William Atherton - Rotten Tomatoes

William Atherton

Lowest Rated:   5% Bio-Dome (1996)
Birthday:  
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

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Clinical
  • Terry
2017
10% Jinn
  • Father Westhoff
$0.2M 2014
No Score Yet The Citizen
  • Winston
$24.8k 2013
No Score Yet Getting Back To Zero
  • Actor
2013
38% 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
$111M 2003
65% Bread and Roses
  • Himself (uncredited)
2001
67% 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
37% 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
5% Bio-Dome
  • Dr. Faulkner
1996
No Score Yet Confianza Perdida
  • Neil Roemer
1995
No Score Yet Virus
  • Dr. Reginald Holloway
1995
No Score Yet 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
13% Oscar
  • Overton
1991
69% Die Hard 2
  • Dick Thornberg
1990
No Score Yet Buried Alive
  • Cortland 'Cort' van Owen
1990
92% 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
76% Looking for Mr. Goodbar
  • James
1977
No Score Yet Independence
  • Benjamin Rush
1976
64% The Day of the Locust
  • Tod Hackett
1975
40% The Hindenburg
  • Boerth
1975
39% The Great Gatsby
  • Actor
1974
91% The Sugarland Express
  • Clovis Michael Poplin
1974
No Score Yet Class of '44
  • Fraternity President
1973
No Score Yet The New Centurions
  • Johnson
1972

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
76% Defiance
2013-2015
  • Viceroy Berto Mercado Viceroy Mercado
  • 2015
  • 2014
72% Castle
2009-2016
  • Dr. Ari Weiss
  • 2011
86% Lost
2004-2010
  • Principal Don Reynolds
  • 2010
No Score Yet Monk
2002-2009
  • Cdr. Whitaker
  • 2008
No Score Yet Numb3rs
2005-2010
  • Warren Pierce
  • 2007
No Score Yet Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Dr. Barr
  • 2006
No Score Yet Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • ADA Howard Zale
  • 2005
No Score Yet Law & Order
1990-2010
  • Dan Jensen Don Snyder
  • 2004
  • 2002
No Score Yet Justice League
2004
  • Voice
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1985-1989
  • Dundee
  • 1985

Quotes from William Atherton's Characters