William Holden

  • Birth Name: William Franklin Beedle Jr.
  • Birth Place: O'Fallon, Illinois, United States
  • Died: November 16, 1981
  • Profession: Actor
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Fast Facts

  • Mentored in acting during the filming of Golden Boy (his first film) by co-star Barbara Stanwyck.
  • Served in the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant during World War II.
  • Turning point in his career came in 1950, when he was cast in two major roles: Born Yesterday and Sunset Boulevard. These films helped him transition from likable leading man roles to more substantial, cynical parts.  
  • Was best man to Ronald Reagan at his 1952 wedding to Nancy Davis.
  • A big supporter of wildlife conservation, he co-founded the Mount Kenya Safari Club in 1959.
  • Died tragically after an accidental fall in his apartment.


  • 1950, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1976, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1978, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1974, Emmy — Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series: Winner
  • 1957, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actor: Nominee
  • 1953, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner


  • Stefanie Powers — Significant Other
  • Mary Beedle — Mother
  • Richard Beedle — Brother
  • Scott Holden — Son
  • William Franklin Beedle — Father
  • Virginia Holden — Stepdaughter
  • Peter Westfield Holden — Son
  • Brenda Marshall — Ex-wife
  • Robert Westfield Beedle — Brother


  • Attended Pasadena Junior College, Pasadena, California, United States
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