William Thomas Sadler
April 13, 1950
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Education||State University of New York, Geneseo (BA)|
Cornell University (MFA)
Marni Joan Bakst
William Thomas Sadler (born April 13, 1950) is an American stage, film, and television actor. His television and motion picture roles have included Chesty Puller in The Pacific, Luther Sloan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sheriff Jim Valenti in Roswell, convict Heywood in The Shawshank Redemption, Senator Vernon Trent in Hard to Kill, Death in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and Bill & Ted Face the Music, and Colonel Stuart in Die Hard 2. He played Matthew Ellis in Iron Man 3, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and WHIH Newsfront. He also recurs as John McGarrett in the 2010 remake of the 1968 television series Hawaii Five-O, and the Boston boxing promoter and suspected drug dealer Gino Fish in the Jesse Stone television film series, opposite Tom Selleck. He also played Don in the 1992 movie Trespass starring Ice Cube, Ice-T and Bill Paxton.
Sadler was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Jane and William Sadler. From an early age, he took to performing in front of an audience. Playing a variety of stringed instruments, he found hometown success during his high-school years at Orchard Park High School. He took on the persona of Banjo Bill Sadler, a banjo-playing singer who cracked jokes while playing.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in SUNY Geneseo; then 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 practiced 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 performing his acting roles at night.
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 twelve 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, Death in the 1991 comedy Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and as Brayker in Demon Knight. When he first auditioned for a role in Die Hard 2, he was told he was too young. With a make-up artist friend's help, Sadler re-auditioned as a 70-year-old, and won the part. In addition to appearing in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey as Death, Sadler also appears as himself, with his real-life wife and 5-year-old daughter, in scenes where families around the world respond to Bill and Ted's actions. He reprised his Death role in the 2020 sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music.
Sadler's TV guest appearances include In the Heat of the Night, Roseanne, Tru Calling, Tour of Duty, CSI, Numb3rs, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. He had a recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Luther Sloan.
He appeared in three episodes as Sloan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's 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.
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.
|1982||Hanky Panky||Hotel Clerk|
|1987||Project X||Dr. Carroll|
|1989||K-9||Don, Car Salesman|
|1990||Hard to Kill||Senator Vernon Trent|
|Die Hard 2||Colonel William Stuart|
|The Hot Spot||Frank Sutton|
|1991||Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey||Death / English Family Member||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1994||The Shawshank Redemption||Heywood|
|1995||Demon Knight||Frank Brayker|
|1996||Bordello of Blood||The Mummy|
|Solo||Colonel Frank Madden / Improved Solo|
|1997||RocketMan||Bill 'Wild Bill' Overbeck|
|Disturbing Behavior||Dorian Newberry|
|Reach the Rock||Quinn|
|1999||Stealth Fighter||Admiral Frank Peterson|
|The Green Mile||Klaus Detterick|
|2002||Another Life||Man||Short film|
|2003||The Battle of Shaker Heights||Abraham 'Abe' Ernswiler|
|Confess||Senator Roger Lampert|
|Purple Heart||Colonel Allen|
|2006||Jimmy and Judy||Uncle Rodney|
|The Wine Bar||Bartender||Short film|
|2007||A New Wave||Mr. Dewitt|
|August Rush||Thomas Novacek|
|The Mist||Jim Grondin|
|2008||Eagle Eye||William Shaw|
|The Good Student||Phil 'Honest Phil' Palmer|
|2009||Stream||Dr. Shelby||Short film|
|The Hills Run Red||Wilson Wyler Concannon|
|Last Day of Summer||Mr. Crolick|
|Beyond All Boundaries||Lieutenant Colonel Lewis 'Chesty' Puller (voice)||Short film|
|Red & Blue Marbles||John|
|2011||Silent But Deadly||John Capper|
|2012||Man on a Ledge||Frank Cassidy / Valet|
|See Girl Run||Marty|
|Greetings from Tim Buckley||Lee Underwood|
|2013||Iron Man 3||President Matthew Ellis|
|Machete Kills||Sheriff Doakes|
|The Suspect||Sheriff Dixon|
|The Historian||Dr. Valerian Hadley|
|2015||Ant-Man||President Matthew Ellis||Deleted scene|
|2016||The Duel||Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Governor of Texas|
|The Hollow||Sheriff Beau McKinney|
|2018||Deadly Crush||Sheriff Dusty Hawkins|
|Living Among Us||Samuel|
|The Statement||Counselor||Short film|
|2019||The Highwaymen||Henry Barrow|
|2020||The Grudge||Detective Wilson|
|Bill & Ted Face the Music||Death||Also executive producer|
|2021||The Unholy||Father William Hagan|
|2022||She Came from the Woods||Gilbert McAlister|
|TBA||Salem's Lot||TBA||Upcoming film|
|1977||The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People||Unknown||Episode: "Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare"|
|1978||The Great Wallendas||Dieter Schmidt||Television film|
|1981||Charlie and the Great Balloon Chase||Joey|
|Nurse||Dr. George Bradford||Episode: "Margin for Error"|
|1982||The Neighborhood||Neighbor||Television film|
|1983||Newhart||Guest||Episode: "Lady & the Tramps"|
|1985||Assaulted Nuts||The Grim Reaper, Various Characters||Unknown episodes|
|1986||The Equalizer||Rick Dillon / Kevin Moore||Episode: "Shades of Darkness"|
|1987||Private Eye||Charlie Fontana||12 episodes|
|Tour of Duty||Major Rigby||Episode: "Dislocations"|
|1987–1988||Private Eye||Lieutenant Charlie Fontana||12 episodes|
|1988||In the Heat of the Night||Ritchie Epman||Episodes: "Blind Spot: Part 1" & "Blind Spot: Part 2"|
|St. Elsewhere||Mr. Oppenheimer||Episode: "The Abby Singer Show"|
|Cadets||Colonel Tom Sturdivant||Television film|
|Dear John||Ben||Episode: "The Younger Girl"|
|Hooperman||Lanny Hardin||Episode: "Look Homeward, Dirtbag"|
|Unconquered||Coach Dickey||Television film|
|Murphy Brown||Colonel Fitzpatrick||Episode: "Off the Job Experience"|
|Hard Time on Planet Earth||Officer Rollman||Episode: "The Way Home"|
|Gideon Oliver||Franklin Finney||Episode: "By the Waters of Babylon"|
|1989–1994||Tales from the Crypt||Niles Talbot
The Grim Reaper
|Episodes: "The Man Who Was Death"|
|1990||The Face of Fear||Anthony Prine||Television film|
|1991||The Last to Go||Treat||Television film|
|1992||Two-Fisted Tales||Mr. Rush (Presenter)|
|1993||Night Driving||Eddy||Television short film|
|Jack Reed: Badge of Honor||Anatole||Television film|
|1994||Bermuda Grace||Sam Grace|
|1995||The Omen||Dr. Linus|
|The Outer Limits||Frank Hellner||Episode: "Valerie 23"|
|1996||Poltergeist: The Legacy||Shamus Bloom||Episode: The Fifth Sepulcher|
|1998–1999||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Luther Sloan||Episodes: "Inquisition", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "Extreme Measures"|
|1999||Witness Protection||US Attorney Sharp||Television film|
|1999–2002||Roswell||Sheriff Jim Valenti||61 episodes|
|2003||Ed||Lee Leetch||Episode: "The Case"|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Kyle Devlin||Episode: "Graansha"|
|Project Greenlight||Himself||Unknown episodes|
|2004||Wonderfalls||Darrin Tyler||13 episodes|
|JAG||Saul Wainwright||Episode: "Retrial"|
|2005||Third Watch||Scotty Murray||Episode: "Forever Blue"|
|Tru Calling||Travis||Episode: "Enough"|
|Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Paul Rice||Episode: "Blue Wall"|
|Law & Order||Kevin Drucker||Episode: "Life Line"|
|2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Karl 'Red' Cooper||Episode: "Killer"|
|The Path to 9/11||Neil Herman||Miniseries|
|2007||Numb3rs||J. Everett Tuttle||Episode: "Democracy"|
|The Black Donnellys||Munst||Episode: "All of Us Are in the Gutter"|
|Jesse Stone: Sea Change||Gino Fish||Television film|
|Traveler||Carlton Fog||7 episodes|
|2008||Medium||John Edgemont||Episode: "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble"|
|2008–2011||Fringe||Dr. Sumner||Episodes: "The Equation" & "Alone in the World"|
|2009||Jesse Stone: Thin Ice||Gino Fish||Television film|
|Jesse Stone: No Remorse||Gino Fish|
|Criminal Minds||Ray Finnegan||Episode: "Reckoner"|
|2010||The Pacific||Lieutenant Colonel Lewis 'Chesty' Puller||Miniseries|
|2010–2020||Hawaii Five-0||John McGarrett||Various episodes: seasons 1–5, 10|
|2011||White Collar||Brett Gelles||Episode "Where There's a Will"|
|Person of Interest||Seamus O'Mara||Episode: "Pilot"|
|Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost||Gino Fish||Television film|
|2012||Damages||Helmut Torben||6 episodes|
|Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt||Gino Fish||Television film|
|2013||666 Park Avenue||Nate McKenny||2 episodes|
|Elementary||Ian Gale||Episode: "Blood Is Thicker"|
|Homeland||Michael Higgins||3 episodes|
|2013–2019||The Blacklist||Sam Milhoan||4 episodes|
|2014||The Flash||Simon Stagg||Episode: "Fastest Man Alive"|
|2014–2015||Madam Secretary||George Peters||2 episodes|
|2015||Edge||Bill 'Big Bill'||Television film|
|Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise||Gino Fish|
|Z Nation||Sam Custer||Episode: "Zombie Road"|
|2015–2019||Blue Bloods||Armin Janko||Episodes: "Absolute Power"& "Identity"|
|2015–2016||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||President Matthew Ellis||3 episodes|
|2016||Berlin Station||Clay Williams||4 episodes|
|2017||When We Rise||Chuck Cooper|
|2018||Bull||Father Andy||Episode: "A Higher Law"|
|2018–2020||Our Cartoon President||John F. Kelly, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Various Voices|
|2019–2020||God Friended Me||Reverend Elias|
|2019||When They See Us||Michael Sheehan||Miniseries|
|Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gary Dolan||Episode: "Facing Demons"|
|2020||Hunters||Dr. Friedrich Mann||Episode: “Eilu v’ Eilu”|
|The Comey Rule||Michael Flynn||Miniseries|
|2023||Full Circle||Gene McCusker||Miniseries|
|2016||WHIH Newsfront||President Matthew Ellis||2 episodes|
|2017||Day 5||Bob / Sandman||4 episodes|
|2008||Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy||Alexander Conklin||Credited as Bill Sadler|
|2010||Fallout: New Vegas||Victor|
- Burnett, Robyn (2002). Crash Into Me: The World of Roswell. ECW Press. p. 52. ISBN 1-55022-539-1.
- Bernstein, Sharon (July 27, 1991). "'Bill & Ted's' Grim Reaper Is a Vegetarian and Songwriter". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
- "William Sadler | TV Guide". TVGuide.com.
- Bill Sadler biography, aol.com; accessed February 18, 2016.
- Cedrone, Lou (August 1, 1991). "William Sadler's role as Death gives birth to a comedy career". Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada). p. C6.
- Keck, William (January 18, 2011). "Keck's Exclusives: NBC's Chase Casts Annie's Dad". TV Guide. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
- HitFix Staff (August 23, 2011). "Anthrax bassist Frank Bello joins Penn Badgely's Jeff Buckley film". HitFix. Archived from the original on September 1, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- Kurchak, Sarah (August 15, 2012). "TIFF 2012 Adds Greetings From Tim Buckley, Spike Lee's Bad 25 Michael Jackson Doc, Skrillex Soundtrack". Spinner. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- Moore, Roger (May 2, 2013). "Final 'Iron Man' is more violent, Stark more fiery". Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). p. 5.
- Fangoria Staff (February 27, 2015). "Texas Frightmare Weekend 2015 Adds "DEMON KNIGHT" star William Sadler!". Fangoria. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Barton, Steve (March 9, 2015). "SXSW 2015 - First Look at Ava's Possessions". Dread Central. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Eisenberg, Eric (September 8, 2021). "Stephen King's Salem's Lot Movie Just Added A Shawshank Redemption Star". CinemaBlend. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
- Blue Bloods "Absolute Power" episode, imdb.com; accessed February 18, 2016.