actor)

Citizen Hearst 2013 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Conan 2011, 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Wind Rises 2013 (Movie)

Satom (Voice)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2003, 2012 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 2012 Independent Spirit Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Sessions 2012 (Movie)

Father Brendan (Actor)

Trust Me 2012 (Movie)

Gary (Actor)

Dirty Girl 2011 (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

The Lincoln Lawyer 2011 (Movie)

Frank Levin (Actor)

Marmaduke 2010 (Movie)

Don Twombly (Actor)

Bart Got a Room 2009 (Movie)

Ernie Stein (Actor)

ER 1994 - 1998, 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Shorts 2009 (Movie)

Dr Noseworthy (Actor)

Countdown To The Emmys 2007 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Maiden Heist 2008 (Movie)

George McLendon (Actor)

The Tale of Despereaux 2008 (Movie)

Lester (Voice)

He Was a Quiet Man 2007 (Movie)

Gene Shelby (Actor)

The Deal 2007 (Movie)

Charlie Berns (Actor)

The Unit 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Wild Hogs 2007 (Movie)

Dudley Frank (Actor)

Bobby 2006 (Movie)

Paul Ebbers (Actor)

Colin Fitz Lives! 2006 (Movie)

Mr O'Day (Actor)

Doogal 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Brian the Snail (Actor)

Edmond 2006 (Movie)

Edmond Burke (Actor)

Everyone's Hero 2006 (Movie)

Voice of Lefty Maginnis (Actor)

Inland Empire 2006 (Movie)

Announcer (Actor)

Thank You for Smoking 2006 (Movie)

Senator Ortolan Finistirre (Actor)

The 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

In Enemy Hands 2005 (Movie)

Nathan Travers (Actor)

Sahara 2005 (Movie)

Admiral James Sandecker (Actor)

The 10th Annual Critics' Choice Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2004 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

A Life of Laughter: Remembering John Ritter 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Cellular 2004 (Movie)

Mooney (Actor)

Inside the Actors Studio 2004 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Scott Turow's Reversible Errors 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Spartan 2004 (Movie)

Stoddard (Actor)

Stealing Sinatra 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Directors: David Mamet 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Out of Order 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Seabiscuit 2003 (Movie)

"Tick-Tock" McGlaughlin (Actor)

The 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cooler 2003 (Movie)

Bernie Lootz (Actor)

AFI Awards 2001 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Batman Beyond 1998 - 2002 (TV Show)

Voice

Welcome to Collinwood 2002 (Movie)

Riley (Actor)

Focus 2001 (Movie)

Lawrence Newman (Actor)

Jurassic Park III 2001 (Movie)

Paul Kirby (Actor)

Polar Bear Invasion 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Narrator

A Slight Case of Murder 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney's Hercules 1998 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

Jerry & Tom 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Panic 2000 (Movie)

Alex (Actor)

Sports Night 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

State and Main 2000 (Movie)

Walt Price (Actor)

The New Batman/Superman Adventures 1998 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

Canned Ham: Mystery Man 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Civil Wars 1990 - 1992, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Happy, Texas 1999 (Movie)

Sheriff Chappy Dent (Actor)

King of the Hill 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Voice

L.A. Law 1990 - 1994, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order 1990 - 1994, 1998 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Magnolia 1999 (Movie)

Donnie Smith (Actor)

Mystery Men 1999 (Movie)

The Shoveler (Actor)

The Lionhearts 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Voice

A Civil Action 1998 (Movie)

James Gordon (Actor)

Comic Relief VIII 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Hit Me 1998 (Movie)

The Cop (Actor)

Pleasantville 1998 (Movie)

George (Actor)

Psycho 1998 (Movie)

Milton Arbogast (Actor)

Screen Actors Guild 4th Annual Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The National Hate Test 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Air Force One 1997 (Movie)

Major Caldwell (Actor)

Boogie Nights 1997 (Movie)

Little Bill (Actor)

Inside the Academy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Wag the Dog 1997 (Movie)

Mr Young (Actor)

Down Periscope 1996 (Movie)

Captain Knox (Actor)

Evolver 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

Fargo 1996 (Movie)

Jerry Lundegaard (Actor)

Ghosts of Mississippi 1996 (Movie)

Charlie Crisco (Actor)

Above Suspicion 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Holland's Opus 1995 (Movie)

Vice Principal Wolters (Actor)

Murder in the First 1995 (Movie)

Bill McNeil (Actor)

Mystery Dance 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Texan 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Bakersfield P.D. 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Being Human 1994 (Movie)

Boris (Actor)

Dead on Sight 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Oleanna 1994 (Movie)

John (Actor)

The Client 1994 (Movie)

Dr Greenway (Actor)

Benny & Joon 1993 (Movie)

Randy Burch (Actor)

Searching for Bobby Fischer 1993 (Movie)

Tunafish Father (Actor)

Twenty Bucks 1993 (Movie)

Property Clerk (Actor)

Shadows and Fog 1992 (Movie)

Cop With Spiro (Actor)

Homicide 1991 (Movie)

Tim Sullivan (Actor)

All That Glitters 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Things Change 1988 (Movie)

Billy Drake (Actor)

House of Games 1987 (Movie)

Sergeant Moran (Actor)

Radio Days 1987 (Movie)

Radio Voice (Actor)

Joanna 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dining Room 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Dragon 1985 (Movie)

J J (Actor)

Sitcom 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Without a Trace 1983 (Movie)

Reporter (Actor)

Foolin' Around 1980 (Movie)

Bronski (Actor)

Somewhere in Time 1980 (Movie)

Critic (Actor)

A Private Matter (TV Show)

Actor

A Slight Case of Murder (Movie)

(Actor)

Andersonville (TV Show)

Actor

Door to Door (TV Show)

Actor

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (TV Show)

Narrator

Hurricane Mary (Movie)

(Actor)

In the Shadow of Evil (TV Show)

Actor

Keep Coming Back (Movie)

(Actor)

The Awakening Land (TV Show)

Actor

The Con (TV Show)

Actor

The Cradle Will Fall (TV Show)

Actor

The Heart of Justice (TV Show)

Actor

The Murder of Mary Phagan (TV Show)

Actor

The Water Engine (TV Show)

Actor

The Wool Cap (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (3)

Rudderless 2014 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Deal 2007 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Just a Walk in the Park (TV Show)

Writer
Producer (3)

Rudderless 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Deal 2007 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Transamerica 2005 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Director (3)

Rudderless 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Keep Coming Back (Movie)

(Director)

Lip Service (TV Show)

Director

Biography

An astonishing character actor-turned-lead on stage and screen, William H. Macy was at his best when he was humanizing despairing, imperfect people trying to keep their head up while their world disintegrates. Macy was a longtime collaborator of playwright and director David Mamet, originating the role of Bobby in Mamet's famed "American Buffalo" on the Chicago stage in 1975, as well as appearing in Mamet's films throughout his career. Additionally, he was giving memorable performances in several films by another boundary-pushing filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson. But of the top names in American independent film, it was the Coen Brothers who brought Macy his ultimate breakout with "Fargo" (1996), in which he gave an unforgettable performance as a car salesman whose very fallible murder plan goes awry. From his Oscar-nominated work in that film, Macy's hangdog persona and his weathered innocence was tapped for character work in big budget Hollywood films like "Pleasantville" (1997) and "Seabiscuit" (2003). His later credentials also opened the door for Macy to write and star in a number of Emmy-nominated television films including "Door to Door" (TNT, 2002), as well as a tour-de-force performance as a no-good, but ultimately kindhearted alcoholic on the dramedy "Shameless" (Showtime, 2011- ), all of which solidified his reputation as a fountain of quality work and an impeccable performer and storyteller.

Relationships

Felicity Huffman Actor

Wife
Met when Huffman enrolled in Macy's Manhattan acting class in the mid-1980s Married Sept. 6, 1997 Acted together on stage and in "Magnolia" (1999)

William Macy

Father
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal for flying a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in World War II He later ran a construction company in Atlanta and worked for Dun & Bradstreet before taking over a Cumberland, MD-based insurance agency

Lois Macy

Mother
First husband Fred Merrill died in 1943 Macy described his mother as a Southern belle

Georgia Macy

Daughter
Born March 14, 2002; mother, Felicity Huffman

Sophia Macy

Daughter
Born Aug. 1, 2000; mother, Felicity Huffman

Fred Merrill

Half-Brother
Older; from mother's previous marriage

Megan Mullally Actor

Companion
Briefly dated while in college

EDUCATION

Allegany High School

Cumberland , Maryland 1968
President of both his junior and senior high school classes; active in the drama club; performed with a folk trio called the Minnesingers

Bethany College

Bethany , West Virginia 1970
Transferred to Goddard College following his sophomore

Foreign Language League School

Reading
Attended the summer after high school

Goddard College

Plainfield , Vermont 1972
Studied under David Mamet

Foreign Language League School

Reading
Attended the summer after high school

Milestones

2012

Co-starred with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in Ben Lewin's drama "The Sessions"

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"

2010

Acted opposite Judy Greer and Lee Pace in the live-action film based on the comic strip "Marmaduke"

2008

Voiced the character of Lester in the animated film "The Tale of Despereaux"

2008

Replaced sick star Jeremy Piven in the New York theatre production of Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow"

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

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 Minise

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

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

2003

Received a a Golden Globe nomination for his role in "Seabiscuit"

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

2003

Co-starred as a down on his luck gambler in "The Cooler"

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

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"

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"

1999

Cast as former 'quiz kid' Donnie Smith in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia"

1999

Co-wrote (with Schacter) the TNT movie "A Slight Case of Murder"; featured wife Huffman; garnered an Emmy nomination

1999

Played a recurring role as a ratings experts on the ABC comedy "Sports Night"; series starred wife Huffman; earned an Emmy nomination

1998

Cast as private investigator Milton Arbogast in Gus Van Sant's remake of Hitchcock's "Psycho"

1998

Portrayed the repressed sitcom father in "Pleasantville"

1998

Co-wrote (with Schacter) and starred in the USA Network drama "The Con"

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"

1996

With Martin Davidson and Schachter, co-wrote the CBS TV-movie "Every Woman's Dream"

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

1995

Played the flat-topped vice principal in "Mr. Holland's Opus"

1995

With Schachter, who also directed, and Jerry Lazarus, co-wrote the HBO thriller "Above Suspicion"; also acted

1994

Landed a recurring role as chief of staff, Dr. David Morgenstern on NBC's medical drama "ER"; earned an Emmy nomination in 1997

1994

Reprised stage role in film version of "Oleanna"; also directed by Mamet

1994

Directed the Los Angeles production of "Oleanna"

1992

Starred in the New York production of David Mamet's "Oleanna"

1992

Appeared in the TV adaptation of Mamet's "The Water Engine" (TNT); directed by Schachter; shared a scene with then-girlfriend Felicity Huffman

1991

Third film teaming with Mamet, "Homicide"

1991

With Schachter, wrote first of two episodes for the ABC drama "thirtysomething"

1990

Moved to Los Angeles, CA

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

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"

1987

Played a small role as a radio actor in Woody Allen's "Radio Days"

1987

First film with David Mamet, "House of Games"

1985

Performed one season with the Goodman Theatre Company in Chicago; appeared in Mamet's "The Cherry Orchard"

1983

Began teaching at New York University

1983

With Mamet, co-founded the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York City

1982

Landed a recurring role on the NBC soap opera "Another World"

1980

Off-Broadway acting debut, "The Man in 605"

1979

Feature acting debut, "Foolin' Around" (credited as W H Macy)

1979

Off-Broadway debut as director, Mamet's one-act "Shoeshine"

1979

Moved to New York City

1978

Credited as W H Macy in TV miniseries debut "The Awakening Land" (NBC)

1976

Debut as a playwright, the children's play "The Adventures of Captain Marbles and His Acting Squad"

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

1974

First production at St Nicholas Theater, Mamet's one-act "Squirrels"

1972

With David Mamet and Steven Schacter, moved to Chicago and co-founded the St. Nicholas Theater

1970

Appeared in a Washington, DC staging of "Jesus Christ Superstar"

Began acting in high school in Maryland

Bonus Trivia

.

He was not to be confused with actor Bill Macy, who played Walter, the title character's husband on the 1970s CBS sitcom "Maude."

.

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."

.

Macy on whether he likes acting or writing better: "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, March 5, 1998

.

"It's incumbent upon actors to keep their sh*t in one sock, because you can just run rampant, showing up late, taking drugs, being drunk, being mean, f*ck*ng 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 quoted in Premiere magazine, January 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, Jan. 27, 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 sh*thouse. 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 f*ck does this guy think he is?'" – Macy quoted in The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 31, 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 on Macy to Premiere magazine, December 2003

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