William Joseph Devane
September 5, 1939
Albany, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||American Academy of Dramatic Arts|
William Joseph Devane (born September 5, 1939) is an American actor. He is known for his role as Greg Sumner on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing (1983–1993) and as James Heller on the Fox serial dramas 24 (2001–2010) and 24: Live Another Day (2014). He is also known for his work in films such as Family Plot (1976), Marathon Man (1976), Rolling Thunder (1977), Payback (1999), and Space Cowboys (2000).
Devane was born on September 5, 1939, in Albany, New York, the son of Joseph Devane, who had been Franklin D. Roosevelt's chauffeur when he was governor of New York. His father was of Irish descent and his mother Kate had Dutch and German ancestry. Devane graduated from Philip Schuyler High School in Albany, and then the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1962.
In 1966, Devane portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in the off-Broadway spoof MacBird. He gained acclaim for his role as President John F. Kennedy in a television docudrama about the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Missiles of October (1974), and again when he played blacklisted radio personality John Henry Faulk in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie Fear on Trial (1975). Devane starred as Master Sgt. Milt Warden in the miniseries remake of From Here to Eternity (1979); he later reprised that role in a weekly series that was canceled after one season. Devane is widely known for his ten years as the ambitious and hardnosed politician-turned-corporate titan Greg Sumner on Knots Landing.
In 1971, he starred off-Broadway as Randle McMurphy in the first stage revival of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest alongside Danny DeVito as Martini, who would go on to reprise the role in the acclaimed film of the same name alongside Jack Nicholson.
In 1994, Devane appeared as Al Capone in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in an episode entitled "That Old Gang of Mine". He also had a recurring role on the CBS show Early Edition (1996–2000) as the lead character's father. Devane appeared in the films McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971); Lady Liberty (1971); Family Plot (1976), directed by Alfred Hitchcock; Marathon Man (1976); Rolling Thunder (1977); Yanks (1979); Testament (1983) with Jane Alexander; Timestalkers (1987) with Lauren Hutton and Klaus Kinski; Forgotten Sins (1996) with John Shea; Exception to the Rule (1997); Payback (1999); Hollow Man (2000) and Space Cowboys (2000).
Devane has played members of the Presidential Cabinet on two evening dramas. In 2004, on The West Wing, he guest-starred as the secretary of state and potential vice presidential nominee. Devane appeared in several scenes with Martin Sheen; they also appeared together as President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, respectively, 30 years earlier in The Missiles of October (1974). In 2005, he joined the cast of 24 as Secretary of Defense James Heller for seasons four through six.
In 2004, Devane appeared in three episodes of Stargate SG-1 as President Henry Hayes and appears in the direct-to-DVD movie Stargate: Continuum. He also co-starred in the short-lived sitcom Crumbs and as Brian's real-estate broker father in What About Brian (2006–07). In 2008, he appeared in Russ Emanuel's Chasing the Green alongside Jeremy London, Ryan Hurst, and Robert Picardo. He also appears as police officer turned psychologist Dr. Dix in the Jesse Stone mystery movies with Tom Selleck. In 2010, he appeared in the NCIS episode "Worst Nightmare" as a grandfather who is not what he appears to be, and is actually a former U.S. deep-cover special-operations agent, of a child kidnapped from Marine Corps Base Quantico.
In 2012, Devane began a recurring role as Grandpa Edward Grayson on the ABC primetime soap opera Revenge. Devane also played the President of the United States in the Christopher Nolan film The Dark Knight Rises. Devane reprised his role as James Heller, now President, in the limited-run series 24: Live Another Day, which premiered in May 2014.
Devane had a cameo role as Williams, as part of NASA, in the 2014 film Interstellar and a year later, was also part of the regular cast of the sitcom The Grinder. In 2022, he appeared in a four-episode guest arc on the Amazon Prime Video detective series Bosch: Legacy.
He married Eugenie McCabe in 1961 and they lived in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles with their two sons: Joshua, who is now a real estate agent, and Jake, a lawyer. He has two grandsons. He splits his time between his ranches in California and Montana.
|1967||In the Country||Unknown|
|1969||Gunsmith of Williamsburg||The Narrator|
|1971||The Pursuit of Happiness||Pilot|
|The 300 Year Weekend||Tom|
|McCabe & Mrs. Miller||Clement Samuels, Esq|
|My Old Man's Place||Jimmy Pilgrim|
|Lady Liberty||Jock Fenner|
|1972||The Irish Whiskey Rebellion||Lieutenant Ashley
|- "Falling From the Sky"|
|1975||Report to the Commissioner||Assistant District Attorney Jackson|
|1976||Family Plot||Arthur Adamson / Edward Shoebridge|
|Marathon Man||Commander Peter "Janey" Janeway|
|1977||The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training||Mike Leak|
|Rolling Thunder||Major Charles Rane|
|1979||The Dark||Roy Warner|
|1981||Honky Tonk Freeway||Mayor Kirby T. Calo|
|1981||Red Flag - The Ultimate Game||Major Phil Clark|
|1987||Hadley's Rebellion||Coach Ball|
|1987||Timestalkers||Dr. Scott McKenzie|
|1990||Vital Signs||Dr. Chatham|
|1994||Lady in Waiting (Alternate title: Hollywood Madam)||Lieutenant Barrett|
|1997||Exception to the Rule||Lawrence Kellerman|
|2000||The Man Who Used To Be Me||Sam|
|Poor White Trash||Ron Lake|
|Space Cowboys||Flight Director Eugene "Gene" Davis|
|Hollow Man||Dr. Howard Kramer|
|2001||Race to Space||Roger Thornhill|
|2002||The Badge||The Judge|
|Threat of Exposure||Colonel Weldon|
|2003||The Wind Effect||L.T. Porter|
|Monte Walsh||Cal Brennan|
|2008||The Fall||Judge Stanley Seeban|
|Stargate Continuum||President Henry Hayes|
|2009||The Least Among You||Alan Beckett|
|Chasing the Green||Victor Gatling|
|2010||The River Why||"Dutch" Hines|
|The Kane Files: Life of Trial||Thompson|
|2011||Flag of My Father||Jake|
|2012||Red Clover||"Pops" O'Hara|
|The Dark Knight Rises||The President|
|2013||Bad Turn Worse||"Big Red"|
|2014||50 to 1||Leonard "Doc" Blach|
|2015||Truth||Gen. Hodges||Voice; Uncredited|
- N.Y.P.D. (3 episodes, 1967–1969)
- Medical Center (1 episode, 1970 "Ghetto Clinic")
- Young Dr. Kildare (1 episode, 1972)
- Gunsmoke (1 episode, 1973)
- The Bait (1973)
- Mannix (1 episode, 1974)
- Hawaii Five-O (1 episode, 1974)
- The Missiles of October (TV Movie, 1974)
- Fear on Trial (1975)
- Red Alert (1977)
- Black Beauty (1978)
- From Here to Eternity (1979)
- From Here to Eternity (11 episodes, 1980)
- Red Flag: The Ultimate Game (1981)
- The Other Victim (1981)
- The Big Easy (unsold TV pilot, 1982)
- Insight (1 episode, 1982)
- Jane Doe (1983)
- With Intent to Kill (1984)
- Timestalkers (1987)
- Murder C.O.D. (1990)
- A Woman Named Jackie (1991)
- Nightmare in Columbia County (aka Victim of Beauty, 1991)
- Knots Landing (269 episodes, 1983–1993)
- Phenom (21 episodes, 1993–1994)
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1 episode, 1994)
- For the Love of Nancy (TV Movie, 1994)
- Falling from the Sky: Flight 174 (TV Movie, 1995)
- Virus (TV Movie, 1995)
- Night Watch (TV Movie, 1995)
- The Monroes (8 episodes, 1995)
- Doomsday Rock (TV Movie, 1997)
- Timecop (1 episode, 1997)
- Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac (1997)
- Touched by an Angel (1 episode, 1997)
- Turks (13 episodes, 1999)
- Early Edition (5 episodes, 1997–1999)
- The Michael Richards Show (7 episodes, 2000)
- Judging Amy (1 episode, 2002)
- The X-Files (1 episode, "The Truth" 2002)
- A Christmas Visitor (2002, TV Movie)
- The West Wing (2 episodes, 2003)
- Stargate SG-1 (3 episodes, 2004)
- Crumbs (13 episodes, 2006)
- Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (2006)
- What About Brian (6 episodes, 2006–2007)
- 24 (20 episodes, 2005–2007)
- Jesse Stone: Sea Change (2007)
- Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (2009)
- Jesse Stone: No Remorse (2010)
- King of the Hill (1 episode, 2010)
- Psych (1 episode, 2010)
- NCIS (1 episode, 2010)
- Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (2011)
- Good Morning, Killer (2011)
- Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (2012)
- Revenge (2 episodes, 2012)
- 24: Live Another Day (12 episodes, 2014)
- The Grinder (22 episodes, 2015)
- Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise (TV Movie, 2015)
- Bosch: Legacy (4 episodes to date as of May 11, 2022)
- "Biography for William Devane". IMDb.com.
- "DeVane's claim to fame "I'm a damn good actor". Lawrence Journal World. May 11, 1985. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- Weinraub, Bernard (October 15, 1995). "COVER STORY;They Told Devane He'd Be Typecast As a Kennedy (But Which One?) – New York Times". The New York Times.
- Biancolli, Amy (April 18, 2013). "William Devane talks heritage: Irish and Albany". Times Union.
- "60. Danny DeVito, Everybody: The Always Sunny Podcast". YouTube.com. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
- Leiter, Samuel. "372. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975". slleiter.blogspot.com. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
- "William Devane". TVGuide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Jeffery, Morgan (December 14, 2011). "'24' star William Devane joins ABC's 'Revenge'". Digital Spy.
- "The Big Easy (syndicated unsold pilot)". TV Archives : Unsold Pilots. March 31, 1972.