William H. Macy

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Name: William Hall Macy Jr.
  • Birth Place: Miami, FL
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 03/13/1950, Pisces
  • Profession: Actor; writer; producer
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A consummate character actor adept at playing loners and losers of all stripes, Macy owes his career in large part to one man: writer-director David Mamet. The two met when Macy, who had been studying veterinary medicine in West Virginia, transferred to Goddard College in Vermont, where Mamet taught. They both subsequently moved to Chicago in the early 1970s and founded the St. Nicholas Theater Company, where Macy starred in a number of early Mamet plays (American Buffalo, The Water Engine), brilliantly spitting out the author's signature staccato dialog. In the '80s, Macy relocated to New York, where he occasionally landed TV guest spots, but made his biggest impression off-Broadway, embodying a host of unhappy, hapless souls. He also continued his fruitful collaboration with Mamet. In addition to working together on a number of plays (Bobby Gould in Hell, Oleanna), the two men co-founded the lauded Atlantic Theater Company. So it's not surprising that Mamet gave Macy his first significant big-screen roles, including turns in House of Games, Homicide and the 1994 adaptation of Oleanna, in which he played a professor accused of sexual harassment. But ironically, Macy's Hollywood breakthrough had nothing to do with his buddy. As a desperate car salesman who ill-advisedly hires two thugs to kidnap his wife in Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo, Macy used his hangdog persona to hilarious effect and deservedly earned an Oscar nod for the 1996 film. Now that Hollywood recognized both his face and his name, the offers came pouring in, and Macy popped up in so many projects (including Wag the Dog, Air Force One and Boogie Nights, all in 1997), he seemed like the hardest-working man in show business. He also gained exposure through recurring roles on TV's ER and Sports Night, starring opposite his real-life wife, Felicity Huffman, in the latter. Macy remained incredibly prolific in the '00s, appearing in big-budget flicks (Jurassic Park III, Seabiscuit), indies (The CoolerThank You for Smoking) and a number of critically acclaimed TV movies, including Door to Door as a cerebral palsy-stricken salesman, which earned him Emmys for both acting and writing. But he always made time for Mamet, even appearing as the President of the United States in the writer's CBS action series, The Unit, in 2007, and taking over the lead role in Mamet's Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow in 2009, after original star Jeremy Piven unexpectedly left the show. In 2010, Macy reunited with ER producer John Wells to play an alcoholic father on the Showtime dramedy series Shameless.William H. Macy Fast Facts:
  • Studied veterinary medicine before turning to acting.
  • Co-founded the St. Nicholas Theater Company in Chicago in 1974 and the Atlantic Theater Company in New York in 1983.
  • Voiced the tag line, "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman" in the Secret deodorant commercial.
  • Named best actor at the 1997 Independent Spirit Awards for his performance in Fargo.
  • Became a United Cerebral Palsy ambassador in 2003 after playing a salesman with the condition in the TV movie Door to Door, and was elected to the UCP Board of Trustees in 2004.
  • Has lent his voice to a number of animated projects, including the CGI features Doogal (2006) and The Tale of Despereaux (2008), as well as the PBS Curious George series.
  • William H. Macy Relationships:
  • Fred Merrill Jr. - Half Brother
  • Georgia Grace Macy - Daughter
  • Felicity Huffman - Wife
  • Sophia Grace Macy - Daughter
  • William Hall Macy Sr. - Father
  • Lois Macy - Mother
  • William H. Macy Awards:
  • 2003 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
  • 2005 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 1997 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 2004 Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 2002 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Winner
  • 2004 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Nominee
  • 2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 2003 Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special - Winner
  • 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries - Nominee
  • 1996 Oscar: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
  • 1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • 1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Nominee
  • 2005 Emmy: Outstanding Made for Television Movie - Nominee
  • 2007 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 1997 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Nominee
  • 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Nominee
  • 2003 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Winner
  • 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2014 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2005 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
  • 2004 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • College:
  • Attended Bethany College, Bethany, WV; Goddard College, Plainfield, VT (BFA in Theater, 1972)

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Charlie Rose with Arthur Miller; Patrick Stewart; William H. Macy; Jonathan Demme (April 7, 2000)
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