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William H. Macy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William H. Macy
William Hall Macy Jr.

(1950-03-13) March 13, 1950 (age 69)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Vermont, U.S.[3]
Other namesW. H. Macy
EducationAllegany High School
Alma materGoddard College
Years active1978–present

William Hall Macy Jr. (born March 13, 1950) is an American actor. His film career has been built on appearances in small, independent films, though he has also appeared in summer action films.[4] Macy has described himself as "sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy... Everyman".[5]

Macy has won two Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Fargo. Since 2011, he has played Frank Gallagher, a main character in the Showtime adaptation of the British television series Shameless. Macy and actress Felicity Huffman have been married since 1997.

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  • ✪ Conversations with William H. Macy
  • ✪ THR Full Comedy Actor Roundtable: Anthony Anderson, Kevin Bacon, William H. Macy, & More!
  • ✪ 15 Amazing facts about William H. Macy Movies, Networth, Wife, Age
  • ✪ William H. Macy Is Cinema's Number One Loser
  • ✪ William H. Macy: Acceptance Speech | 24th Annual SAG Awards | TNT



Early life

Macy was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Georgia and Maryland.[6] His father, William Hall Macy, Sr. (1922-2007), was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal for flying a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in World War II; he later ran a construction company in Atlanta, Georgia, and worked for Dun & Bradstreet before taking over a Cumberland, Maryland-based insurance agency when Macy was nine years old. His mother, Lois (née Overstreet; 1920-2001), was a war widow who met Macy's father after her first husband died in 1943; Macy has described her as a "Southern belle".[7][8][9]

Macy graduated from Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland in 1968, and went on to Bethany College in West Virginia where he studied veterinary medicine.[4] A 'wretched student' by his own admission, he transferred to Goddard College in rural Vermont, where he studied under playwright David Mamet. He studied theatre at HB Studio[10] in New York City.


After graduating from Goddard in 1972, Macy originated roles in a number of plays by collaborator David Mamet, such as American Buffalo[11] and The Water Engine.[12] While in Chicago in his twenties, he did a TV commercial. He was required to join AFTRA in order to do the commercial, and received his SAG card within a year, which for an elated Macy represented an important moment in his career.[13]

Macy spent time in Los Angeles before moving to New York City in 1980, where he had roles in over 50 Off Broadway and Broadway plays. One of his early on-screen roles was as a turtle named Socrates in the direct-to-video film The Boy Who Loved Trolls (1984), under the name W. H. Macy (so as not to be confused with the actor Bill Macy). He also had a minor role as a hospital orderly on the sitcom Kate & Allie in the fourth-season episode "General Hospital", and played an assistant district attorney in "Everybody's Favorite Bagman", the first produced episode of Law & Order; in both appearances, he was billed as W. H. Macy. He has appeared in numerous films that Mamet wrote and/or directed, such as House of Games, Things Change, Homicide, Oleanna (reprising the role he originated in the play of the same name), Wag the Dog, State and Main and Spartan.

Macy's leading role in Fargo helped boost his career and recognizability, though at the expense of nearly confining him to a narrow typecast of a worried man down on his luck.[14] Other Macy roles of the 1990s and 2000s included Benny & Joon, Above Suspicion, Mr. Holland's Opus, Ghosts of Mississippi, Air Force One, Boogie Nights, A Civil Action, Pleasantville, Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho, Happy, Texas, Mystery Men, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III, Focus, Panic, Welcome to Collinwood, Seabiscuit, The Cooler and Sahara.

William H. Macy at the 62nd Annual Peabody Awards
William H. Macy at the 62nd Annual Peabody Awards

His work on ER and Sports Night has also been recognized with Emmy nominations.

In a November 2003 interview with USA Today, Macy stated that he wanted to star in a big-budget action movie "for the money, for the security of a franchise like that. And I love big action-adventure movies. They're way cool."[15] He serves as director-in-residence at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York, where he teaches a technique called Practical Aesthetics. A book describing the technique, A Practical Handbook for the Actor (ISBN 0-394-74412-8), is dedicated to Macy and Mamet.

In 2007, Macy starred in Wild Hogs, a film about middle-aged men reliving their youthful days by taking to the open road on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Cincinnati to the Pacific Coast. Despite being critically panned, with a 14% "rotten" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, it was a financial success, grossing over $168 million.[16] The film also reunited him with his A Civil Action costar, John Travolta. In 2009, Macy completed filming on The Maiden Heist, a comedy that co-starred Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken.

On June 23, 2008, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, would each receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the upcoming year. On January 13, 2009, Macy replaced Jeremy Piven in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow on Broadway. Piven suddenly and unexpectedly dropped out of the play in December 2008 after he experienced health problems; Norbert Leo Butz covered the role from December 23, 2008, until Macy took over the part.[17] Dirty Girl, which starred Macy along with Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, Mary Steenburgen and Tim McGraw, premiered September 12, 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Macy in 2010
Macy in 2010

In summer 2010, Macy joined the Showtime pilot Shameless as the protagonist, Frank Gallagher. The project ultimately went to series, and its first season premiered on January 9, 2011. Macy has received high critical acclaim for his performance,[18] eventually getting an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014.

In the 2012 film The Sessions, Macy played a priest who helps a man with a severe disability find personal fulfillment through a sex surrogate.[19] He made his directorial debut with the independent drama Rudderless, which stars Billy Crudup, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez and Laurence Fishburne. In 2017, he directed The Layover, a road trip sex comedy starring Alexandra Daddario and Kate Upton, in which Macy also appeared.

In 2015, he had a small role as Grandpa in the drama film Room, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film reunited him with his Pleasantville costar, Joan Allen.

Personal life

Huffman and Macy at a ceremony where each received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2012
Huffman and Macy at a ceremony where each received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 7, 2012

Macy and actress Felicity Huffman dated on-and-off for 15 years[20] and married on September 6, 1997. They have two daughters, Sophia Grace (born December 1, 2000) and Georgia Grace (born March 14, 2002).[21][22]

Macy and Huffman appeared at a rally for John Kerry in 2004.[23][24] Macy plays the ukulele and is an avid woodturner. He has appeared on the cover of Fine Woodworking[citation needed] and was featured in an article in the April 2015 issue of American Woodturner (American Association of Woodturners). He is a national ambassador for the United Cerebral Palsy Association.[25]

Since shooting the film Wild Hogs, Macy has picked up a strong interest in riding motorcycles.[19]

In March 2019, it was reported that Macy's wife Felicity Huffman had agreed to a plan to have a college admissions testing center administrator secretly change their daughter's answers on a test to improve her chances of getting into college. Huffman was indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges as part of a wider federal investigation of college admissions bribery. Macy was not charged,[26] but authorities did not say why.[27]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 Foolin' Around Bronski
Somewhere in Time Critic
1983 Without a Trace Reporter
1985 The Last Dragon J. J.
1987 Radio Days Radio Actor
House of Games Sgt. Moran
1988 Things Change Billy Drake
1991 Homicide Tim Sullivan
1993 Being Human Boris
Benny & Joon Randy Burch
Searching for Bobby Fischer Petey's Father
1994 The Client Dr. Greenway
1995 Murder in the First D.A. William McNeil
Oleanna John
Dead on Sight Steven Meeker
Tall Tale Railroad Magnate Uncredited Cameo[28]
Mr. Holland's Opus Vice Principal Gene Wolters
Evolver Evolver Voice role
1996 Fargo Jerry Lundegaard
Andersonville Col. Chandler
Down Periscope Commander Carl Knox
Ghosts of Mississippi Charlie Crisco
Hit Me Policeman
1997 Colin Fitz Lives! Mr. O'Day / Colin Fitz
Air Force One Major Norman Caldwell
Boogie Nights Little Bill Thompson
Wag the Dog CIA Agent Charles Young
1998 Pleasantville George Parker
Psycho Milton Arbogast
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Justin Voice role
A Civil Action James Gordon
The Con Bobby Sommerdinger
1999 Happy, Texas Sheriff Chappy Dent
Mystery Men The Shoveler
A Slight Case of Murder Terry Thorpe
The Night of the Headless Horseman Ichabod Crane Voice role
Magnolia Quiz Kid Donnie Smith
2000 State and Main Walt Price
Panic Alex
2001 Jurassic Park III Paul Kirby
Focus Lawrence "Larry" Newman
2002 It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Glenn
Welcome to Collinwood Riley
2003 The Cooler Bernie Lootz
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls Narrator Voice role
Stealing Sinatra John Irwin
Seabiscuit Tick Tock McGlaughlin
2004 Cellular Sgt. Bob Mooney
In Enemy Hands Chief of Boat Nathan Travers
Spartan Stoddard
2005 Sahara Admiral James Sandecker
Edmond Edmond Burke
Thank You for Smoking Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre
2006 Doogal Brian the Snail Voice role
Bobby Paul
Everyone's Hero Lefty Maginnis Voice role
Choose Your Own Adventure DVD Series Rudyard North
Inland Empire Announcer
2007 Wild Hogs Dudley Frank
He Was a Quiet Man Gene Shelby
2008 The Deal Charlie Berns
Bart Got a Room Ernie Stein
The Tale of Despereaux Lester Voice role
2009 The Maiden Heist George McLendon
Shorts Dr. Noseworthy
2010 Marmaduke Don Twombly
Dirty Girl Ray
2011 The Lincoln Lawyer Frank Levin
2012 The Sessions Father Brendan
2013 A Single Shot Pitt
Trust Me Gary
2014 The Wind Rises Satomi Voice role (English version)
Ernest & Celestine Head Dentist Voice role
Rudderless Tavern Owner / Emcee Director
Cake Leonard
Two-Bit Waltz Carl
2015 Walter Dr. Corman
Stealing Cars Philip Wyatt
Room Robert "Grandpa" Newsome
Dial a Prayer Bill
2016 Blood Father Kirby
2017 The Layover Director
Krystal Wyatt Director


Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Awakening Land Will Beagle 3 episodes
1984 The Boy Who Loved Trolls Socrates the Turtle (voice) Television film
1985–1988 Spencer: For Hire Efrem Connors 3 episodes
1986 Kate & Allie Carl Episode: "General Hospital"
1987 The Equalizer Dr. Spaulding Episode: "Hand and Glove"
1988 The Murder of Mary Phagan Randy Television film
1988 Lip Service Television film; director only
1990 Law & Order John McCormack Episode: "Everybody's Favorite Bagman"
1992 Law & Order Powell Episode: "Sisters of Mercy"
The Heart of Justice Booth Television film
The Water Engine Charles Lang Television film
1993 Bakersfield P.D. Russell Karp Episode: "Cable Does Not Pay"
L.A. Law Bernard Ruskin Episode: "Rhyme and Punishment"
1994–2009 ER Dr. David Morgenstern 31 episodes
1998 Superman: The Animated Series The Director Episode: "Where There's Smoke"
The Con Bobby Sommerdinger Television film
The Lionhearts Leo Lionheart 13 episodes
King of the Hill Dr. Rubin (voice) Episode: "Pregnant Paws"
1999 Batman Beyond Aaron Herbst (voice) Episode: "Disappearing Inque"
1999–2000 Sports Night Sam Donovan 6 episodes
2000 Batman Beyond Karros (voice) Episode: "Big Time"
2002 Door to Door Bill Porter Television film
2003 Out of Order Steven 6 episodes
2004 Reversible Errors Arthur Raven Television film
2005 The Wool Cap Charlie Gigot Television film
2006 The Simpsons Himself (voice) Episode: "Homer's Paternity Coot"
Nightmares and Dreamscapes Sam Landry / Clyde Umney Television film
2006–07 Curious George Narrator 30 episodes
2007 The Unit President of the United States Episode: "The Broom Closet"
2011–present Shameless Frank Gallagher Main role, 9 seasons

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1992 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male Homicide Nominated
1995 Best Male Lead Oleanna Nominated
1997 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Fargo Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series ER Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Fargo Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1998 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor A Civil Action Won
Pleasantville Won
Psycho Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Boogie Nights Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
1999 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Pleasantville Nominated
National Board of Review Best Cast Magnolia Won
2000 American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Happy, Texas Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast Magnolia Won
National Board of Review Best Cast State and Main Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Sports Night Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie A Slight Case of Murder Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or a Television Film Won
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Happy, Texas Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Magnolia Nominated
2001 Florida Film Critics Circle Awards Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast State and Main Won
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Cast Won
2003 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Door to Door Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Won
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Won
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Seabiscuit Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Stealing Sinatra Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama The Cooler Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Seabiscuit Nominated
2005 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film The Wool Cap Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
Outstanding Made for Television Movie Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Stealing Sinatra Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie The Wool Cap Nominated
2006 Hollywood Film Festival Best Cast Bobby Won
2007 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Cast Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nightmares and Dreamscapes Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Bobby Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Shameless Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated
2012 Prism Awards Best Performance in a Comedy Series Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2015 Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2017 Nominated
2018 Golden Globe Award Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated [29][30][31][32]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "William H. Macy – Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "William H. Macy – Biography". A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  3. ^ Macy, William H. (February 17, 2006). "My Little Piece of Vermont". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Robert, Abele (July 2001). "Interview with William H. Macy". Maxim: 84.
  5. ^ Grady, Pam. "Making a Spectacle of Himself: William H. Macy reveals how donning a pair of glasses changes everything in his new drama, Focus".
  6. ^ Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2004
  7. ^ "William H. Macy Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  8. ^ "William H. Macy Biography (1950–)".
  9. ^ "MACY'S ROOTS RUN DEEP INTO PASCAGOULA". Sun Herald. 2004-04-11. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
  10. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  11. ^ Dettmer, Roger (October 25, 1975). "'Buffalo' only fragments of the intended". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. p. 1:14. Archived from the original on February 9, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2019 – via open access
  12. ^ Harris, Andrew B. (1994). Broadway Theatre. Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 0-415-10520-X. Retrieved 2008-04-16. By 1975, David Mamet and the St Nicholas Theater had settled in Chicago.
  13. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 19, 2015). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 8
  14. ^ McIntyre, Gina (January 8, 2004). "William H. Macy, actor". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
  15. ^ "William H. Macy wants to be action hero". USA Today. November 23, 2003. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  16. ^ Wild Hogs, Rotten Tomatoes, Retrieved 07/28/10
  17. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (December 18, 2008). "Jeremy Piven Abruptly Abandons Broadway Play". People. Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Corporation.
  18. ^ Stransky, Tanner (December 10, 2010). "William H. Macy takes it off". Entertainment Weekly (1132). Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Corporation. p. 22.
  19. ^ a b Cooper, Chet (2013). "William H. Macy Interview". Ability. Santa Ana, California: Time Warner. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "Huffman's a hard-working 'lazy' actor". TribLive. February 23, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  21. ^ "William H. Macy mocks boy band's on stage ability". The Daily Mail. January 17, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  22. ^ "Like a couple of teenagers! William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman can't keep their hands off each other at Sundance premiere". The Daily Mail. January 25, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  23. ^ "All Star Concert Benefit for Presidential Candidate John Kerry". July 6, 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15.
  24. ^ "William H Macy's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Newsmeat. Archived from the original on 2006-07-16.
  25. ^ "UCP Announces William H. Macy as UCP Ambassador". National Ambassadors (Press release). United Cerebral Palsy. January 14, 2003. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  26. ^ Durkin Richer, Alanna; Binkley, Collin (March 12, 2019). "Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman Among Those Charged in Sweeping College Admissions Bribery Scandal". Time. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  27. ^ Winton, Richard (March 13, 2019). "Why wasn't William H. Macy charged in college admissions scandal that targeted wife Felicity Huffman?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  28. ^ "William H. Macy". Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  29. ^ Reuters (January 8, 2018). "Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy". CBS News. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  30. ^ Liao, Shannon (January 8, 2018). "Netflix's Master of None wins Aziz Ansari the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Comedy". The Verge. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  31. ^ Huff, Lauren (January 8, 2018). "Golden Globes: Aziz Ansari Wins Best Actor in a TV Comedy for 'Master of None'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  32. ^ Sharf, Zack (January 8, 2018). "Aziz Ansari Wins Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Comedy or Musical". Indie Wire. Retrieved January 8, 2018.

External links

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