William Hickey

William Hickey

Highest Rated: 96% Little Big Man (1970)

Lowest Rated: 17% The Jerky Boys (1995)

Birthday: Sep 19, 1927

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

His stooped posture, desiccated appearance, and frog-like speaking voice made William Hickey a natural to play weirdoes in Hollywood films - a résumé that belied his distinguished career in theatre. Developing a taste for performing as a child at the Henry Street Settlement on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Hickey began teaching acting after World War II and joined the staff of Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof's acclaimed HB Studio in Greenwich Village in 1957. Better known as an acting coach than as an actor, Hickey guided the likes of Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand while playing bits in such films as "The Boston Strangler" (1968), "Little Big Man" (1970), and "Mikey and Nicky" (1976). John Huston had cast him in a small role in "Wise Blood" (1979) but called the 57-year-old actor back to play an octogenarian Mafia don in "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), which earned Hickey an Oscar nomination and a measure of popular appeal. For horror movie fans, he was unforgettable as the "Puppetmaster" (1989), as the millionaire who hires a hitman to kill his cat in "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" (1990), and as the voice of the mad Dr. Finkelstein in Tim Burton's stop-motion fantasia "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993). Diagnosed with emphysema, Hickey continued to work exhaustively in films and television. He was teaching up to two weeks before his death in July 1997, showing his commitment to the craft that had changed his life and enabled him to make a living.

Highest rated movies

Little Big Man
Wise Blood
Mikey and Nicky
Prizzi's Honor
The Boston Strangler
Sea of Love
The Name of the Rose
My Blue Heaven




44% 49% Mouse Hunt Rudolph Smuntz (Character) $61.8M 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Better Than Ever Walter (Character) - 1996
No Score Yet 47% Love Is All There Is Monsignor (Character) $61.3K 1996
33% 68% Major Payne Dr. Phillips (Character) $29.4M 1995
50% 56% Forget Paris Arthur (Character) $32.0M 1995
No Score Yet 36% The Maddening Daddy (Character) - 1995
17% 50% The Jerky Boys Don 'Uncle Freddy' Frederico (Character) $7.6M 1995
95% 91% The Nightmare Before Christmas Evil Scientist (Voice) $2.4M 1993
No Score Yet 24% The Runestone Lars Hagstrom (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tales From the Darkside Unknown (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Any Man's Death Unknown (Character) - 1990
43% 44% Tales From the Darkside: The Movie Drogan (segment "Cat From Hell") (Character) $15.4M 1990
No Score Yet 50% Mob Boss Don Anthony (Character) - 1990
71% 59% My Blue Heaven Billy Sparrow (Character) $22.8M 1990
No Score Yet 83% Sons Roger (Character) - 1989
43% 40% Puppet Master Andre Toulon (Character) - 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet It Had to Be You Schornberg (Character) - 1989
67% 86% National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Uncle Lewis (Character) $70.0M 1989
76% 66% Sea of Love Frank Keller Sr. (Character) $56.6M 1989
60% 38% Bright Lights, Big City Ferret Man (Character) $15.7M 1988
70% 58% Da Drumm (Character) $3.3M 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Starlight: A Musical Movie Billy Davis (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet 44% A Hobo's Christmas Cincinnati Harold (Character) - 1987
45% 63% One Crazy Summer Old Man Beckersted (Character) $13.4M 1986
74% 85% The Name of the Rose Ubertino da Casale (Character) $5.2M 1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stranded Mr. Pierson (Character) - 1986
39% 58% Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins The Coney Island barker (Character) $14.4M 1985
86% 62% Prizzi's Honor Don Corrado Prizi (Character) $26.6M 1985
87% 75% Wise Blood Preacher (Character) - 1979
50% 44% The Sentinel Perry (Character) - 1977
87% 80% Mikey and Nicky Sid Fine (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 53% 92 in the Shade Mr. Skelton (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 75% Happy Birthday, Wanda June Looseleaf Harper (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sandman Unknown (Character) - 1970
96% 87% Little Big Man Historian (Character) - 1970
86% 74% The Boston Strangler Eugene T. O'Rourke (Character) - 1968
No Score Yet 40% Invitation to a Gunfighter Jo-Jo (Character) - 1964
50% 43% Something Wild Bit Part (uncredited) (Character) - 1961
No Score Yet 75% A Hatful of Rain Apples (Character) - 1957


No Score Yet No Score Yet Elvira's 10 Nights of Halloween Andre Toulon (Character) 2014
No Score Yet 100% The Outer Limits Unknown (Character) 1995
No Score Yet 100% Wings Unknown (Guest Star) 1992-1994
0% No Score Yet Baby Talk Mr. Fogarty (Character) 1991
82% 98% Tales From the Crypt Unknown (Character) 1990
71% 91% Miami Vice Unknown (Guest Star) 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Spenser: For Hire Unknown (Character) 1987
No Score Yet 100% The Equalizer Unknown (Guest Star) 1985-1986
No Score Yet No Score Yet Startime Unknown (Character) 1960