close [×]

Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,

  • Name: William Atherton
  • Date of Birth: July 30, 1947
  • Place of Birth: Not available
Mini-bio: For those who grew up in the 1980s, many will remember hating actor William Atherton for his hissable characters in such films as Ghostbusters (1984) and Real Genius (1985). Specializing in heady, clu... read moreeless bureaucrats who never cease to hinder the protagonist and who often get what's coming to them before the credits roll, Atherton is one of those busy character actors who audiences are not likely to forget, even if they can't remember where they know him from. A Connecticut native who got his start on the stage while still in high school, Atherton would subsequently move on to become the youngest member ever accepted into New Haven's Long Wharf Theater repertory. Studies at the Pasadena Playhouse and Carnegie Tech led Atherton to pursue more theater roles, and a few short years later the seasoned stage actor made his leap to the big screen with The New Centurions (1972). A role in Steven Spielberg's The Sugarland Express (1974) found Atherton's feature career getting off to a solid start, and the fledgling actor would continue career momentum with featured roles in The Hindenburg (1975) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). In the 1980s Atherton would develop a convincingly weasel-like persona with roles as the popcorn-hating professor of Real Genius and a relentlessly obnoxious EPA agent who unleashes a nightmare upon New York in Ghostbusters. Following up with a memorably sleazy reporter in Die Hard (1988) and its sequel, Atherton would remain busy in the 1990s with roles in The Pelican Brief (1993), Bio-Dome (1996), Hoodlum, and Mad City (both 1997). The millennial turnover found Atherton appearing in such fare as The Crow: Salvation (2000) and Race to Space (2001), and as 2003 approached his feature career seemed to be having a bit of a resurgence with such major releases as Who's Your Daddy? and The Last Samurai. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Post it anywhere Link it anywhere

William Atherton Movies

William Atherton Movies
William Atherton at


No facts approved yet. Be the first

Actor Skins

William Atherton Trivia

  • Which actor has been in all of these movies: Die Hard (1988) The Pelican Brief (1993) Bio-Dome (1996) Ghostbusters (1984) The Last Samurai (2003)  Answer »
  • Chris Knight (Val Kilmer) is in his last year at Pacific Tech when he gets a new roommate, Mitch Taylor (Gabriel Jarret). They are working on a laser which Professor Hathaway (William Atherton) plans to sell to the military as his own invention.   Answer »
  • Tom Cruise and William Atherton appear in this 2003 movie.   Answer »

Actor Quizzes

William Atherton Quizzes

No quizzes for William Atherton. Want to create one?