As movie and television fans, we have all said to our selves those words, "Oh, what's his name?" or "What's he from?" Today, and in future articles, we are going to feature some of the very actors and actresses that have raised these questions.
To start this feature I have decided to spotlight a particular hometown hero of sorts in William Fichtner. Born on Long Island at Mitchell Field Air Force Base, Fichtner was raised in Western New York in the suburbs of Buffalo in a town named Cheektowaga. Say that five times fast. Graduating from Maryvale High School in Cheektowaga in 1974, he immediately got to work on his acting career. His first major roles included spots on As The World Turns and Grace Under Fire.
Movie fans would really take notice of Fichtner in 1998's Armageddon as Colonel Willie Sharp. Having had many minor parts in films such as Quiz Show and Heat, Armageddon would be the one that stuck out most notably...at first. Within the next few years he would be seen in the George Clooney true life disaster movie, The Perfect Storm, Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down. Despite roles in the Oscar-winning Crash and The Longest Yard and even a small role in the opening of the mega hit, The Dark Knight, it would be his role on Fox's Prison Break that would really draw attention to his acting chops.
Despite the end of the Fox show, Fichtner has not slowed down in his acting life. Several roles in various films over the last 3-4 years have solidified Fichtner as one of Hollywood's hardest working and most talented character actors.
He remains a small town man in a big city business. He is still an avid fan of his hometown Buffalo Sabres hockey team and was even the first walk of fame inductee at the inaugural Buffalo Niagara Film Festival.
Fichtner shows no signs of going away with roles in the large upcoming films, The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and Elysium with Matt Damon.
It's rare that a character actor can break out in the mainframe of Hollywood and become a leading role person, but not unlike the great Chris Cooper, Fichtner shown the ability to do so and has quietly chosen the perfect roles to take him in that direction. He is a fine actor who we won't be asking for long, Oh what's his name?