William Sanderson was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, in the shadow of Elvis Presley. It was not unusual for Bill to see his hero in the streets of Memphis. He took to following Presley, and even managed to sneak into Graceland where he was able to listen to Elvis play a piano ballad.
William enlisted in the Army, serving two years. After his discharge he enrolled in Southern Methodist University. He later earned a BBA degree and a JD law degree from Memphis State. His interest in acting kept him from taking the bar exam.
Sanderson moved to New York and studied with acting teachers Herbert Berghof and William Hickey, whom he would call his greatest influences. He soon began landing roles in off-Broadway productions and independent films.
Sanderson's distinctive hound dog face lends itself to character acting, and he moved to Hollywood to take on small roles in films like "The Onion Field" and "Coal Miner's Daughter."
William made a name for himself playing a toymaker/genetic designer in the science fiction film, "Blade Runner." Following this, Sanderson took on a completely different type of roll, playing quirky backwoodsman "Larry" in the popular sitcom Newhart.
Sanderson has continued to make films, such as "Fletch," "City Heat," and "Gods and Generals." He took a star turn in the comedy "Stanley's Gig," opposite Faye Dunaway.
William has also kept busy with roles in television, including a recurring role on Maximum Bob with Beau Bridges, and guest shots on The Young Riders, Matlock, The X Files, The Practice, ER, and the mini-series Lonesome Dove among many other projects. He also has done cartoon voice over work on Batman: The Animated Series and Santo Bugito.
Sanderson's most recent role is of hotelier E.B. Pharnum on the HBO drama, Deadwood, for which he has won critical praise.… Expand
William Sanderson's Scores