||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2014)|
Petersen on the set of CSI in March 2004.
February 21, 1953 |
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Gina Cirone (2003–present)
William Louis Petersen (born February 21, 1953) is an American actor and producer, best known for playing Dr. Gilbert "Gil" Grissom on the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Richard Chance in the film To Live and Die in L.A., and Will Graham in the film Manhunter.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Filmography
- 5 Production credits
- 6 Live theatre
- 7 Stage director
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Petersen was born in Evanston, Illinois, the youngest of six children of Helen June (née Hoene; 1909–2006) and Arthur Edward Petersen, Sr. (1907–2004), who worked in the furniture business. He is of Danish and German descent. He has two brothers, Arthur, Jr. and Robert, plus three sisters: Anne, Mary Kay, and Elizabeth. He graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho, in 1972. He was accepted to Idaho State University on a football scholarship. While at Idaho State, Petersen took an acting course which changed the direction of his life. He left school along with his wife, Joanne, in 1974 and followed a drama professor to the Basque country where he studied as a Shakespearean actor. Petersen was interested in Basque culture and he studied the Basque language, Euskera, and gave his daughter the Basque name Maite Nerea (meaning My Beloved); she was born in Arrasate - Mondragón 1975. Petersen returned to Idaho with the intent on being an actor. Not wanting to work a non-acting job in Idaho, he returned to the Chicago area, living with relatives. He became active in the theater and earned his Actors' Equity card. He performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, of which he has been an ensemble member since 2008, and was a co-founder of the Remains Theater Ensemble which also included other prominent Chicago actors Gary Cole and Ted Levine.
In 1985, Petersen received his first break when he starred as a Secret Service Agent gone rogue to avenge his mentor in William Friedkin's 1985 action film To Live and Die in L.A. The following year, Petersen starred in the first Hannibal Lecter film, Michael Mann's Manhunter, playing FBI agent Will Graham. Because his role in Manhunter was so emotionally exhausting, he did everything he could to rid himself of Graham after finishing principal photography. He shaved off his beard, cut his hair and bleached it blond. He also claims to have done this because, while rehearsing for a play in Chicago, his dialogue was always coming out like Graham's; he dyed his hair so he could look in the mirror and see a different person.
He declined a part in Oliver Stone's Platoon, as it would have kept him in the Philippines, away from his family. Instead, he worked on the 1987 HBO made-for-TV movie Long Gone as a minor league baseball player and manager. Petersen was offered the role of Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas, but turned it down. An exposé about the film in the May '15 issue of Playboy claims that Petersen turned down the audition altogether. In a 1990 ABC three-part miniseries, The Kennedys of Massachusetts, Petersen played U.S. President John F. Kennedy's father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy. The film won an Emmy, and a Golden Globe from eight and two nominations, respectively. Also in 1990, Petersen portrayed the infamous Patrick Floyd "Pat" Garrett in Young Guns II. In 1993, Petersen appeared in another miniseries, Return to Lonesome Dove, and in 1996's Fear. Petersen played the role of Governor Jack Hathaway, an unscrupulous candidate for vice president following the death of the incumbent in The Contender.
He appeared uncredited in the noir thriller Mulholland Falls as a character who finds himself on the violent receiving end of a Los Angeles police squad's tactics. He starred in Kiss the Sky and also appeared as part of an all-star cast in a remake of the film 12 Angry Men (as Juror #12, aka "the Snob"). From 2000 to 2010, he played Dr. Gil Grissom in the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Petersen took a break from CSI to appear in a five-week run of the Trinity Repertory Company production of Dublin Carol in Providence, Rhode Island. On May 30, 2007 he was at Wrigley Field to join WGN radio sportscasters covering a Chicago Cubs – Florida Marlins game and he mentioned he had seen CSI: The Experience at the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) on the South Side of Chicago. He expressed how he and his castmates were "blessed" to have such a successful series when he had seen shows starring friends cancelled after only a few episodes.
Petersen renewed his contract with CBS to appear on CSI for the 2008-2009 season, reportedly for $600,000 per episode. On July 15, 2008, the Associated Press reported that Petersen was leaving the show as a regular following Season 9's tenth episode in order to pursue more stage acting opportunities, but that he may return for guest spots. He remains an executive producer of the show. He reprised his role of Gil Grissom in the eleventh season episode "The Two Mrs. Grissoms" (aired February 3, 2011).
On February 3, 2009, Petersen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most of the cast and crew of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation attended the ceremony. His star is located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd, directly in front of the legendary Musso & Frank Grill.
Petersen married longtime girlfriend Gina Cirone in July 2003. He has a daughter, Maite (born c. 1975), from his previous marriage to Joanne Brady. Through Maite, he has two grandsons, Mazrik William (born October 2003) and Indigo August (born August 2009). He is an avid Chicago Cubs fan. In 2004, he described to Playboy Magazine a near death experience he had in the 1980s, which gave him "assurance" that there is an afterlife.
On July 5, 2011, Petersen and Cirone (via surrogate) welcomed twins, a son and daughter.
|1981||Thief||Katz & Jammer Bartender|
|1985||To Live and Die in L.A||Richard Chance|
|1987||Amazing Grace and Chuck||Russell|
|1987||Long Gone||Cecil Cantrell||Television film|
|1990||The Kennedys of Massachusetts||Joseph P. Kennedy||Television film|
|1990||Young Guns II||Pat Garrett|
|1992||Passed Away||Frank Scanlan|
|1992||Keep the Change||Joe Starling||Television film|
|1993||Curacao||Stephen Guerin||Television film|
|1995||In the Kingdom of the Blind, the Man with One Eye is King||Tony C.|
|1996||The Beast||Whip Dalton||Television film|
|1997||12 Angry Men||Juror #12||Television film|
|1998||The Staircase||Joad||Television film|
|1998||The Rat Pack||John F. Kennedy||Television film|
|1999||Kiss the Sky||Jeff|
|2000||The Skulls||Ames Levritt|
|2000||The Contender||Jack Hathaway|
|2012||Seeking a Friend for the End of the World||Glenn|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Edward Sayers||Episode: "Need to Know"|
|1998||The Staircase||Jode||With Barbara Hershey - Fremantle Media|
|1993||Return to Lonesome Dove||Gideon Walker||3 episodes|
|2000–2013||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Gil Grissom||196 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series (2002–2004)
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2002–2004)
|2007||Without a Trace||Episode: "Where and Why?"|
|2013||To Appomattox||William Tecumseh Sherman||8 episodes|
- Indulgences in a Louisville Harem (1980)
- Sixty Six Scenes of Halloween (1981)
- The Tooth of Crime (1984) .... Hoss (nominated by Joseph Jefferson Awards)
- Balm in Gilead (1981–82) .... Joe Conroy
- Moby Dick (1984) .... Ahab
- A Class "C" Trial in Yokahama
- Big Time (1987) .... Paul
- American Buffalo (1991) .... Teach
- Once in Doubt (1992) .... Painter
- The Chicago Conspiracy Trial (1992)
- Waiting for Godot
- The Time of Your Life .... Joe
- Speed the Plow (1987) .... Bobby Gould
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
- Balm in Gilead (1981–82) .... Joe Conroy
- Fool for Love (1984) .... Eddie
- A Dublin Carol (2008) .... John Plunkett
- Endgame (2011) .... Hamm
- Slowgirl (2013)
- Gardenia (1982) .... ???
- The Time of Your Life .... Joe
- Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) .... James Lingk
- The Night of the Iguana (1994) .... Reverend Shannon
Victory Gardens Theatre
- Dillinger (1978) .... John Dillinger
- Towards the Morning (1978)
- Flyovers (1998) .... Ted
- Blackbird (2009) .... Ray (won the Jeff Awards)
- Heat (1978)
Wisdom Bridge Theatre
- Canticle of the Sun (1981) .... ???
- Belly of the Beast (1983) .... Jack Henry Abbott (Prize Joseph Jefferson Awards from Best Actor)
- Speed the Plow (1987) .... Bobby Gould
Other stage works
- Darkness at Noon (1976), Chicago area production
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1984) .... Stanley Kowalski, Stratford Festival of Canada, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 1984
- Days and Nights Within (1986) .... Interrogator, Organic Theatre
- Puntila and His Hired Mano (1986) .... Matti, Organic Theatre
- Speed the Plow .... Bobby Gould, Kennedy Center in D.C.
- The Night of the Iguana (1996) .... Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon, Roundabout Theatre Company, Criterion Center Stage Right Theatre, New York City
- A Dublin Carol .... John Plunkett, Trinity Reportory Company (Providence)
- Twelfth Night .... ???, Illinois Shakespeare Festival
- As You Like It .... ???, Illinois Shakespeare Festival
- The Belly of the Beast (1983) .... Jack Henry Abbott (Ivanhoe Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1985 and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1985)
- A Class C Trial in Yokohama, Chicago Theatre Project
- The Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison, Glasgow, Scotland and London, England, including the American Festival, London, 1985
- Slowgirl (2014) (Los Angeles Playhouse)
- Appeared in productions at Boise State University and Lewis and Clark College.
- Farmyard, Remains Theatre, Chicago, IL, c. 1980
- Traps, Remains Theatre, 1983
- William Petersen Biography (1953-)
- "Marriage Announcement 3 - No Title". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1931-08-02. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- "Star didn't have a clue 'CSI' would be a huge hit - Page 2 - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Hiltbrand, David (2004-02-06). "William Petersen didn't have a clue `CSI' would be a huge hit". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "El Imparcial: Noticias: William Petersen (Grissom, de CSI) habla y canta en vasco". Elimparcial.es. 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Inside Manhunter: Interviews with stars William Petersen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Tom Noonan
- Playboy Magazine, May 2015
- William Petersen Renews CSI Contract" TV Guide. March 31, 2008. Retrieved on April 1, 2008.
- "CSI series star William Petersen leaving in 9th season". www.gmanews.tv. Associated Press. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
- Playboy magazine, March 2004, page 139
- "William Petersen Welcomes Twins – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies - People.com". Celebritybabies.people.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "William Petersen Returns to Television in WGN America’s Manhattan". Comingsoon.net. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Petersen.|
- William Petersen at the Internet Movie Database
- Screen grabs, press stills and information about Petersen's famous role in Michael Mann's "Manhunter" (1986)
- Petersen not sad about 'CSI' exit Digital Spy, January 9, 2009
- Billy in theatre