Birth name William Franklin Beedle Jr. NationalityUSA Birth 17 april 1918 at O'Fallon (USA) Death 12 november 1981 (at 63 years) at Santa Monica (USA) Awards Academy Award for Best Actor
William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) was an American actor who was one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s through the 1970s. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1953 for his role in Stalag 17, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role in the 1973 television film The Blue Knight.
Holden starred in some of Hollywood's most popular and critically acclaimed films, including such blockbusters as Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, Picnic, The Towering Inferno, and Network. He was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times (1954–1958, 1961), and appeared as 25th on the American Film Institute's list of 25 greatest male stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema.
Holden was best man at the marriage of his friend Ronald Reagan to Nancy Davis in 1952; however, he never involved himself in politics. While in Italy in 1966, Holden killed another driver in a drunk driving incident. He received an eight-month suspended sentence for vehicular manslaughter.
Holden maintained a home in Switzerland and also spent much of his time working for wildlife conservation as a managing partner in an animal preserve in Africa. His Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki (founded 1959) became a mecca for the international jet set. On a trip to Africa, he fell in love with the wildlife and became increasingly concerned with the animal species that were beginning to decrease in population. With the help of his partners, he created the Mount Kenya Game Ranch and inspired the creation of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. The Mount Kenya Game Ranch works to assist in Kenya with the wildlife education of its youth.
Marriage and relationships
Holden was married to actress Ardis Ankerson (stage name Brenda Marshall) from 1941 until their divorce (after many long separations) in 1971. They had two sons, Peter "West" Westfield (born November 17, 1943; died June, 2014) and Scott Porter (born May 2, 1946; died January 21, 2005, San Diego, California). He also adopted his wife's daughter, Virginia, from her first marriage. William was also a distant cousin to news anchor and game show panelist, the late John Cameron Swayze through the family of 17th century British judge Samuel Swayze.
During the filming of Sabrina (1954), Audrey Hepburn and the already-married William Holden became romantically involved. She hoped to marry him and have children, but she broke off the relationship when Holden revealed that he had undergone a vasectomy.
Holden met French actress Capucine in the early 1960s. The two starred in the films The Lion (1962) and The 7th Dawn (1964). They began a two-year affair, which is alleged to have ended due to Holden's alcoholism. Capucine and Holden remained friends until his death in 1981.
In 1972, Holden began a nine-year relationship with actress Stefanie Powers, which sparked her interest in animal welfare. After his death, Powers set up the William Holden Wildlife Foundation at Holden's Mount Kenya Game Ranch.
According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's autopsy report, Holden was alone and intoxicated in his apartment in Santa Monica, California, on November 12, 1981, when he slipped on a rug, severely lacerated his forehead on a teak bedside table, and bled to death. Evidence suggests he was conscious for at least half an hour after the fall. It is probable that he may not have realized the severity of the injury and did not summon aid, or was unable to call for help. His body was found four days later.
Holden had dictated in his will that the Neptune Society cremate him and scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. No funeral or memorial service was held, in accordance with his wishes.
For his contribution to the film industry, William Holden has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1651 Vine Street. He also has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
A reference to Holden's death and the media coverage that followed occurs in the song "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. She had seen the New York Post's front page announcing his death. This was the day that part of the song is based upon. It has been dubbed "Tom's Diner Day".
, 4minutes Directed byJim Reardon OriginUSA GenresComedy, Animation ActorsRich Moore, William Holden, Jeff Pidgeon Roles Charlie Brown (archive footage) Rating71% The short film is a faux trailer for another forthcoming Peanuts television special, and parodies the aforementioned series of Peanuts specials. The "special" is said to be due for broadcast on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m., and was sponsored by a foods company called Madison Barns, makers of ding-dongs, swinkies, pooftas and wussy cakes".
, 1h37 Directed byPeter Collinson GenresDrama, Action, Adventure ActorsWilliam Holden, Rick Schroder, Jack Thompson, Olivia Hamnett, Pat Evison, Ray Barrett Roles Patrick Foley Rating67% Patrick Foley (Holden) is dying of cancer and decides to return to the outback where he was born. He has stopped taking his medicine and is at peace with his decision to die alone in the woods. On his journey, he notices a family camping. From a neighbouring peak, Foley watches as Shawn (Schroder), a 10-year-old boy, begins collecting firewood. The father attempts to move the camper away from the edge. Unfortunately, the camper rolls off the cliff and crashes to the bottom of the cliff with Shawn's parents inside. Shawn climbs down from the cliff finding the camper crushed upside down and realizes his parents are dead. Foley has an ethical dilemma: take the stranded ten-year-old back to civilization, and lose his own wish to die where he was born, or continue his personal mission and let the boy die alone in the wilderness. He decides to take the boy with him, and teaches him along the way how to survive in the wilderness. A strong bond grows between the two, and when Foley finally dies, Shawn is equipped to travel out of the outback alone.
, 1h58 Directed byRichard Fleischer OriginUSA GenresDrama, Action, Adventure ThemesFilms set in Africa, Films about slavery, Films about sexuality, Transport films, Erotic films, Films about prostitution, Films about automobiles, Road movies, Erotic thriller films, Chase films ActorsMichael Caine, Peter Ustinov, Akosua Busia, Kabir Bedi, Eric Pohlmann, Beverly Johnson Roles Jim Sandell Rating54% Ashanti is an action adventure film, set against the background of modern day slave trading, with a man who determinedly takes on a perilous journey in order to find his beautiful wife, who has been kidnapped by brutal slave traders. David and Anansa Linderby (Caine and Johnson respectively) are doctors with the World Health Organization. On a medical mission carrying out an inoculation programme, they visit a West African village. While David takes photographs of tribal dancers, Anansa goes swimming alone. She is attacked and abducted by slave traders led by Suleiman (Peter Ustinov), who mistake her for an Ashanti tribeswoman. The police can do nothing to find her and David has almost given up hope when he hears rumours that Anansa has been kidnapped by Sulieman to be sold to Arab Prince Hassan (Omar Sharif). The African authorities deny that the slave trade even exists. So David must find help in a shadowy world where the rescuers of slaves are just as ruthless as the traders themselves. As David tracks her across Africa and the Sahara desert, he is helped by a member of the Anti-Slavery League (Rex Harrison), a mercenary helicopter pilot (William Holden), and Malik (Kabir Bedi) a tribesman who is seeking revenge on Suleiman.
, 1h54 Directed byBilly Wilder OriginFrance GenresDrama, Romance ActorsWilliam Holden, Marthe Keller, Hildegard Knef, José Ferrer, Frances Sternhagen, Mario Adorf Roles Barry Detweiler Rating67% The film's central character is a reclusive foreign-born actress, one of the greatest movie stars of the century, who inexplicably has retained her youthful beauty despite her advancing years. In the opening scene she commits suicide by throwing herself in front of a train, and among the mourners at her funeral is aging has-been Hollywood producer Barry "Dutch" Detweiler, with whom she once had a brief affair and who serves as the film's narrator.
, 1h47 Directed byDon Taylor, Mike Hodges OriginUSA GenresDrama, Thriller, Fantastic, Action, Horror, Crime ThemesFilms about children, Films about religion, Demons in film ActorsWilliam Holden, Lee Grant, Jonathan Scott-Taylor, Nicholas Pryor, Lew Ayres, Sylvia Sidney Roles Richard Thorn Rating62% A week after the burial of Robert and Katherine Thorn, archeologist Carl Bugenhagen (Leo McKern) learns of the survival of their adopted son Damien. Confiding to his friend Michael Morgan (Ian Hendry) that Damien is the Antichrist, Bugenhagen attempts to convince him to give Damien's guardian a box containing the means to kill Damien. As Morgan is unconvinced, Bugenhagen takes him to some local ruins to see the mural of Yigael's Wall, which was said to have been drawn by one who saw the Devil and had visions of the Antichrist as he would appear from birth to death. Though Morgan believes him upon seeing an ancient depiction of the Antichrist with Damien's face, both he and Bugenhagen are buried alive as the tunnel collapses on them.
, 2h1 Directed bySidney Lumet OriginUSA GenresDrama, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Romance ThemesFilms about writers, Films about journalists, Films about sexuality, Films about television ActorsFaye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty, Wesley Addy Roles Max Schumacher Rating80% Howard Beale, the longtime anchor of the Union Broadcasting System's UBS Evening News, learns from the news division president, Max Schumacher, that he has just two more weeks on the air because of declining ratings. The two old friends get roaring drunk and lament the state of their industry. The following night, Beale announces on live television that he will commit suicide on next Tuesday's broadcast. UBS fires him after this incident, but Schumacher intervenes so that Beale can have a dignified farewell. Beale promises he will apologize for his outburst, but once on the air, he launches back into a rant claiming that life is "bullshit". Beale's outburst causes the newscast's ratings to spike, and much to Schumacher's dismay, the upper echelons of UBS decide to exploit Beale's antics rather than pull him off the air.
Directed byWilliam A. Graham GenresDrama, Thriller, Historical ThemesSports films, Films about terrorism, Films about the Olympic Games ActorsWilliam Holden, Shirley Knight, Franco Nero, Anthony Quayle, Richard Basehart, Noel Willman Roles Manfred Schreiber Rating62% En pleine nuit, le 5 septembre 1972 alors que les jeux olympiques battent leur plein, un groupe de huit palestiniens s'introduit dans un bâtiment du village olympique hébergeant les athlètes de la délégation israélienne. Ils prennent en otage un groupe d'israéliens et abattent deux fuyards dès les premiers instants. Puis leur entraineur meurt à son tour. Il reste alors huit hommes entre les mains des palestiniens. Ces derniers veulent la libération de leurs frères retenus dans les prisons israéliennes en échange de leurs otages. Mais les négociations trainent et n'aboutissent pas. La position délicate de l'Allemagne face au peuple israélien n'est que suggérée dans le film, mais est dans les esprits de tous en raison du souvenir amer qu'a laissé la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ne laisse pas au gouvernement allemand de cette époque le droit à l'erreur. Pourtant tout cela va se finir dans un bain de sang atroce inévitable.
, 1h48 Directed byClint Eastwood, James Fargo OriginUSA GenresDrama, Comedy-drama, Romantic comedy, Romance ActorsWilliam Holden, Kay Lenz, Roger C. Carmel, Marj Dusay, Shelley Morrison, Joan Hotchkis Roles Frank Harmon Rating69% Edith Alice "Breezy" Breezerman (Kay Lenz), a free-spirited teenage runaway, wakes up from a one-night stand, gets dressed, and then walks out the door with her guitar. She catches a ride to the valley with a stranger who seems harmless at first, then when he starts to drive in the wrong direction and talks about "giving his last hitchhiker something to yell about", she jumps out of his car, runs-away and ends up on Frank Harmon's (William Holden) front lawn. Frank is a middle aged divorced man, who lives a solitary life at his post modern home in the hills. As he gets into his car to drive to work, Breezy jumps into his car asking for a ride to the valley. Breezy tells Frank about her the trouble she had this morning with the stranger and the two bond. Eventually Breezy sees a dog lying in the road and makes Frank pull over. Angered by Frank's lack of empathy for the poor animal Breezy becomes angry and then runs off crying. Realizing that the dog is still alive Frank carries the dog back to his car, when he opens the door the back seat Frank sees that Breezy left her guitar in his back seat and becomes angry because of all the trouble she has caused him.