William Petersen

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William Petersen
WilliamPetersen.jpg
Petersen on the set of CSI, March 2004
Born William Louis Petersen
(1953-02-21) February 21, 1953 (age 61)
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Years active 1976–present
Spouse(s) Joanne Brady (1974–1981: divorced)
Gina Cirone (m. 2003)
Children 3

William Louis Petersen (born February 21, 1953) is an American actor and producer, best known for playing Dr. Gilbert "Gil" Grissom on the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Richard Chance in the film To Live and Die in L.A., and Will Graham in the film Manhunter.

Early life

Petersen was born in Evanston, Illinois, the youngest of six children of Helen June (née Hoene; 1909–2006) and Arthur Edward Petersen, Sr. (1907–2004), who worked in the furniture business.12 He is of Danish and German descent.3 He has two brothers, Arthur, Jr. and Robert, plus three sisters: Anne, Mary Kay, and Elizabeth.4 He graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, Idaho, in 1972. He was accepted to Idaho State University on a football scholarship. While at Idaho State, Petersen took an acting course which changed the direction of his life. He left school along with his wife, Joanne, in 1974 and followed a drama professor to the Basque country where he studied as a Shakespearean actor. Petersen was interested in Basque culture and he studied the Basque language, Euskara, and gave his daughter the Basque name Maite Nerea (meaning My Beloved); she was born in Arrasate - Mondragón 1975.5 Petersen returned to Idaho with the intent on being an actor. Not wanting to work a non-acting job in Idaho, he returned to the Chicago area, living with relatives. He became active in the theater and earned his Actors' Equity card. He performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, of which he has been an ensemble member since 2008, and was a co-founder of the Remains Theater Ensemble which also included other prominent Chicago actors Gary Cole and Ted Levine.

Career

In 1985, Petersen received his first break when he starred as a Secret Service Agent gone rogue to avenge his mentor in William Friedkin's 1985 action film To Live and Die in L.A. The following year, Petersen starred in the first Hannibal Lecter film, Michael Mann's Manhunter, playing FBI agent Will Graham. Because his role in Manhunter was so emotionally exhausting, he did everything he could to rid himself of Graham after finishing principal photography. He shaved off his beard, cut his hair and bleached it blond. He also claims to have done this because, while rehearsing for a play in Chicago, his dialogue was always coming out like Graham's; he dyed his hair so he could look in the mirror and see a different person.6

He declined a part in Oliver Stone's Platoon, as it would have kept him in the Philippines, away from his family. Instead, he worked on the 1987 HBO made-for-TV movie Long Gone as a minor league baseball player and manager. Petersen was offered the role of Henry Hill in the movie Goodfellas, but turned it down. In a 1990 ABC three-part miniseries, The Kennedys of Massachusetts, Petersen played U.S. President John F. Kennedy's father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy. The film won an Emmy, and a Golden Globe from eight and two nominations, respectively. Also in 1990, Petersen portrayed the infamous Patrick Floyd "Pat" Garrett in Young Guns II. In 1993, Petersen appeared in another miniseries, Return to Lonesome Dove, and in 1996's Fear. Having already portrayed Joseph and John F. Kennedy Petersen played the role of Governor Jack Hathaway, an unscrupulous candidate for vice president following the death of the incumbent in The Contender.citation needed

He appeared uncredited in the noir thriller Mulholland Falls as a character who finds himself on the violent receiving end of a Los Angeles police squad's tactics. He starred in Kiss the Sky and also appeared as part of an all-star cast in a remake of the film 12 Angry Men. From 2000 to 2010, he played Dr. Gil Grissom in the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Petersen took a break from CSI to appear in a five-week run of the Trinity Repertory Company production of Dublin Carol in Providence, Rhode Island. On May 30, 2007 he was at Wrigley Field to join WGN radio sportscasters covering a Chicago CubsFlorida Marlins game and he mentioned he had seen CSI: The Experience at the Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) on the South Side of Chicago. He expressed how he and his castmates were "blessed" to have such a successful series when he had seen shows starring friends cancelled after only a few episodes.citation needed

Petersen renewed his contract with CBS to appear on CSI for the 2008-2009 season, reportedly for $600,000 per episode.7 On July 15, 2008, the Associated Press reported that Petersen was leaving the show as a regular following Season 9's tenth episode in order to pursue more stage acting opportunities, but that he may return for guest spots.8 He remains an executive producer of the show.8 He reprised his role of Gil Grissom in the eleventh season episode "The Two Mrs. Grissoms" (aired February 3, 2011).

On February 3, 2009, Petersen was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Most of the cast and crew of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation attended the ceremony. His star is located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd, directly in front of the legendary Musso & Frank Grill.

Personal life

Petersen married longtime girlfriend Gina Cirone in July 2003. He has a daughter, Maite (born in c. 1975), from his previous marriage. Maite gave birth to his grandsons, Mazrik William and Indigo August, in October 2003 and August 2009, respectively. Petersen is an avid Chicago Cubs fan. In 2004, Petersen described to Playboy Magazine a near death experience he had in the 1980s, which gave him assurance that there is an afterlife.9

On July 5, 2011, Petersen and Cirone (via surrogate) welcomed twins, a son and a daughter.10

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1981 Thief Katz & Jammer Bartender
1985 To Live and Die in L.A Richard Chance
1986 The Twilight Zone Edward Sayers Episode: "Need to Know"
1986 Manhunter Will Graham
1987 Amazing Grace and Chuck Russell
1987 Long Gone Cecil Cantrell Television movie
1989 Cousins Tom
1990 The Kennedys of Massachusetts Joseph P. Kennedy Television movie
1990 Young Guns II Pat Garrett
1991 Hard Promises Joey
1992 Passed Away Frank Scanlan
1992 Keep the Change Joe Starling Television movie
1993 Return to Lonesome Dove Gideon Walker 3 episodes
1993 Curacao Stephen Guerin Television movie
1995 In the Kingdom of the Blind,
the Man with One Eye Is King
Tony C.
1996 Fear Steve Walker
1996 The Beast Whip Dalton Television movie
1997 12 Angry Men Juror #12 Television movie
1998 Gunshy Jake Bridges
1998 The Staircase Joad Television movie
1998 The Rat Pack John F. Kennedy Television movie
1999 Kiss the Sky Jeff
2000 The Skulls Ames Levritt
2000 The Contender Jack Hathaway
2000–2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Gil Grissom 196 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series (2002-04)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2002-04)
2007 Without a Trace Gil Grissom Episode: "Where and Why?"
2011 Detachment Sarge
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Glenn
2013 To Appomattox William Tecumseh Sherman 8 episodes

Production credits

Live theatre

Remains Theatre

Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Goodman Theatre

Victory Gardens Theatre

Wisdom Bridge Theatre

Other stage works

  • Appeared in productions at Boise State University and Lewis and Clark College.

Stage director

  • Farmyard, Remains Theatre, Chicago, IL, c. 1980
  • Traps, Remains Theatre, 1983

References

  1. ^ William Petersen Biography (1953-)
  2. ^ "Marriage Announcement 3 - No Title". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 1931-08-02. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  3. ^ "Star didn't have a clue 'CSI' would be a huge hit - Page 2 - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  4. ^ Hiltbrand, David (2004-02-06). "William Petersen didn't have a clue `CSI' would be a huge hit". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  5. ^ "El Imparcial: Noticias: William Petersen (Grissom, de CSI) habla y canta en vasco". Elimparcial.es. 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  6. ^ Inside Manhunter: Interviews with stars William Petersen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Tom Noonan
  7. ^ William Petersen Renews CSI Contract" TV Guide. March 31, 2008. Retrieved on April 1, 2008.
  8. ^ a b "CSI series star William Petersen leaving in 9th season". www.gmanews.tv. Associated Press. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  9. ^ Playboy magazine, March 2004, page 139
  10. ^ 04:00 PM ET. "William Petersen Welcomes Twins – Moms & Babies – Moms & Babies - People.com". Celebritybabies.people.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 

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