Date Of Birth

September 5, 1937


Emmy-nominated American actor William Devane was born on September 5, 1937 in Albany, New York. A graduate of New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he got his feet wet in acting early, appearing first as Robert Kennedy in the off-Broadway spoof MacBird, which was staged in 1966. He made his screen debut in 1967, when he played a lead role in the Vietnam-era film In the Country. Devane then quickly established himself as a television actor, making guest appearances on established shows while topbilling made-for-television movie. His performances in the television movies The Missiles of October, in 1974, and Fear on Trial, in 1975, were both nominated for Emmys in their respective years.

Devane became known to audiences, however, when he took on a role in the daytime soap Knots Landing. He joined the cast in 1983 as Greg Sumner, a villainous character who frequently schemed with his wife Abby (Donna Mills). He was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 1987 for the role, and was nominated a further six times by the Soap Opera Digest Awards; he won three of them, from 1989 to 1991. He also played regular roles in shows such as Phenom and Turks, and took on recurring roles in Early Edition, The Michael Richard Show, The West Wing and Stargate SG-1. He starred in the action series 24 as Defense Secretary James Heller, the father of Audrey Raines (Kim Raver). He also had a starring role in the short-lived sitcom Crumbs, and a recurring role as Michael Davis, the father of the title character, in the drama What About Brian?

Despite his popularity on television, Devane also had a healthy film career. His most notable films include McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Marathon Man, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, Testament, Payback, Hollow Man, Space Cowboys and Race to Space.

Most recently, Devane appeared on Revenge as Edward Grayson, and in the movie The Dark Knight Rises as the President. He is also part of the FOX limited series 24: Live Another Day as President James Heller.

Place of Birth

Albany, New York, USA

Birth Name

William Joseph Devane



Fun Facts

He is an avid polo player.

He has the rare distinction of being in two movies that opened on the same weekend in the U.S. (Hollow Man and Space Cowboys).

He owned the restaurant Devane’s.


He won three Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor: Prime Time for Knots Landing from 1989 to 1991.


2014 24: Live Another Day (TV Series)
2014 Interstellar
2014 50 to 1
2013 We Gotta Get Out of This Place
2012 The Dark Knight Rises
2012 Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (TV Movie)
2012 Leprechaun’s Revenge (TV Movie)
2012 Revenge (TV Series)
2011 Good Morning, Killer (TV Movie)
2011 Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (TV Movie)
2011 Flag of My Father
2010 The Kane Files: Life of Trial
2010 NCIS (TV Series)
2010 Psych (TV Series)
2010 Notes from the Underbelly (TV Series)
2010 Jesse Stone: No Remorse (TV Movie)
2010 King of the Hill (TV Series)
2010 The River Why
2009 The Dealership (TV Movie)
2009 Jesse Stone: Thin Ice (TV Movie)
2009 Chasing the Green
2009 The Least Among You
2008/I The Fall
2008 Stargate: Continuum (Video)
2007 Jesse Stone: Sea Change (TV Movie)
2005-2007 24 (TV Series)
2006-2007 What About Brian (TV Series)
2006 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise (TV Movie)
2006 Crumbs (TV Series)
2004 Deceit (TV Movie)
2004 Stargate SG-1 (TV Series)
2003 The West Wing (TV Series)
2003 The Wind Effect (Video short)
2003 Monte Walsh (TV Movie)
2002 Threat of Exposure
2002 A Christmas Visitor (TV Movie)
2002 The Badge
2002 The X-Files (TV Series)
2002 Judging Amy (TV Series)
2001 Race to Space
2000 The Michael Richards Show (TV Series)
2000 Hollow Man
2000 Space Cowboys
2000 The Man Who Used to Be Me (TV Movie)
2000 Poor White Trash
2000 Miracle on the Mountain: The Kincaid Fam
ily Story (TV Movie)
1997-1999 Early Edition (TV Series)
1999 Turks (TV Series)
1999/I Payback
1997 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
1997 Timecop (TV Mini-Series)
1997 Doomsday Rock (TV Movie)
1997 Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac (TV Mini-Series)
1997 The Absolute Truth (TV Movie)
1997 Exception to the Rule
1996 Forgotten Sins (TV Movie)
1995 The Monroes (TV Series)
1995 Detonator II: Night Watch (TV Movie)
1995 Virus (TV Movie)
1995 Freefall: Flight 174 (TV Movie)
1994 Frogmen (TV Movie)
1994 Lady in Waiting
1994 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (TV Series)
1994 For the Love of Nancy (TV Movie)
1993-1994 Phenom (TV Series)
1993 Rubdown (TV Movie)
1983-1993 Knots Landing (TV Series)
1993 Prophet of Evil: The Ervil LeBaron Story (TV Movie)
1992 The President’s Child (TV Movie)
1992 Obsessed (TV Movie)
1991 Nightmare in Columbia County (TV Movie)
1991 A Woman Named Jackie (TV Mini-Series)
1990 Murder C.O.D. (TV Movie)
1990 Vital Signs
1990 Chips, the War Dog (TV Movie)
1989 The Preppie Murder (TV Movie)
1987 Hadley’s Rebellion
1987 Timestalkers (TV Movie)
1984 With Intent to Kill (TV Movie)
1983 Testament
1983 Jane Doe (TV Movie)
1982 Insight (TV Series)
1981 The Other Victim (TV Movie)
1981 Red Flag: The Ultimate Game (TV Movie)
1981 Honky Tonk Freeway
1980 From Here to Eternity (TV Series)
1979 Yanks
1979 The Dark
1979 From Here to Eternity (TV Mini-Series)
1978 Black Beauty (TV Mini-Series)
1977 Rolling Thunder
1977 The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training
1977 Red Alert (TV Movie)
1976 Marathon Man
1976 Family Plot
1975 Fear on Trial (TV Movie)
1975 Report to the Commissioner
1974 The Missiles of October (TV Movie)
1974 Judgment: The Court Martial of the Tiger of Malaya – General Yamashita (TV Movie)
1974 Shirts/Skins (TV Movie)
1974 The Snoop Sisters (TV Series)
1974 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
1974 Mannix (TV Series)
1970-1973 Medical Center (TV Series)
1972-1973 Ironside (TV Series)
1973 The Bait (TV Movie)
1973 Crime Club (TV Movie)
1973 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
1972 Irish Whiskey Rebellion
1972 Young Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
1971 Lady Liberty
1971 My Old Man’s Place
1971 McCabe & Mrs. Miller
1971 The 300 Year Weekend
1971 The Pursuit of Happiness
1970 The Interns (TV Series)
1969 This Town Will Never Be the Same (TV Movie)
1967-1969 N.Y.P.D. (TV Series)
1967 In the Country
1967 Directions (TV Series)


5′ 10″ (1.78 m)


“I can’t stand around like [Robert] Redford. I’m not that narcissistic. Not that photogenic, either.”