Jan. 10th, 1944
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
William Sanderson's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Excellent, prolific and versatile character actor William Sanderson was born on January 10, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a landscape designer. William served two years in the US Army. Following his military service, Sanderson attended Southern Methodist University. He earned both a BBA degree and a JD law degree from Memphis State University. William went to New York to try his luck as an actor. He studied his craft with Herbert Burghof and William Hickey. Sanderson then started acting in off-Broadway stage productions and several independent pictures. He gave a superbly lively and intense performance as vicious racist escaped convict Jessie Lee Kane in the brutal exploitation feature "Fight for Your Life." William was likewise marvelous as gentle toymaker J.F. Sebastian in the fantastic science fiction cult favorite "Blade Runner." Sanderson has portrayed his fair share of loathsome bad guys (he refers to these particular characters as "prairie scum"); said parts include nasty lout Calvin in "Raggedy Man," low-life hick Lee Dollarhide in "Coal Miner's Daughter," and weaselly criminal Snow in "Lone Wolf McQuade." Not surprisingly considering his distinctive Southern drawl, William has also appeared in such Westerns as the comedy "Wagons East," "Crossfire Trail," "Monte Walsh," "Andersonville," "Gods and Generals," and the acclaimed TV mini-series "Lonesome Dove" (the latter is one of several projects in which Sanderson has acted alongside Tommy Lee Jones). Sanderson gave a lovely and touching portrayal in a rare lead role as emotionally dysfunctional recovering alcoholic ukulele minstrel Stanley Myer in the poignant indie drama gem "Stanley's Gig." William achieved his greatest popularity as flaky backwoodsman Larry on the hit sitcom "Newhart," on which he uttered the memorable catchphrase, "I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl." More recently Sanderson had a terrific role as conniving hotel proprietor E.B. Farnum on the sensationally gritty cable Western TV series "Deadwood." Among the TV shows William has done guest spots on are "The Practice," "The Pretender," "ER," "The X-Files," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Sirens," "Matlock," "Babylon 5," "Married with Children," "The Twilight Zone," "Knight Rider," "Coach," "The Dukes of Hazzard," and "Starsky and Hutch." Moreover, Sanderson has done voices for numerous cartoon characters, radio commercials, and books on tape. Outside of his substantial film and TV credits, William has acted on stage in productions of such plays as "The Taming of the Shrew," "When Ya Comin' Back, Red Ryder?," "Insect Comedy," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Dutchman," "Fishing," "Authentic Life of Billy the Kid," "Tobacco Road," and "Scotch Rocks." William Sanderson lives in Burbank, California with his wife Sharon Wix.
- Earned a JD from Memphis State.
- Enlisted in the Army and served two years.
- Earned a BA from Southern Methodist University.