William Paterson - Rotten Tomatoes

William Paterson

Highest Rated:   95% Dirty Harry (1971)
Lowest Rated:   17% At Long Last Love (1975)
Birthplace:   Not Available
An enduring regional theater actor whose 20 seasons at the Cleveland Playhouse consistently took precedence over his television and feature career, actor William Paterson later departed for an extended career with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater. A native of Buffalo, NY, Patterson graduated from Brown university before settling at the Cleveland Playhouse in 1947 immediately following his military service. Following his debut in their production of Maxwell Anderson's Joan of Lorraine, Paterson soon married theater hairstylist Dora Beams, forming a close relationship that would endure until Beams' death in 1993. Though he remained with the Cleveland Playhouse for an exhausting 20 seasons, that stint paled in comparison to his 30-plus-year stay with the American Conservatory Theater, which he joined in its inaugural season in 1967. Kicking-off his career at the A.C.T. in its production of A Long Day's Journey Into Night, Paterson continued on by essaying the role of Scrooge in the theater's holiday production of A Christmas Carol, a role with which he would continue to impress audiences for 14 years (in addition to the 1981 television broadcast). Paterson was the recipient of numerous awards during his extended stage career, somehow finding the time to serve on both the San Francisco Arts Commission and the American Conservatory Theater Commission. In film, Paterson frequently played the role of authority figures in such features as Dirty Harry (1971), Hear No Evil (1982), and Hard Traveling (1985). Paterson's final film performance would come with the 1990 thriller Pacific Heights. William Paterson succumbed to lung cancer September 3, 2003, in San Francisco. He was 84.

Highest Rated Movies



43% Pacific Heights
  • Mr. Hill
No Score Yet Hard Traveling
  • Sheriff
17% At Long Last Love
  • Murray
95% Dirty Harry
  • Bannerman

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