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William Sadler  

Film & Television Actor

William Thomas Sadler is a film and television actor who played the role of NYPD Detective Michael Sheehan on the Netflix original series "When They See Us."

Sadler's long list of television and motion picture roles include Chesty Puller in "The Pacific," Luther Sloan in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," Sheriff Jim Valenti in "Roswell," convict Heywood in "The Shawshank Redemption," Senator Vernon Trent in "Hard to Kill," and the Grim Reaper in "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" and "Bill & Ted Face the Music," a role for which he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, and his role as Colonel Stuart opposite Bruce Willis in "Die Hard 2."

He also played the character of President of the United States, Matthew Ellis, in "Iron Man 3," Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and WHIH Newsfront, all set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also recurs as Steve McGarrett's murdered father, John McGarrett, in the 2010 remake of the 1968 television series, "Hawaii Five-O" and the Boston boxing promoter and suspected drug dealer Gino Fish in the "Jesse Stone" made for TV movie series opposite Tom Selleck as a small town police chief.

Sadler was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Jane and William Sadler. He is of mostly Scottish descent, with smaller amounts of English and German ancestry. From an early age, he took to performing in front of an audience. Playing a variety of stringed instruments, Sadler found hometown success during his high-school years at Orchard Park High School. He took on the persona of Banjo Bill Sadler, a banjo-playing singer who cracked jokes while playing. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in SUNY Geneseo. Following that, he spent two years at Cornell University where he earned his master's degree in Acting with a minor in Speech Communications. Sadler is a certified speech teacher and practiced in accents.


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