William H. Macy
Macy in November 2012
|Education||Allegany High School|
|Alma mater||Goddard College|
William Hall Macy Jr. (born March 13, 1950) is an American actor and director. His film career has been built on appearances in small, independent films, though he has also appeared in action films. Macy has described himself as "sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy... Everyman". Macy has won two Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Fargo. Since 2011, he has played characters, a main character in the Showtime adaptation of the British television series Shameless. Macy has been married to Felicity Huffman since 1997.
Macy was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Georgia and Maryland. 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".
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. 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 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 and The Water Engine. 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.
Macy spent time in Los Angeles before moving to New York City in 1980, where he had roles in over fifty Off Broadway and Broadway plays. One of his earliest on-screen roles was as a theatre critic congratulating Christopher Reeve in 1980's Somewhere In Time, under the name W.H. Macy (so as not to be confused with the actor Bill Macy). Another memorable early performance was as a turtle named Socrates in the direct-to-video film The Boy Who Loved Trolls (1984). 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. 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.
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." 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. 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.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.
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, 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. 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 comedy starring Alexandra Daddario and Kate Upton.
Macy and actress Felicity Huffman dated on-and-off for 15 years and married on September 6, 1997. They have two daughters, Sophia Grace (born December 1, 2000) and Georgia Grace (born March 14, 2002).
Macy and Huffman appeared at a rally for John Kerry in 2004. Macy plays the ukulele and is an avid woodturner. He has appeared on the cover of Fine Woodworkings special edition, Wood Turning Basics 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.
Since shooting the film Wild Hogs, Macy has had a strong interest in riding motorcycles.
In March 2019, it was reported that Macy and Huffman had agreed to have Huffman pay $15,000 to have someone take an entrance exam, greatly improving the scores taken on the test in order to have a better chance of her daughter getting into college. Huffman was indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges as part of a wider federal investigation of college admissions bribery. For undisclosed reasons, no charges were filed against Macy.  On September 13, 2019, a federal judge in Boston sentenced Huffman to 14 days in a federal prison.
|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|
|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|
|Dead on Sight||Steven Meeker|
|Tall Tale||Railroad Magnate||Uncredited Cameo|
|Mr. Holland's Opus||Vice Principal Gene Wolters|
|Down Periscope||Commander Carl Knox|
|Ghosts of Mississippi||Charlie Crisco|
|1997||Colin Fitz Lives!||Mr. O'Day / Colin Fitz|
|Air Force One||Major Caldwell|
|Boogie Nights||Little Bill Thompson|
|Wag the Dog||CIA Agent Charles Young|
|The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue||Justin||Voice|
|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|
|Magnolia||Quiz Kid Donnie Smith|
|2000||State and Main||Walt Price|
|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|
|Stealing Sinatra||John Irwin|
|Seabiscuit||Tick Tock McGlaughlin|
|2004||Cellular||Sgt. Bob Mooney|
|In Enemy Hands||Chief of Boat Nathan Travers|
|2005||Sahara||Admiral James Sandecker|
|Thank You for Smoking||Senator Ortolan K. Finistirre|
|2006||Doogal||Brian the Snail||Voice|
|Everyone's Hero||Lefty Maginnis||Voice role|
|Choose Your Own Adventure DVD Series||Rudyard North|
|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|
|2009||The Maiden Heist||George McLendon|
|2011||The Lincoln Lawyer||Frank Levin|
|2012||The Sessions||Father Brendan|
|2013||A Single Shot||Pitt|
|2014||The Wind Rises||Satomi||Voice, (English version)|
|Ernest & Celestine||Head Dentist||Voice|
|Rudderless||Tavern Owner / Emcee||Director|
|Stealing Cars||Philip Wyatt|
|Room||Robert "Grandpa" Newsome|
|Dial a Prayer||Bill|
|1978||The Awakening Land||Will Beagle||3 episodes|
|1984||The Boy Who Loved Trolls||Socrates the Turtle (voice)||Television film|
|1985-1988||Spenser: 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"|
|2001||Nature||Narrator||Episode: "Polar Bear Invasion"|
|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, 10 seasons|
By 1975, David Mamet and the St Nicholas Theater had settled in Chicago.