William Mapother

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William Mapother
William Mapother 2014.jpg
William Mapother in 2014.
Born William Reibert Mapother, Jr.
(1965-04-17) April 17, 1965 (age 50)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
Website www.williammapother.com

William Reibert Mapother, Jr.[1] (/ˈmpɒθər/; born April 17, 1965) is an American actor known for his role as Ethan Rom on the television series Lost.

Personal life[edit]

Mapother was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Louisa (née Riehm) and William Reibert Mapother, Sr.[2] He is of English, Irish, and predominantly German ancestry. He is a first cousin of actor Tom Cruise (whose given name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV). Mapother has appeared in five movies starring Cruise. He had cameo roles in Minority Report and Vanilla Sky, and supporting roles in Mission: Impossible II, Born on the Fourth of July, and Magnolia. Mapother has two sisters, Katherine and Amy (an occasional actress, born February 17, 1974), both born in Louisville, Kentucky. His father was an attorney, bankruptcy consultant and judge in Louisville, between 1967 and 1970; William Sr., died on June 22, 2006, after fighting lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis.[1]

Mapother graduated from the University of Notre Dame as an English major, and then taught high school in East Los Angeles for three years before becoming an actor.


Mapother has become widely known as a character actor, who sometimes plays scary or otherwise dark characters. He played a pivotal role in Todd Field's In the Bedroom, and is perhaps best known as Ethan Rom in the TV show Lost. The character was killed off early in the first season, but appeared in seven later episodes mainly through flashbacks, once due to time travel and another in an alternate timeline. In all, he appeared in eleven episodes of Lost.

Mapother has also had considerable roles in a series of independent films, such as The Lather Effect, Moola, Hurt, and Another Earth. Mapother starred in The Burrowers as a former Native American fighter who joins a posse to help find missing white settlers, only to discover that the hunters have become the hunted.

In September 2007, he was elected to a three-year term on the National Board of Directors for the Screen Actors Guild.

He has provided the motion capture work for Agent 47, the main character in the 2012 video game Hitman: Absolution and also provided the voice before series veteran David Bateson was recast. In 2014, he played the lead in the paranormal horror film The Atticus Institute.[3]


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