Actor William Fichtner

William Edward Fichtner (born November 27, 1956) is an American actor. Fichtner has appeared in a number of films, TV series and video games. He is known for his television roles as Sheriff Tom Underlay on Invasion, Alexander Mahone on Prison Break, and Adam Janikowski on Mom. His film appearances include Heat, Contact, Armageddon, The Perfect Storm, Go, Drowning Mona, Crash, Blades of Glory, Black Hawk Down, and The Longest Yard.

Early life

Fichtner was born on Mitchel Air Force Base on Long Island, and was raised in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. He is the son of Patricia A. (née Steitz) and William Frederick Fichtner. He has German ancestry.

Fichtner graduated from Maryvale High School (Cheektowaga) in 1974. After graduating from Farmingdale State College in 1976 with an associate degree in criminal justice, he attended SUNY Brockport and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice in 1978. He then studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He also credits his Farmingdale State College admissions counselor Don Harvey with his decision to study acting. Harvey, who became a lifelong friend, took Fichtner to his first Broadway show. On May 18, 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Farmingdale State College.


Fichtner began his acting career as Josh Snyder in As the World Turns in 1987. He has since appeared in the films Contact, Heat, Armageddon, Go, Equilibrium, Black Hawk Down, The Perfect Storm, The Longest Yard, Crash, Ultraviolet, Drive Angry and The Dark Knight. Mainly a character actor, one of his few leading roles is in Passion of Mind, also starring Demi Moore and Stellan Skarsgård. His role in Crash won him a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award and a Best Acting Ensemble award from Broadcast Film Critics Choice. He appeared in the CBS sitcom Mom from 2013 to 2021.

Credited as Bill Fichtner, he voiced Ken Rosenberg in the video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Between 2005 and 2006, he also starred in the sci-fi TV series Invasion as Sheriff Tom Underlay. After Invasion was canceled, he played ruthless FBI Agent Alexander Mahone in three seasons of Prison Break (2006–2009). In 2009, he co-presented the Vezina Trophy (for goal tending) at the National Hockey League awards show. He later guest starred as judge Christopher Mulready in The West Wing episode “The Supremes.” He also had a role as the Gotham National Bank manager in the feature film The Dark Knight and as Jurgen in Equilibrium.

In June 2009, Fichtner had a recurring role as TV producer Phil Yagoda on Entourage. He also voiced Master Sergeant Sandman in the 2011 video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Fichtner played Eric Sacks in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014).

Personal life

Fichtner is a fan of the NFL (National Football League) team the Buffalo Bills, appearing in a commercial for the team before the 2014 season. He has narrated the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary titled Four Falls of Buffalo, chronicling the Buffalo Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1990–93.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Quiz Show Stage Manager
1995 Virtuosity Wallace
Reckless Rachel’s Father
Strange Days Officer Dwayne Engelman
Heat Roger Van Zant
The Underneath Tommy Dundee
1996 Albino Alligator Law
1997 Contact Kent
Switchback Chief Jack McGinnis
1998 Armageddon Colonel Willie Sharp
1999 Go Burke Halverson
The Settlement Jerry
2000 The Perfect Storm David ‘Sully’ Sullivan
Drowning Mona Phil Dearly
Passion of Mind Aaron
Endsville Prince Victor
2001 Pearl Harbor Mr. Walker
Black Hawk Down SFC Jeff Sanderson Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
What’s the Worst That Could Happen? Detective Alex Tardio
2002 Julie Walking Home Henry
Equilibrium Jurgen
2004 Crash Flanagan Hollywood Film Festival Ensemble of the Year
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2005 Nine Lives Andrew Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
The Chumscrubber Dr. Bill Stifle
The Amateurs Otis
The Longest Yard Captain Knauer
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Dr. Wexler Voice; Uncredited
2006 Ultraviolet Garth
2007 Blades of Glory Darren MacElroy
First Snow Ed
2008 The Dark Knight Bank Manager
2010 Forehead Tittaes Boss Funny or Die sketch
Date Night District Attorney Frank Crenshaw
2011 The Big Bang Detective Poley
Drive Angry The Accountant Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Wrong Master Chang
2013 Phantom Alex Kozlov
The Lone Ranger Butch Cavendish
Elysium John Carlyle
2014 The Homesman Vester Belknap
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Eric Sacks
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence General Joshua T. Adams
American Wrestler: The Wizard Coach Plyler
2017 Hot Summer Nights Shep
The Neighbor Mike
Krystal Dr. Farley
2018 12 Strong Colonel John Mulholland
Traffik Mr. Waynewright
O.G. Danvers
Armed Richard
Cold Brook Ted Markham Also director and co-writer
All the Devil’s Men Brennan
2019 Josie & Jack Raeburn
Finding Steve McQueen Enzo Rotella
2021 The Space Between Donny Rumson
The Birthday Cake Uncle Ricardo Post-production
TBA The Gettysburg Address John G. Nicolay Voice; post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1994 As the World Turns Josh Snyder 11 episodes
1989 A Man Called Hawk Boros 2 episodes
Baywatch Howard Ganza Episode: “Rookie School”
1994–1995 Grace Under Fire Ryan Sparks 8 episodes
1995 High Lonesome: A Father for Charlie[citation needed] Sheriff Television film
2002 MDs Bruce Kellerman 10 episodes
2004 The West Wing Christopher Mulready Episode: “The Supremes”
2005 Empire Falls Jimmy Minty 2 episodes
American Dad! Harland Voice; Episode: “Homeland Insecurity”
2005–2006 Invasion Sheriff Tom Underlay 22 episodes
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television
2006–2009 Prison Break Alexander Mahone 59 episodes
2009–2011 Entourage Phil Yagoda 8 episodes
2010 Night and Day Dan Hollister Pilot
2012 Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden Mr. Guidry Television film
2013–2014 Crossing Lines Carl Hickman 22 episodes
2015–2016 Empire Jameson Henthrop 4 episodes
2016–21 Mom Adam Janikowski Recurring (season 3), Main cast (seasons 4–8); 84 episodes
Nominated—Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
2016 Shooter Rathford O’Brien Episode: “Killing Zone”
2017 Porsche: Decades of Disruption Narrator Voice; Documentary
Top Gear America Himself Host; 8 episodes
2019 Veep Felix Wade Episode: “Discovery Weekend”
2020 Corporate Brett Episode: “Fuck You Money”
TBA Joe Exotic Rick Kirkham Limited series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Ken Rosenberg Credited as Bill Fichtner
2004 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
2008 Turok Logan
2011 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Master Sergeant Sandman
2012 Infex The Administrator
2013 Disney Infinity Butch Cavendish
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Shredder Nintendo 3DS version

External Links

Actor William Fichtner – Wikipedia

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