William Holden - Rotten Tomatoes

William Holden

Highest Rated:   100% The Horse Soldiers (1959)
Lowest Rated:   0% When Time Ran Out (1980)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   O'Fallon, Illinois, USA
The son of a chemical analyst, American actor William Holden plunged into high school and junior college sports activities as a means of "proving himself" to his demanding father. Nonetheless, Holden's forte would be in what he'd always consider a "sissy" profession: acting. Spotted by a talent scout during a stage production at Pasadena Junior College, Holden was signed by both Paramount and Columbia, who would share his contract for the next two decades. After one bit role, Holden was thrust into the demanding leading part of boxer Joe Bonaparte in Golden Boy (1939). He was so green and nervous that Columbia considered replacing him, but co-star Barbara Stanwyck took it upon herself to coach the young actor and build up his confidence -- a selfless act for which Holden would be grateful until the day he died. After serving as a lieutenant in the Army's special services unit, Holden returned to films, mostly in light, inconsequential roles. Director Billy Wilder changed all that by casting him as Joe Gillis, an embittered failed screenwriter and "kept man" of Gloria Swanson in the Hollywood-bashing classic Sunset Boulevard (1950). Wilder also directed Holden in the role of the cynical, conniving, but ultimately heroic American POW Sefton in Stalag 17 (1953), for which the actor won an Oscar. Holden became a man of the world, as it were, when he moved to Switzerland to avoid heavy taxation on his earnings; while traversing the globe, he developed an interest in African wildlife preservation, spending much of his off-camera time campaigning and raising funds for the humane treatment of animals. Free to be selective in his film roles in the '60s and '70s, Holden evinced an erratic sensibility: For every Counterfeit Traitor (1962) and Network (1976), there would be a walk-through part in The Towering Inferno (1974) or Ashanti (1978). His final film role was in S.O.B. (1981), which, like Sunset Boulevard, was a searing and satirical indictment of Hollywood. But times had changed, and one of the comic highlights of S.O.B. was of a drunken film executive urinating on the floor of an undertaker's parlor. Holden's death in 1981 was the result of blood loss from a fall he suffered while alone.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
90% S.O.B.
  • Tim Culley
$14.9M 1981
No Score Yet The Earthling
  • Patrick Foley
1980
0% When Time Ran Out
  • Shelby Gilmore
1980
No Score Yet Ashanti
  • Jim Sandell
1979
No Score Yet Escape to Athena
  • Prisoner
1979
73% Fedora
  • Barry Detweiler
1978
41% Damien---Omen II
  • Richard Thorn
1978
91% Network
  • Max Schumacher
1976
No Score Yet 21 Horas en Munich
  • Chief of Police Manfred Schreiber
1976
71% The Towering Inferno
  • Jim Duncan
1974
No Score Yet Breezy
  • Frank Harmon
1973
No Score Yet The Revengers
  • Actor
1972
96% The Wild Bunch
  • Pike Bishop
1969
No Score Yet The Christmas Tree
  • Laurent Segur
1969
No Score Yet The Devil's Brigade
  • Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick
1968
No Score Yet Alvarez Kelly
  • Alvarez Kelly
1966
No Score Yet The 7th Dawn
  • Major Ferris
1964
57% Paris When It Sizzles
  • Richard Benson
1964
No Score Yet The Lion
  • Robert Hayward
1962
No Score Yet Satan Never Sleeps
  • Father O'Banion
1962
43% The World of Suzie Wong
  • Robert Lomax
1960
100% The Horse Soldiers
  • Major Henry Kendall
1959
No Score Yet The Key
  • David Ross
1958
No Score Yet Toward the Unknown
  • Maj. Lincoln Bond
1956
57% Picnic
  • Hal Carter
1955
50% Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
  • Mark Elliott
1955
86% The Country Girl
  • Bernie Dodd
1954
91% Sabrina
  • David Larrabee
1954
100% Executive Suite
  • McDonald Walling
1954
No Score Yet Forever Female
  • Stanley Krown
1954
No Score Yet Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
  • Narrator
1954
78% The Bridges at Toko-Ri
  • Lt. Harry Brubaker
1954
No Score Yet Escape From Fort Bravo
  • Capt. Roper
1953
38% The Moon Is Blue
  • Don Gresham
1953
97% Stalag 17
  • Sefton
1953
No Score Yet The Turning Point
  • Jerry McKibbon
1952
No Score Yet Boots Malone
  • Actor
1952
No Score Yet Submarine Command (The Submarine Story)
  • Commander White
1951
No Score Yet Force Of Arms
  • Peterson
1951
95% Born Yesterday
  • Paul Verrall
1950
No Score Yet Union Station
  • Lt. William Calhoun
1950
No Score Yet Dear Wife
  • Bill Seacroft
1949
No Score Yet Miss Grant Takes Richmond
  • Dick Richmond
1949
No Score Yet Streets of Laredo
  • Jim Dawkins
1949
50% The Dark Past
  • Al Walker
1949
No Score Yet The Man from Colorado
  • Capt. Del Stewart
1949
No Score Yet Apartment for Peggy
  • Jason Taylor
1948
No Score Yet Rachel and the Stranger
  • David Harvey
1948
No Score Yet Variety Girl
  • Himself
1947
No Score Yet Dear Ruth
  • Lt. William Seacroft
1947
No Score Yet Wings Up!
  • Actor
1943
No Score Yet Meet the Stewarts
  • Michael Stewart
1942
No Score Yet The Fleet's In
  • Casey Kirby
1942
No Score Yet Young and Willing
  • Norman Reese
1942
No Score Yet The Remarkable Andrew
  • Andrew Long
1942
No Score Yet Texas
  • Dan Thomas
1941
83% Our Town
  • Geogre Gibbs
1940
No Score Yet Arizona
  • Peter Muncie
1940
No Score Yet Invisible Stripes
  • Tim Taylor
1939
No Score Yet Golden Boy
  • Joe Bonaparte
1939

Quotes from William Holden's Characters