William Sadler (actor)

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William Sadler
Born William Thomas Sadler
(1950-04-13) April 13, 1950 (age 65)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1977–present
Website www.williamsadler.com

William Thomas Sadler (born April 13, 1950) is an American film and television actor. His television and motion picture roles have included Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller in The Pacific, Luther Sloan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sheriff Jim Valenti in Roswell, convict Heywood in The Shawshank Redemption, and the Grim Reaper in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, a role for which he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor,[1] and his role as the villainous Colonel Stuart opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2. He played the character of President of the United States, Matthew Ellis, in Iron Man 3 and in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and recurs as Steve McGarrett's murdered father in the latter-day 2000's remake of Hawaii Five-0.

Early life[edit]

Sadler was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Jane and William Sadler.[2] From an early age, he took to performing in front of an audience. Playing a variety of stringed instruments, Sadler found hometown success during his high school years at Orchard Park High School. He took on the persona as Banjo Bill Sadler,[3] a banjo-playing singer who cracked jokes while playing. Both students and teachers enjoyed his performances, which led Sadler to audition for the senior play under English teacher Dan Larkin's persuasion. He won the role, which led him to want to be an actor. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in SUNY Geneseo. Following that, he spent two years at Cornell University where he earned his Master's degree in Acting with a minor in Speech Communications. He is a certified speech teacher and practised in accents.


Sadler took his first post-school role in Florida and soon relocated to Boston, moving in with his sister while scrubbing the floors of a lobster boat by day and cutting his acting chops at night. Slowly working up the nerve to take a shot at the big time in New York, a chance meeting with an old schoolmate on a trip into the city resulted in Sadler's casting in an off-off-Broadway production of Chekhov's Ivanov. After a brief turn at the Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, Sadler moved back to New York and rented an apartment in the East Village, beginning 12 years in which he appeared in over 75 productions, including originating the role of "Sgt. Toomey" in the Broadway run of Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues, opposite Matthew Broderick in 1985.

Sadler is best known for his roles in the 1990 action film Die Hard 2 as Colonel Stuart, as Heywood in the 1994 prison drama The Shawshank Redemption, the Grim Reaper in the 1991 comedy Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and as Brayker in Demon Knight. He was also a series regular on the television series Roswell as Sheriff Jim Valenti and in Wonderfalls as Darrin Tyler. Other film credits include Trespass, K-9, Project X, Disturbing Behavior, Kinsey, The Battle of Shaker Heights, Purple Heart and Jimmy and Judy.

Sadler's TV guest appearances include In the Heat of the Night, Roseanne, Tru Calling, CSI, Numb3rs, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He had a recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Luther Sloan, a member of a covert organization called Section 31. He appeared in three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in its final two seasons. In 2007, he played Carlton Fog on ABC's Traveler, and in 2008 he appeared in both NBC's Medium as well as Fox Television's Fringe. The 1989 pilot episode of the HBO horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt featured Sadler in its lead role. In March 2011, Sadler made a guest appearance in NBC's Chase.[4]

Sadler portrayed Julius Caesar in the contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar on Broadway alongside Denzel Washington at the Belasco Theatre. Recently, he finished shooting with American independent filmmakers Dylan Bank and Morgan Pehme on the film Nothing Sacred. Sadler portrayed the robot Victor in the 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas. Sadler played Lee Underwood in Greetings from Tim Buckley, a film on Tim and Jeff Buckley, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[5][6]

Sadler appeared as President of the United States of America Matthew Ellis in Iron Man 3 that was released in May 2013.[citation needed] 2015 was part of the Texas Frightmare Weekend[7] and starred Ava’s Possessions, which was screened at SXSW.[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Hanky Panky Hotel Clerk
1986 Off Beat Dickson
1987 Project X Dr. Carroll
1989 K-9 Car Salesman Don
1990 Hard to Kill Senator Vernon Trent
1990 Die Hard 2 Colonel Stuart
1990 Hot Spot, TheThe Hot Spot Frank Sutton
1991 Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Grim Reaper/English Family Member Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
1991 Rush Monroe
1992 Trespass Don Perry
1993 Freaked *** Brian
1994 Shawshank Redemption, TheThe Shawshank Redemption Heywood
1995 Tales form the Crypt: Demon Knight Brayker
1996 Bordello of Blood The Mummy
1996 Solo Colonel Frank Madden/Improved Solo
1997 RocketMan Wild Bill' Overbeck
1998 Ambushed Jim Natter
1998 Disturbing Behavior Dorian Newberry
1998 Reach the Rock Quinn
1999 Stealth Fighter Adm. Frank Peterson
1999 Green Mile, TheThe Green Mile Klaus Detterick
2001 Skippy Ringo
2002 Another Life Man Short film
2003 The Battle of Shaker Heights Abraham 'Abe' Ernswiler
2004 Kinsey Kenneth Braun
2005 Purple Heart Colonel Allen
2005 Devour Ivan Reisz
2005 Confess Roger Lampert
2006 Unspoken Dad
2006 Jimmy and Judy Uncle Rodney
2006 Premium Cole Carter
2006 Wine Bar, TheThe Wine Bar Bartender Short film
2007 New Wave, AA New Wave Mr. Dewitt
2007 August Rush Thomas Novacek
2007 Mist, TheThe Mist Jim Grondin
2008 Eagle Eye William Shaw
2008 Good Student, TheThe Good Student Honest Phil Palmer
2009 Stream Dr. Shelby Short film
2009 Shadowheart Thomas Conners Direct-to-video
2009 Hills Run Red, TheThe Hills Run Red Wilson Wyler Concannon
2009 Last Day of Summer Mr. Crolick
2009 Beyond All Boundaries Lt. Col. Lewis "Chesty" Puller Voice Role
Short film
2009 Red & Blue Marbles John
2010 Melvin Smarty Bob
2011 Silent But Deadly John Capper
2012 Man on a Ledge Frank Cassidy and Valet
2012 Greetings from Tim Buckley Lee Underwood
2013 Iron Man 3 President Matthew Ellis
2013 Machete Kills Sheriff Doakes
2014 Freedom (2014 film) Plimpton
Year Title Role Notes
1977 CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People, TheThe CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People Episode: "Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare"
1978 Great Wallendas, TheThe Great Wallendas Dieter Schmidt Television film
1981 Charlie and the Great Balloon Chase Joey Television film
1981 Nurse Dr. George Bradford Episode: "Margin for Error"
1982 The Neighborhood Television film
1983 Newhart Guest Episode: "Lady & the Tramps"
1985 Assaulted Nuts Various
1986 Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer Rick Dillon/Kevin Moore Episode: "Shades of Darkness"
1987 Private Eye Charlie Fontana Television film/pilot
1987 Tour of Duty Major Rigby Episode: "Dislocations"
1987-88 Private Eye Lieutenant Charlie Fontana 7 episodes
1988 In the Heat of the Night Ritchie Epman Episode: "Blind Spot" 1 & 2
1988 St. Elsewhere Episode: "The Abby Singer Show"
1988 Cadets Colonel Tom Sturdivant
1988 Dear John Ben Episode: "The Younger Girl"
1989 Roseanne Dwight Episodes: "Dan's Birthday Bash", "Saturday"
1989 Hooperman Lanny Hardin Episode: "Look Homeward, Dirtbag"
1989 Unconquered Television film
1989 Murphy Brown Colonel Fitzpatrick Episode: "Off the Job Experience"
1989 Hard Time on Planet Earth Officer Rollman Episode: "The Way Home"
1989 Gideon Oliver Franklin Finney Episode: "By the Waters of Babylon"
Tales from the Crypt Niles Talbot
The Grim Reaper
Epiosde: "The Man Who Was Death"
Episode: "The Assassin"
1990 The Face of Fear Anthony Prine Television film
1991 Two-Fisted Tales Mr. Rush (Presenter) Television pilot
1991 The Last to Go Treat Television film
1991 Tagget Yuri Chelenkoff Television film
1993 Night Driving Eddy Television short film
1993 Jack Reed: Badge of Honor Anatole Television film
1994 Bermuda Grace Sam Grace Television film
1994 Roadracers Sarge Television film
1995 Omen, TheThe Omen Dr. Linus Television pilot
1995 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Frank Hellner Episode: "Valerie 23"
1996 Poltergeist: The Legacy Shamus Bloom Episode: The Fifth Sepulcher
1998-99 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Luther Sloan Episodes: "Inquisition", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "Extreme Measures"
1999 Witness Protection Sharp Television film
1999-2002 Roswell Sheriff Jim Valenti 58 episodes
2003 Ed Lee Leetch Episode: "The Case"
2003 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Kyle Devlin Episode: "Graansha"
2003 Project Greenlight Himself Season 2; unknown episodes
2004 Wonderfalls Darrin Tyler Thirteen episodes
2004 JAG Saul Wainwright Episode: "Retrial"
2005 Third Watch Scotty Murray Episode: "Forever Blue"
2005 Tru Calling Travis Episode: "Enough"
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Paul Rice Episode: "Blue Wall"
2005 Law & Order Kevin Drucker Episode: "Life Line"
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Karl Cooper Episode: "Killer"
2006 Path to 9/11, TheThe Path to 9/11 Neil Herman Miniseries
2007 Numb3rs J. Everett Tuttle Episode: "Democracy"
2007 Black Donnellys, TheThe Black Donnellys Munst Episode: "All of Us Are in the Gutter"
2007 Jesse Stone: Sea Change Gino Fish Television film
2007 Traveler Carlton Fog 7 episodes
2008 Medium John Edgemont Episode: "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble"
2008, 2011 Fringe Doctor Sumner Episodes: "The Equation", "Alone in the World"
2009 Jesse Stone: Thin Ice Gino Fish Television film
2009 Jesse Stone: No Remorse Gino Fish Television film
2009 Criminal Minds Ray Finnegan Episode: "Reckoner"
2010 Pacific, TheThe Pacific Lt. Col. Lewis "Chesty" Burwell Puller, USMC Miniseries
2010, 2013, 2014 Hawaii Five-0 John McGarrett Episodes: "Pilot" (2010), "Hookman" (2013), "The Favor" (2014)
2011 Person of Interest Seamus O'Mara Episode: "Pilot"
2011 Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost Gino Fish Television film
2012 Damages Helmut Torben 6 episodes
2012 Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt Gino Fish Television film
2013 666 Park Avenue Nate McKenny Episodes: "The Elysian Fields", "Lazarus"
2013 Elementary Ian Gale Episode: "Blood Is Thicker"
2013 Homeland Michael Higgins Episode: "The Yoga Play"
2013 The Blacklist Sam Episode: "General Ludd (No. 109)"
2014 Madam Secretary George Episode: "Pilot"
2014 The Flash Simon Stagg Episode: "Fastest Man Alive"
2015 Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. President Matthew Ellis Episode: "Laws of Nature"
2015 Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise Gino Fish Television film
2015 Z Nation Sam Custer Episode: "Zombie Road"


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