(Photo courtesy of CBS)


February 21, 1953


Born on February 21, 1953, in Evanston, Illinois, William Petersen is a graduate of Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho. He attended Idaho State University on a football scholarship, and it was there that he first got the opportunity to study acting. In 1974, he and his then-wife Joanne Brady dropped out of school and went to Spain, where he trained as a Shakespearean actor. He eventually returned to the United States but was not able to land any acting jobs in Idaho.

Following his unsuccessful venture in Idaho, Petersen went back to Chicago and it was there that he started performing with the theater. After gaining enough experience, he received his Actor’s Equity Card and went on to work with the Steppenwolf Theater Company, and co-founded the Remains Theater Ensemble.

He made his debut in American television by appearing as Edward Sayers on an episode of The Twilight Zone. He then followed that role with numerous appearances on a variety of television productions, which include Long GoneThe Kennedys of MassachusettsKeep the ChangeCuracaoReturn to Lonesome DoveFallen AngelsThe Beast12 Angry MenThe Rat Pack, and Present Tense, Past Perfect. However, it was his portrayal of former FBI Agent and profiler Will Graham in the 1986 thriller Manhunt that placed him on the map.

His subsequent film credits include Amazing Grace and ChuckCousinsYoung Guns IIHard PromisesPassed AwayFearKiss the SkyThe Skulls, and The Contender. He was offered roles in the movies Platoon and Goodfellas but turned them down for personal reasons.

At present, Petersen is most known for his portrayal of Gil Grissom on the hit series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The role has earned him a 2004 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series and a 2002 Satellite Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Series, Drama. He is married to Gina Cirone and has one child, Maite, from his previous marriage.


Evanston, Illinois, USA


William Louis Petersen




Has a daughter.
Attended Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho.
Started at Idaho State University on a football scholarship where he found acting.


2005 Won Actor
2004 Nominated Actor
2001 Nominated TV Guide Award
2002 Nominated Actor
2003 Nominated Actor
2002 Nominated Golden Satellite Award
2003 Nominated Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic
2004 Nominated Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic
2004 Nominated Golden Globe
2002 Nominated Emmy
2003 Nominated Emmy
2004 Nominated Emmy
2001 Won Alan J. Pakula Award


2000-2009: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV series) – Gil Grissom
2007: Without a Trace (TV series) – Gil Grissom
2001: Haven (TV movie) – Jackson Connolly
2000: The Contender – Jack Hathaway
2000: The Skulls – Ames Levritt
1998: Kiss the Sky – Jeff
1998: The Rat Pack (TV movie) – John F. Kennedy
1998: The Staircase (TV movie) – Joad
1998: Gunshy – Jake Bridges
1997: 12 Angry Men (TV movie) – Juror #12
1996: The Beast (TV movie) – Whip Dalton
1996: Fear – Steve Walker
1996: Mulholland Falls – Jack Flynn, Mafia Mobster
1995: In the Kingdom of the Blind, the Man with One Eye Is King – Tony C.
1995: Present Tense, Past Perfect (TV short) – Jack
1995: Fallen Angels (TV series) – George
1993: Return to Lonesome Dove (TV mini-series) – Gideon Walker
1993: Curacao (TV movie) – Stephen Guerin
1992: Keep the Change (TV movie) – Joe Starling
1992: Passed Away – Frank Scanlan
1991: Hard Promises – Joey
1990: Young Guns II – Patrick Floyd ‘Pat’ Garrett
1990: The Kennedys of Massachusetts (TV mini-series) – Joseph P. Kennedy
1989: Cousins – Tom Hardy
1987: Long Gone (TV movie) – Cecil ‘Stud’ Cantrell
1987: Amazing Grace and Chuck – Russell
1986: Manhunter – Will Graham
1986: The Twilight Zone (TV series) – Edward Sayers (segment “Need to Know”)
1985: To Live and Die in L.A. – Richard Chance
1981: Thief – Katz & Jammer Bartender




5′ 10″