William H. Macy

William H. Macy
Danny Moloshok / Associated Press


William H. Macy
Film: South side of the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born William Hall Macy Jr. on March 13, 1950 in Miami, FL

It wasn’t too tough for William H. Macy to get into the head of Frank Gallagher, the hard-partying neglectful father he plays on Showtime’s hit drama "Shameless."

That must be because the Emmy-winning Macy, by his own admission, has had a lot of practice portraying "more than my share of misfits and losers and guys behind the eight ball," he told the L.A. Times in 2011.

Those include his Oscar-nominated turn as a hapless car salesman-turned-criminal in the Coen brothers’ black comedy "Fargo" and the murderous, cheated-on husband of a porn star in "Boogie Nights."

But Macy, who’s also a writer and producer, doesn’t feel typecast.

"I would hope and flatter myself that there is depth and breadth to the different kinds of roles I’ve gotten to play," he told The Times. "I certainly was worried that after ‘Fargo’ I would repeat that role ad nauseam, but in fact it’s not turned out that way. I’ve been a lucky guy."

A theater veteran and David Mamet protege, Macy made the jump to film and then television in a career that’s spanned more than three decades.

Though possibly recognized more as an independent film star, from such features as "Thank You for Smoking," "The Con" and "Wag the Dog," Macy has also appeared in a string of Hollywood blockbusters like "Wild Hogs," "Air Force One" and "Jurassic Park III."

His television guest appearances have ranged from "ER" and "Sports Night," for which he snagged Emmy nominations, to "The Unit" and "Kate & Allie." His dive into TV movies and miniseries proved especially fruitful, with Emmy wins for acting and writing TNT’s acclaimed drama "Door to Door," about a wealthy man with cerebral palsy who aspired to be a door-to-door salesman.

He and his wife, Felicity Huffman, who met when she was his student at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company, have worked together a number of times on stage and screen, including the critically lauded "Sports Night" and seminal indie feature "Magnolia."

He attributes their long-lasting relationship – more than 30 years and counting – to their strong communication and their mutual love of their craft.

"We grew up on stage together," he told The Times in 2011. "We ask each other about our roles, we ask acting advice, we get notes from each other. It keeps us close."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1996 Best Supporting Actor Fargo Nomination

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