Date of Birth: November 27, 1956
Born in Long Island, New York, Fichtner spent his early years as an army brat on a military base. After completing high school, he studied criminal justice in college before moving to New York City to shift his focus to acting.
By 1988, Fichtner landed his first major acting job, playing Josh Snyder/Rod Landry in the daytime drama, As the World Turns. Five years later, he landed a recurring role on the series Grace Under Fire playing Ryan Sparks, and started working on feature films such as Malcolm X (1992), Quiz Show (1994), Strange Days (1995) and Heat (1995). As he slipped from role to role, his chameleon ability provided wonderful characters, but was rewarded by an audience who couldn't recognize him from picture to picture.
In 1997, his name became a bit more familiar to moviegoers after playing Kent, the blind astronomer in Contact. Strong performances in Armageddon (1998), Go (1999), Passion of Mind (2000), and The Perfect Storm increased his popularity.
No stranger to the stage, Fichtner has starred in a number of off-Broadway productions including Raft of Medusa, The Years, Clothes for a Summer Hotel and Machinal and was a member of the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York. He starred in productions at the Manhattan Theater Club and Joseph Papp's Public Theatre.
He became a household name for TV viewers after playing the mysteriously creepy Sherrif Tom Underlay in ABC's sci-fi drama Invasion during the 2005/6 season, followed by a regular role as FBI Special Agent Alexander Mahone in Fox-TV's hit series Prison Break.
Back on the big screen, he played a supporting role in Elysium (2013), starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, and in the reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). Most recently, he appeared in the thriller St. Sebastian (2016), the apocalyptic sequel Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), the drama Last Days of Summer (2016) and 12 Strong (2018).
William has a child with second wife Kymberly and a child with ex-wife, Betsy.