January 10, 1948 |
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Sanderson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to an elementary school teacher mother and a landscape designer father. He holds business (B.B.A., 1968) and law (J.D., 1971) degrees from the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State University).
Sanderson has appeared in many movies, and is known for his role in the 1982 classic science fiction film Blade Runner as J. F. Sebastian. Sanderson appeared as one of the mechanics, regulars of the diner in The Rocketeer, who defies Nazi agents looking for the top secret rocket pack. He also portrayed a character named "Deuce" in an episode of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, and later reprised the role in the television movie Babylon 5: Thirdspace. He also voiced the recurring character Dr. Karl Rossum in Batman: The Animated Series. Sanderson starred in the controversial film Fight for Your Life, which has a strict ban in the United Kingdom.
As a guest, he has made appearances in television shows, and his credits include The X-Files, Knight Rider, Married... with Children, Babylon 5, ER, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Coach. He plays a key role in an audio dramatization of Ursula K. Le Guin's "Vaster than Empires and More Slow" in NPR's 2000X series. In 2001, Sanderson played a courageous bartender named Dewey in the TNT film Crossfire Trail.
Sanderson played Larry in Newhart from 1982 to 1990, famous for the catchphrase, "Hi. I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl. This is my other brother Darryl."
Sanderson returned to television playing E. B. Farnum in the HBO television series Deadwood from 2004 to 2006. His role is a tragicomic hotelier and first mayor of Deadwood. In 2008, Sanderson joined the cast of True Blood playing town Sheriff Bud Dearborne.
Sanderson portrayed "Oldham", the resident interrogation expert of the DHARMA Initiative in the 10th episode of the fifth season of ABC's series Lost. He appears in the Current TV series Bar Karma as a bartender.
- Bravest Warriors (2013, web series - 1 episode)
- Bones (2012, television - Season 7, Episode 11, "The Family in the Feud")
- Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011, television - Season 1, Episode 8, "Nighthawk")
- Mike & Molly (2011, television - CBS)
- Bar Karma (2011, television - CurrentTV)
- Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2010, television - Adult Swim)
- Lost (2009, television - ABC)
- True Blood (2008-2012 television - HBO)
- Life (2007, television - NBC)
- The Treasure of Painted Forest (2005) as Paul
- Deadwood (2004–2006, television - HBO)
- Avatar (2004)
- Gods and Generals (2003)
- Monkey Love (2002)
- Stanley's Gig (2000) as Stanley
- Nice Guys Sleep Alone (1999)
- Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1997) (TV) - "Deuce"
- Andersonville (1996)
- The Pretender (1996) Season 1 - Episode 2 as Roy Abbot
- Last Man Standing (1996)
- ER (1996) Season 3 - Episode 8 as Mr. Percy
- The X-Files (1994) Season 2 - Episode 3, "Blood"
- Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance (1994)
- Babylon 5 (1994) "Grail" - "Deuce"
- Wagons East (1994)
- The Client (1994)
- Skeeter (1993)
- Man's Best Friend (1993)
- Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1994)
- Sometimes They Come Back (1991)
- The Rocketeer (1991)
- Mirror, Mirror (1990)
- Lonesome Dove (1989)
- Deadly Weapon (1989)
- Thunderground (1989)
- The Twilight Zone (1988)
- Last Man Standing (1987)
- Dead Aim (1987)
- Black Moon Rising (1986)
- Fletch (1985)
- Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
- Nightmares (1983)
- Knight Rider Season 1, Episode 9, "Trust Doesn't Rust" (1982, television - NBC)
- Blade Runner (1982)
- Newhart (1982–1990, television - CBS)
- Raggedy Man (1981)
- Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
- The Onion Field (1979)
- Savage Weekend (1979)
- Fight For Your Life (1977)
- Susan King, "William Sanderson's `Deadwood' ride nears its end.", The Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2006
- Voisin, Scott, "Character Kings: Hollywood's Familiar Faces Discuss the Art & Business of Acting." BearManor Media, 2009. ISBN 978-1-59393-342-5.