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William H. Macy Biography:

William H. Macy came to acting by way of Bethany and Goddard Colleges. At the latter school, Macy studied under playwright David Mamet, with whom he would be frequently associated throughout his career. After college, Macy was a member of Mamet's theater troupe, the St. Nicholas Company. The actor performed in a number of productions, many of them written by Mamet, until 1978, when he left the company and went to New York. Some of his earliest work there included commercial voice-overs, such as the now infamous "Secret: Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman."

Macy also continued his theater work, forming the Atlantic Theatre Company with Mamet in 1985 and acting in Broadway and off-Broadway shows. In addition, he worked in television and began doing feature films, debuting in 1980's Foolin' Around. He continued to act in supporting roles throughout the decade, appearing in such films as Mamet's directorial debut, House of Games (1987) and Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987). In 1991, he won a more substantial role, in Mamet's Homicide, and subsequently began to find work in more well-known films, including Benny and Joon and The Client.

Macy finally got a shot at a leading role with his turn in Mamet's Oleanna. He won positive notices and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his portrayal of a professor accused of sexual harassment. More acclaim followed with his starring role as a hapless car salesman in Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's Fargo (1996), for which he garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. The next year, Macy's star rose a little higher, thanks to his work in three high-profile films, Wag the Dog, Air Force One, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights. He was similarly lauded for his versatility through work in such films as Psycho and Pleasantville, and in 1999 he continued his winning streak as an unconventional superhero in Mystery Men, a gay sheriff in Happy, Texas, and a member of the ensemble cast of Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia. Despite the fact that Macy drew praise for his turn as a reluctant hitman in the 2000 drama Panic, the film went largely unseen and his next substantian role found him running from dinosaurs in Jurassic Park III. As always Macy continued to intercut his more commercial efforts with such decidedly non-mainstream fare as Focus and Stealing Sinatra. Surprisingly, it was just such work that netted Macy some of his most glowing reviews. Case in point was a memorable performance as a disabled traveling salesman in the 2003 drama Door to Door; a role that earned its convincing lead an Emmy. After sticking to the small screen with the Showtime mini-series Out of Order, Macy went wide with the theatrical hit Seabiscuit, and later joined the cast of the crime comedy The Last Shot.

Macy has also continued to do television work, appearing on such series as Spencer, Law & Order, and ER.



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