William Atherton

William Atherton

Highest Rated: 97% Ghostbusters (1984 Original) (1984)

Lowest Rated: 4% Bio-Dome (1996)

Birthday: Jul 30, 1947

Birthplace: Not Available

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, clueless 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.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters Actor 2019
No Score Yet Bad Company Actor 2018
No Score Yet Clinical Terry 2017
18% Jinn Father Westhoff $0.2M 2014
No Score Yet The Citizen Winston $24.8K 2013
No Score Yet Getting Back To Zero Actor 2013
36% Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Earle Swinter $0.2M 2012
No Score Yet Jersey Shore Shark Attack Dolan 2012
No Score Yet The Kane Files: Life Of Trial Daniel Morgan 2010
No Score Yet Black Crescent Moon Actor 2009
No Score Yet Ghouls Stefan 2008
No Score Yet Kush King 2008
No Score Yet Kush Actor 2008
67% Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door Adult David 2007
11% Towards Darkness John 2007
No Score Yet Totally Baked: A Pot-u-mentary Actor 2007
No Score Yet Gone But Not Forgotten Sen. Colby 2005
No Score Yet Into the Sun Agent Block 2005
No Score Yet Who's Your Daddy Uncle Duncan 2005
50% Headspace Producer Dr. Ira Gold 2005
66% The Last Samurai Winchester Rep $111.1M 2003
67% Bread and Roses Himself (uncredited) 2001
71% Race to Space Stanton 2001
No Score Yet Burning Down the House Arthur Kranston 2001
22% The Crow - Salvation Nathan Randall 2000
No Score Yet Grim Prairie Tales Arthur 2000
No Score Yet Executive Power Actor 1999
83% Introducing Dorothy Dandridge Darryl F. Zanuck 1999
No Score Yet The Stranger Actor 1999
No Score Yet Michael Kael contre la World News Company James Denit 1998
36% Mad City Dohlen 1997
43% Hoodlum Thomas Dewey 1997
No Score Yet Executive Power President John Fields 1997
No Score Yet Raven Hawk Thorne 1996
4% Bio-Dome Dr. Faulkner 1996
No Score Yet Confianza Perdida Neil Roemer 1995
No Score Yet Virus Dr. Reginald Holloway 1995
20% Frank & Jesse Pinkerton 1995
No Score Yet Saints and Sinners McCone 1995
No Score Yet Formula for Death Dr. Reginald Holloway 1994
53% The Pelican Brief Bob Gminski 1993
No Score Yet Chrome Soldiers Sheriff Blackwell 1992
12% Oscar Overton 1991
68% Die Hard 2 Dick Thornberg 1990
No Score Yet Buried Alive Cortland 'Cort' van Owen 1990
93% Die Hard Thornburg 1988
No Score Yet Intrigue Doggett 1988
21% No Mercy Allan Deveneux 1986
No Score Yet A Fight for Jenny Michael Rosen 1986
75% Real Genius Prof. Jerry Hathaway 1985
97% Ghostbusters (1984 Original) Walter Peck 1984
No Score Yet Beyond the Darkness (Buio Omega) Actor 1984
No Score Yet Tomorrow's Child Actor 1982
No Score Yet Centennial Jim Lloyd 1978
71% Looking for Mr. Goodbar James 1977
No Score Yet Independence Benjamin Rush 1976
60% The Day of the Locust Tod Hackett 1975
33% The Hindenburg Boerth 1975
39% The Great Gatsby Actor 1974
89% The Sugarland Express Clovis Michael Poplin 1974
No Score Yet Class of '44 Fraternity President 1973
No Score Yet The New Centurions Johnson 1972


77% Defiance
Viceroy Berto Mercado Viceroy Mercado 2015
80% Castle
Dr. Ari Weiss 2011
85% Lost
Principal Don Reynolds 2010
70% Life
Mickey Rayborn 2009
70% Desperate Housewives
Dr. Barr 2009
90% Monk
Cdr. Whitaker 2008
86% Boston Legal
ADA Howard Zale 2008
No Score Yet Numb3rs
Warren Pierce 2007
No Score Yet Law & Order
Dan Jensen Don Snyder 2004
95% Justice League
Voice 2003
No Score Yet Night Visions
William Price 2001
No Score Yet The Practice
Pratt A.D.A. Keith Pratt 1999
No Score Yet The Outer Limits
No Score Yet Diagnosis Murder
Eric Walker 1992
82% Tales from the Crypt
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
Greg Dalton Larry Holleran Andy Henley 1991
No Score Yet The Equalizer
Gideon 1989
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
Dundee 1985
No Score Yet The Unknown


Maj. Carnagle says: Where's the laser?

Prof. Hathaway says: It's coming.

Maj. Carnagle says: Coming? Ha! It's not even breathing hard.

Adult David says: It's what you do last that counts.

Thornburg says: [After C4 Explosion] Tell me you got that!

Cameraman says: Ya.

Raymond Stantz says: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

Walter Peck says: They caused an explosion!

Mayor says: [to the Ghostbusters] Is this true?

Peter Venkman says: Yes, it's true: this man has no dick.

Raymond Stantz says: Powergrid was shut off by dickless here.

Raymond Stantz says: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

Walter Peck says: They caused an explosion!

Walter Peck says: They caused an explosion!

Mayor says: Is this true?

Mayor says: Is this true?

Peter Venkman says: Yes, it's true. This man has no dick.

Peter Venkman says: Yes it's true. [pause] This man has no dick.

Adult David says: You think you know about pain? Talk to my second wife. When she was nineteen she got between a couple of fighting cats, and one of them went at her, climbed her like a tree, tore gashes out of her thighs and breasts and belly that you can still see today. She got thirty stitches and a fever that lasted for days. My second wife says that's pain. She doesn't know shit, that woman.