William Hootkins

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William Hootkins
Born William Michael Hootkins
(1948-07-05)July 5, 1948
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Died October 23, 2005(2005-10-23) (aged 57)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Burial place Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, North Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Film, television, voice actor
Spouse(s) Polly Hootkins
(1973–2005; divorced)
Carolyn Robb
(Jul–Oct 2005; his death)

William Michael "Hoot"[1] Hootkins (July 5, 1948 – October 23, 2005) was an American character actor, best known for supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Batman.

Early life[edit]

Hootkins was born in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 15, Hootkins found himself caught up in the FBI's investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when he was interviewed about Mrs. Ruth Paine, the woman "harboring" Marina Oswald, the Russian wife of the presumed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He had been studying Russian with Paine at his school, St. Mark's in Dallas, where he also developed his taste for theatre, joining the same drama group as Tommy Lee Jones. Hootkins would later say that, since Jones was better looking and got all the best parts, "I supported from then on in."[1]

Hootkins attended Princeton University, studying astrophysics before transferring to oriental studies, where he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese.[1] He was a mainstay of the Theatre Intime, making a particular impact with his performance in Orson Welles' Moby Dick—Rehearsed. On the recommendation of his friend John Lithgow, he moved to London in the early 1970s and trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He made his home in London until 2002, when he moved to Los Angeles.[1]

Acting career[edit]


In England, Hootkins found work in the theatre as well as in film, and he would have his greatest success on stage portraying Alfred Hitchcock in Terry Johnson's 2003 hit play Hitchcock Blonde, first at the Royal Court Theatre and in London's West End. The role was such a success that producers planned to take the show to Broadway, but it was canceled after he was diagnosed with cancer.[1]

Film and television[edit]

Hootkins appeared in many roles that made him a welcome figure at fan conventions, particularly for Star Wars in his role of Jek Tono Porkins. He also appeared in significant parts in films as Hardware (1990), Like Father, Like Santa (as Santa Claus), and Hear My Song (1991), where he was the Mr. X who was presumed to be the Irish tenor Josef Locke under a false name.[2] He portrayed Fatty Arbuckle in Ken Russell's infamous 1977 flop, Valentino and played Hans Zarkov's assistant in the 1980 Flash Gordon. He also made appearances in such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tim Burton's Batman (the latter as Lt. Eckhardt).[1]

He also appeared in several roles on television, including Charles Frohman in The Lost Boys (1978), Colonel Cobb in the remake of The Tomorrow People and as Uncle George in the 2002 remake of The Magnificent Ambersons.

At the time of his death, Hootkins was planning a screenplay on Fatty Arbuckle, focusing on the comic's life after his fall from grace in 1921; he had met Arbuckle's last wife, Addie McPhail.[1]

Voice acting[edit]

He was also a voice artist, recording dozens of plays for BBC Radio Drama where his roles ranged from J. Edgar Hoover[3] and Orson Welles[4] to Winston Churchill.[citation needed] In audio books, he read works by Jack London, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Bloch and Carl Hiaasen and performed a complete reading of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick for Naxos Records Audiobooks in some 24 hours and 50 minutes.[citation needed] He also voiced Dingodile in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Maximillian Roivas in the cult hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and Lucifer in the stop-motion film The Miracle Maker. He played Bobby Mallory in BBC Radio4's dramatisations of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski novels, alongside Kathleen Turner.


Hootkins died of pancreatic cancer in Santa Monica, California on October 23, 2005, at the age of 57. His mausoleum is at Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery.[5][6]



Year Title Role Notes
1973 Big Zapper Kono's Henchman
1977 Twilight's Last Gleaming Sgt. Fitzpatrick Credited as Bill Hootkins
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Porkins (Red Six)
Valentino Fatty
1978 The Billion Dollar Bubble
1979 The Lady Vanishes Party guest
Hanover Street Beef
1980 Bad Timing Col. Taylor
Hussy 1st punter
Flash Gordon Munson
1981 Sphinx Don
Raiders of the Lost Ark Major Eaton
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther Taxi Driver
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther Taxi Driver
1985 Zina Walter Adams
Water Ben
Dreamchild 1st Radio actor
White Nights Chuck Malarek
1986 Biggles: Adventures in Time Chuck
Haunted Honeymoon Reporter
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Harry Howler
1988 American Gothic Teddy
1989 Crusoe Auctioneer
Batman Lt Eckhardt
1990 Hardware Lincoln Wineberg Jr.
1991 The Pope Must Die Cardinal Verucci
Hear My Song Mr X
The Princess and the Goblin Peter Voice
1992 Dust Devil Captain Cornelius Beyman
A River Runs Through It Murphy
La vida láctea Julian Reilly
1993 The Cement Garden Commander Hunt Voice
1994 The NeverEnding Story III Bark Troll/Falkor Voice
Death Machine John Carpenter
1995 Funny Bones Al
Gospa Judge Marulic
1996 The Island of Dr. Moreau Kiril
1997 This World, Then the Fireworks Jake Krutz
Rhinoceros Hunting in Budapest The Man
1998 Something to Believe In Car Dealer
1999 The Omega Code Sir Percival Lloyd
2000 The Miracle Maker Lucifer Voice
2001 Town & Country Barney Credited as Bill Hootkins
The Breed Fusco
2004 Blessed Detective Lauderdale
Steamboy English version, voice
Dear Wendy Marshall Walker
2005 Colour Me Kubrick Frank Rich (Last appearance)


1986 Rocket to the Moon Phil Cooper Broadcast on American Playhouse and Channel 4
1977 Yanks Go Home Colonel Richter Episode: Some of Our Coal is Missing
Van der Valk Frank Garvin Episode: Dead on Arrival, credited as Bill Hootkins
Come Back, Little Sheba Postman TV movie, credited as Bill Hootkins
1978 The Lost Boys Charles Frohman TV mini-series, 3 episodes
Crown Court Barry Ferguson Episode: Scalped (Part 1)
1980-81 Tales of the Unexpected Harry Chester/Peter Bligh 2 episodes
1981 Agony Herman Tweeder Episode: Communications Breakdown
Play for Today Mel Episode: Before Water Lilies
The Life and Times of David Lloyd George Winston Churchill 6 episodes
1982 Bret Maverick Congressman Theodore Roosevelt Episode: Horse of Yet Another Color
1983-1990 Bergerac Karl Goldman/Eugne Field 2 episodes
1983 Cagney & Lacey Zachary Kendall Episode: Date Rape
Remington Steele Chester Harcourt Episode: Vintage Steele
Philip Marlowe, Private Eye Frank Dorr Episode: Finger Man
Taxi Liquor Authority Agent Episode: Jim's Mario's
Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime Hamilton Betts Episode: The Affair of the Pink Pearl
Whiz Kids Gregor Episode: Red Star Rising
Who Dares Wins Various roles
1986 Blackadder II Monk Episode: Beer
Paradise Postponed Bugloss 3 episodes
1987 The New Statesman Wiloughby Guzzler Episode: Baa Baa Black Sheep
1989 Valerie Belize 3 episodes
1990 Capital City Jay Episode: Shoes on the Wrong Feet
Agatha Christie's Poirot FBI Agent Burt Episode: The Adventure of the Cheap Flat
1991 Chancer Moody Episode: Remembrance
1992 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Diaghilev Episode: Barcelona, May 1917
1994 The Tomorrow People Colonel Cobb 5 episodes
1995 Iron Man Crimson Dynamo Episode: Not Far from the Tree
1997-2002 Extreme Machines (TLC Documentary Series) Himself Narrator (All Episodes)
2002 The Magnificent Ambersons Uncle George TV movie
2004 Land of Lost Monsters
The West Wing US Translator Episode: Impact Winter
2005 Absolute Power US Ambassador Episode: Spinning America

Video games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Austin Mutti-Mewse, Obituary: William Hootkins, The Guardian, November 14, 2005, accessed December 13, 2012.
  2. ^ Janet Maslin (January 19, 1992). "Hear My Song (1991) Review/Film; Irish Tenor Is Focus of Intrigue and Blarney". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ J Edgar Hoover (Afternoon Play/Drama)
  4. ^ "The third man reconstructed" - article by director Ned Chaillet on 'Victorville' by Marcy Kahan
  5. ^ Yerke, Fred (October 26, 2005). "William Hootkins". Find a Grave. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Narrator Profile - William Hootkins". AudioFile. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]