William Petersen made his film debut in the critically acclaimed To Live And Die In L.A. He also starred in such films as Michael Mann's Manhunter, James Foley's Fear, Joel Schumacher's Cousins, Mike Newell's Amazing Grace and Chuck, Young Guns II and Passed Away. He has recently completed two independent film projects: Gunshy and Kiss The Sky.
His television credits include: HBO's Long Gone and Rob Cohen's The Rat Pack; the ABC miniseries The Kennedy's Of Massachusetts; the NBC miniseries The Beast; TNT's Keep The Change, and 12 Angry Men for Showtime.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, Petersen first discovered acting while on a football scholarship at Idaho State University. He initially took drama classes to boost his grade point average, but soon his love of theatre eclipsed his interest in football. Upon graduation, Petersen traveled to Spain where he studied acting with a noted Shakespearean scholar.
Back in the U.S., Petersen pursued stage work and became involved with the Chicago theatre scene that blossomed during the 1980s. In 1980 he and several others founded Chicago's Remains Theatre Ensemble. Petersen made his Broadway debut with the starring role of Shannon in The Night Of The Iguana and he has appeared in over 35 theatre productions, including productions at Ontario's Stratford Festival and Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Petersen won the prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jack Abbott in The Belly of the Beast, which he went on to perform at the Kennedy Center and in London.