William H. Macy

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Not to be confused with Bill Macy.
William H. Macy
WilliamHMacyTIFFSept2012.jpg
Born William Hall Macy, Jr.
(1950-03-13) March 13, 1950 (age 64)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Vermont[1]
Education Allegany High School
Alma mater Goddard College
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Felicity Huffman (1997–present)
Children Sophia Macy
Georgia Macy

William Hall Macy, Jr. (born March 13, 1950) is an American actor, screenwriter, teacher and director in theater, film and television. His film career has been built mostly on his appearances in small, independent films, though he has appeared in summer action films as well.[2] Macy has described himself as "sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy... Everyman".[3]

Macy was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo. He has won two Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and has been nominated for nine Emmy Awards and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards in total. He is also a three-time Golden Globe Award nominee. Since 2011 he has played the main antagonist in the Showtime television series Shameless. Macy and actress Felicity Huffman have been married since 1997.

Early life[edit]

Macy was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Georgia and Maryland.[4] His father, William Hall Macy, Sr., was 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, Georgia, and worked for Dun & Bradstreet before taking over a Cumberland, Maryland-based insurance agency when Macy was nine years old. His mother, Lois (née Overstreet), was a war widow who met Macy's father after her first husband died in 1943; Macy has described her as a "Southern belle".[5][6][7]

Macy graduated in 1968[2] from Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland. Afterwards, he studied veterinary medicine[2] at Bethany College in West Virginia. By his own admission a "wretched student," he transferred to Goddard College and became involved in theatre,[4] where he performed in ensemble productions of The Three Penny Opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream and a wide variety of contemporary and improvisational pieces. At Goddard, he first met playwright David Mamet.[4]

Career[edit]

After graduating from Goddard in 1971, Macy moved to Chicago, Illinois, working as a bartender to pay the rent. Within a year, he and David Mamet, among others, founded St. Nicholas Theater Company,[4] where Macy originated roles in a number of Mamet's plays, such as American Buffalo and The Water Engine.[8]

Macy spent time in Los Angeles, California, before moving to New York City, New York in 1980. While living there, he had roles in over 50 Off Broadway and Broadway plays. One of his early on-screen roles was as a turtle named Socrates in the direct-to-video film The Boy Who Loved Trolls (1984), under the name W. H. Macy (so as not to be confused with the actor Bill Macy). He also had a minor role as a hospital orderly on the sitcom Kate & Allie in the fourth season episode "General Hospital" (also as W. H. Macy). He has appeared in numerous films that Mamet wrote and/or directed, including House of Games, Things Change, Homicide, Oleanna (reprising the role he originated in the play of the same name), Wag the Dog, State and Main, and Spartan.

Macy may be best known for his lead role in Fargo, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.[4] The role helped boost his career and recognizability, though at the expense of nearly confining him to a narrow typecast of a worried man down on his luck.[9] Other Macy roles of the 1990s and 2000s included Benny & Joon, Above Suspicion, Mr. Holland's Opus, Ghosts of Mississippi, Air Force One, Boogie Nights, Pleasantville, Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho, Happy, Texas, Mystery Men, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III, Focus, Panic, Welcome to Collinwood, Seabiscuit, The Cooler, and Sahara.

Macy has also had a number of roles on television, including a guest appearance on The Unit, as the President of the United States. In 2003, he won two Emmy Awards, one for starring in the lead role, and one as co-writer, of the made-for-TNT film Door to Door.[4] Door to Door is a drama based on the true story of Bill Porter, a door-to-door salesman in Portland, Oregon, born with cerebral palsy.[4] He also auditioned for the role of Brian Griffin on Seth MacFarlane's popular show Family Guy.

His work on ER and Sports Night has also been recognized with Emmy nominations.

Macy in 2010

In a November 2003 interview with USA Today, Macy stated that he wanted to star in a big-budget action movie "for the money, for the security of a franchise like that". He serves as director-in-residence at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York, where he teaches a technique called Practical Aesthetics. A book describing the technique, A Practical Handbook for the Actor (ISBN 0-394-74412-8), is dedicated to Macy and Mamet.

In 2007, Macy starred in Wild Hogs, a film about middle-aged men reliving their youthful days by taking to the open road on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Cincinnati to the Pacific Coast. Despite being critically panned with a 14% "rotten" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, it was a financial success, grossing over $168 million.[10] In 2009, Macy completed filming on The Maiden Heist, a comedy that co-starred Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken.

On June 23, 2008, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, would each receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the upcoming year. On January 13, 2009, Macy replaced Jeremy Piven in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow on Broadway. Piven suddenly and unexpectedly dropped out of the play in December 2008 after he experienced health problems; Norbert Leo Butz covered the role from December 23, 2008, until Macy took over the part.[11] Dirty Girl, which starred Macy along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, Mary Steenburgen and Tim McGraw, premiered September 12, 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In the 2012 film The Sessions, Macy played a priest who helps a man with a severe disability find personal fulfillment through a sex surrogate.[12]

Shameless[edit]

In Summer 2010, Macy joined the Showtime pilot Shameless, as the protagonist Frank Gallagher. The project ultimately went to series, its first season on premiered January 9, 2011. Macy has received high critical acclaim for his performance.[13] After the show's ratings improved, Showtime renewed it for a second and third season, and on January 29, 2013, for a fourth season to premiere in early 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Huffman and Macy at a ceremony where each received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2012

Macy and actress Felicity Huffman have been married since September 6, 1997; they have two daughters, Sophia Grace (born August 1, 2000) and Georgia Grace (born March 14, 2002).

Macy and Huffman appeared at a rally for John Kerry in 2004.[14][15] Macy also plays the ukulele and is an avid woodturner; he has appeared on the cover of the specialist magazine Fine Woodworking. He is a national ambassador for the United Cerebral Palsy Association.[16]

Since shooting Wild Hogs, Macy has picked up a strong interest in riding motorcycles.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1980 Foolin' Around Bronski Credited as W.H. Macy
1980 Somewhere in Time Critic Credited as W.H. Macy
1983 Without a Trace Reporter
1984 Boy Who Loved Trolls, TheThe Boy Who Loved Trolls Socrates the Turtle Voice
Television film
1985 Last Dragon, TheThe Last Dragon J.J.
1987 House of Games Sgt. Morgan Credited as W.H. Macy
1987 Radio Days Radio Actor
1988 Murder of Mary Phagan, TheThe Murder of Mary Phagan Randy Television film
1988 Things Change Billy Drake
1991 Homicide Tim Sullivan
1992 Water Engine, TheThe Water Engine Charles Lang
1992 The Heart of Justice Booth Television film
1993 Being Human Boris
1993 Benny & Joon Randy Burch
1993 Searching for Bobby Fischer Petey's Father
1994 The Client Dr. Greenway
1995 Murder in the First D.A. William McNeil
1995 Oleanna John
1995 Dead on Sight Steven Meeker
1995 Tall Tale Railroad Magnate Uncredited
1995 Mr. Holland's Opus Vice Principal Gene Wolters
1995 Evolver Evolver Voice
1996 Fargo Jerry Lundegaard
1996 Andersonville Col. Chandler
1996 Down Periscope Commander Carl Knox
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Charlie Crisco
1997 Colin Fitz Lives! Mr. O'Day / Colin Fitz
1997 Air Force One Major Norman Caldwell
1997 Boogie Nights Little Bill
1997 Wag the Dog CIA Agent Charles Young
1998 Pleasantville George Parker
1998 Psycho Milton Arbogast
1998 Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, TheThe Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Justin Voice
Direct-to-video
1998 Civil Action, AA Civil Action James Gordon
1998 Con, TheThe Con Bobby Sommerdinger
1998 Lionhearts, TheThe Lionhearts Leo Lionheart Voice
1999 Happy, Texas Sheriff Chappy Dent
1999 Mystery Men The Shoveler
1999 Slight Case of Murder, AA Slight Case of Murder Terry Thorpe
1999 Night of the Headless Horseman, TheThe Night of the Headless Horseman Ichabod Crane Voice
1999 Magnolia Quiz Kid Donnie Smith
2000 State and Main Walt Price
2000 Panic Alex
2001 Jurassic Park III Paul Kirby
2001 Focus Lawrence "Larry" Newman
2002 Door to Door Bill Porter Television film
2002 It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Glenn
2002 Welcome to Collinwood Riley
2003 Cooler, TheThe Cooler Bernie Lootz
2003 Easy Riders, Raging Bulls Narrator Documentary
2003 Stealing Sinatra John Irwin
2003 Seabiscuit Tick Tock McGlaughlin
2004 Reversible Errors Arthur Raven Television film
2004 Cellular Mooney
2004 In Enemy Hands Chief of Boat Nathan Travers
2004 Spartan Stoddard
2005 Wool Cap, TheThe Wool Cap Charlie Gigot Television film
2005 Sahara Admiral James Sandecker
2005 Edmond Edmond Burke
2005 Thank You for Smoking Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre
2006 Doogal Brian the Snail Voice
2006 Nightmares and Dreamscapes Sam Landry / Clyde Umney Television film
2006 Bobby Paul
2006 Everyone's Hero Lefty Maginnis Voice
2006 Choose Your Own Adventure DVD Series Rudyard North
2006 Inland Empire Announcer
2007 Wild Hogs Dudley Frank
2007 He Was a Quiet Man Gene Shelby
2008 Deal, TheThe Deal Charlie Berns
2008 Bart Got a Room Ernie Stein
2008 Tale of Despereaux, TheThe Tale of Despereaux Lester Voice
2009 Maiden Heist, TheThe Maiden Heist George
2009 Shorts Dr. Noseworthy
2010 Marmaduke Don Twombly
2010 Dirty Girl Ray
2011 Lincoln Lawyer, TheThe Lincoln Lawyer Frank Levin
2012 Sessions, TheThe Sessions Father Brendan
2013 A Single Shot Pitt
2013 Trust Me Gary
2014 The Wind Rises Satomi Voice
2014 Ernest & Celestine Head Dentist Voice
2014 Rudderless Tavern Owner / Emcee Director
2015 Cake Leonard
2015 Blood Father

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Awakening Land, TheThe Awakening Land Will Beagle 3 episodes
1985–1988 Spencer: For Hire Efrem Connors 3 episodes
1986 Kate & Allie Carl Episode: "General Hospital"
1987 The Equalizer Dr. Spaulding Episode: "Hand and Glove"
1990 Law & Order John McCormack Episode: "Everybody's Favorite Bagman"
1992 Law & Order Powell Episode: "Sisters of Mercy"
1993 Bakersfield P.D. Russell Karp Episode: "Cable Does Not Pay"
1993 L.A. Law Bernard Ruskin Episode: "Rhyme and Punishment"
1994–2009 ER Dr. David Morgenstern 31 episodes
1998 The Lionhearts Leo Lionheart 13 episodes
1998 King of the Hill Dr. Rubin Episode: "Pregnant Paws"
1999 Batman Beyond Aaron Herbst Episode: "Disappearing Inque"
1999–2000 Sports Night Sam Donovan 6 episodes
2000 Batman Beyond Karros Episode: "Big Time"
2003 Out of Order Steven 6 episodes
2006 The Simpsons Himself Voice
Episode: "Homer's Paternity Coot"
2006–2007 Curious George Narrator 28 episodes
2011–present Shameless Frank Gallagher 46 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1992 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male Homicide Nominated
1995 Best Male Lead Oleanna Nominated
1997 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Fargo Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series ER Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Fargo Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1998 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor A Civil Action Won
Pleasantville Won
Psycho Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Boogie Nights Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1999 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Pleasantville Nominated
National Board of Review Best Cast Magnolia Won
2000 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Happy, Texas Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Magnolia Won
National Board of Review Best Cast State and Main Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Sports Night Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie A Slight Case of Murder Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or a Television Film Won
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Happy, Texas Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Magnolia Nominated
2001 Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast State and Main Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Cast Won
2003 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Door to Door Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Won
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Seabiscuit Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Stealing Sinatra Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama The Cooler Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Seabiscuit Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film The Wool Cap Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Outstanding Made for Television Movie Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Stealing Sinatra Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie The Wool Cap Nominated
2006 Hollywood Film Festival Best Cast Bobby Won
2007 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nightmares and Dreamscapes Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Bobby Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nightmares and Dreamscapes Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Shameless Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
2012 Prism Awards Best Performance in a Comedy Series Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Macy, William H. (February 17, 2006). "My Little Piece of Vermont". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b c Robert, Abele (July 2001). "Interview with William H. Macy". Maxim: 84. 
  3. ^ Grady, Pam. "Making a Spectacle of Himself: William H. Macy reveals how donning a pair of glasses changes everything in his new drama, Focus". Reel.com. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2004
  5. ^ "William H. Macy Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  6. ^ "William H. Macy Biography (1950–)". FilmReference.com. 
  7. ^ "MACY'S ROOTS RUN DEEP INTO PASCAGOULA". Sun Herald. 2004-04-11. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  8. ^ Harris, Andrew B. (1994). Broadway Theatre. Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 0-415-10520-X. Retrieved 2008-04-16. "By 1975, David Mamet and the St Nicholas Theater had settled in Chicago." 
  9. ^ Gina McIntyre (2004-01-08). "William H. Macy, actor". Hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2010-07-07. [dead link]
  10. ^ Wild Hogs, Rotten Tomatoes, Retrieved 07/28/10
  11. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (December 18, 2008). "Jeremy Piven Abruptly Abandons Broadway Play". People Magazine. 
  12. ^ a b [1], William H. Macy Interview with ABILITY Magazine.
  13. ^ Stransky, Tanner (10 December 2010). "William H. Macy takes it off". Entertainment Weekly (1132). p. 22. 
  14. ^ "All Star Concert Benefit for Presidential Candidate John Kerry". DailyCeleb.com. July 6, 2004. 
  15. ^ "William H Macy's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat. 
  16. ^ "UCP Announces William H. Macy as UCP Ambassador". National Ambassadors (Press release). United Cerebral Palsy. 2003-01-14. 

External links[edit]