The Actor Who Returned to CSI After 10 Years

The Actor Who Returned to CSI After 10 Years

Who is William Petersen?

American actor William Louis Petersen was born in Evanston, Illinois USA on 21 February 1953, meaning that Pisces is his zodiac sign. He’s appeared in 41 movies and TV series, as well as producing six, probably known best for producing 327 of 336 episodes of the crime mystery series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, in which he also starred alongside Ted Danson and Laurence Fishburne. Created by Anthony E. Zuiker, the series follows a team of forensic experts working in Las Vegas, Nevada, it aired from 2000 through 2015, and won 68 of its 195 award nominations.

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Education and early life

William was raised alongside his five older siblings in Evanston, by their father Arthur Edward Petersen who was in the furniture business, and who died in 2004 aged 97, and mother June (nee Hoene) who was a housewife, and who was also 97 when she passed away in 2006.

The family eventually moved to Boise, Idaho where William attended Bishop Kelly High School; he was highly sporting during his time there, and was on the school’s football team. William matriculated in 1972, and was offered a football scholarship by Idaho State University; it was during his time at Idaho State that he fell in love with acting and took an acting course, eventually choosing to pursue it as a career over football.

William quit college in 1974 and moved to Spain to study acting; he lived in the Basque Autonomous Community studied the Basque language too, and returned to Idaho in 1976 in pursuit of an acting career. After finding it hard to win roles in Idaho, William moved to Chicago, Illinois and appeared in several theatre plays prior to launching his career on TV; he mostly performed with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and eventually co-founded the Remains Theatre Ensemble.

Roles in movies

William’s debut film role was playing Katz & Jammer Bartender in the evergreen 1981 crime action “Thief”, written and directed by Michael Mann, and which starred James Caan, Tuesday Weld and Willie Nelson. It follows a safe cracker who’s doing one final big heist for the mob before retiring from his life of crime, and the film won two of its eight award nominations. Some of William’s following roles were in the 1985 crime action “To Live and Die in L. A.”, the 1986 crime mystery thriller “Manhunter”, and the 1987 sports drama “Amazing Grace and Chuck”.

In 1990, he portrayed Pat Garrett in the action western “Young Guns II”, directed by Geoff Murphy, and which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez and Lou Diamond Phillips. Set in 1881, the film follows bounty hunter Patrick Floyd ‘Pat’ Garrett who’s been paid to kill outlaw Billy the Kid, and the movie won three of its seven award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Music, Original Song. Some of William’s other notable performances in the ‘90s were in the 1993 action adventure thriller “Curacao”, the 1996 thriller “Fear”, and the 1998 biographical musical “The Rap Pack”.

He had only a single film role in the next decade, playing Jackson Connolly in the 2001 biographical historical drama “Haven”, directed by John Gray, and which starred Natasha Richardson, Colm Feore and Henry Czerny. It follows a group of Holocaust refugees as they’re seeking shelter in America, and the movie won three of the 14 awards for which it was nominated.

William’s since appeared in only a couple of movies, while his three most recent roles have been in the 2012 adventure comedy “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, the 2015 crime mystery “CSI: Immortality”, and the 2021 short comedy “The Old Country”.

TV series roles

William’s debut TV series appearance was portraying Edward Sayers in the 1986 episode “Need to Know/Red Snow” of the fantasy horror “The Twilight Zone”, and the year 1990 saw him star as Joseph P. Kennedy in all the three episodes of the drama mini-series “The Kennedys of Massachusetts”; it also starred Casey Affleck and Annette O’Toole, follows the lives of members of the Kennedy family and won three of its 12 award nominations.

William could then have been seen playing Captain Gideon Walker in all the four episodes of the 1993 western mini-series “Return to Lonesome Dove”, George in the 1995 episode “Good Housekeeping” of the crime mystery “Fallen Angels” and Whip Dalton in both episodes of the 1996 action adventure horror mini-series “The Beast”.

William was focused on shooting for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” from 2000 through 2013, and appeared in only one other series during that time: he portrayed Gil Grissom in the 2007 episode “Where and Why” of the crime mystery “Without a Trace”.

In 2015, he played Colonel Emmett Darrow in 19 episodes of the popular historical war drama “Manhattan”, created by Sam Shaw, and which also starred Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Chernus and Christopher Denham. Set in 1943, the movie follows a group of American scientists working to produce an atomic bomb before Germany, and the mini-series won three of its seven award nominations.

William’s since appeared in only a single TV series, playing Gil Grissom in 10 episodes of the 2021 crime mystery “CSI: Vegas”.

Other credits

William also voiced Gilbert ‘Gil’ Grissom in many CSI games released in the 2000s, such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, “CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Hard Evidence”.

Some of his most recent talk-show appearances have been in “TV Land Moguls”, “Sacree Soiree” and “Entertainment Tonight”.

Awards and nominations

William’s won two of his 14 award nominations: a 2001 Critics Choice Alan J. Pakula Award for “The Contender”, and a 2005 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (shared with colleagues).

On 3 February 2009, William was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Love life and marriages

William prefers to keep the details of his love life to himself, but it’s known that he’s married twice. His first wife was American non-celebrity Joanne Brady; they exchanged vows in 1974, and Joanne gave birth to their daughter in 1975, but their divorce was finalized in 1981.

William and his long-term girlfriend Gina Cirone married on 14 June 2003, and their twin daughter and son were born via surrogacy on 5 June 2011.

He’s yet to mention other women whom he’s been with, William’s married to his second wife Gina Cirone as of May 2023, and they have twins born via surrogacy; he also has a daughter with his former wife Joanne Brady.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Williams’s a huge fan of Major League Baseball (MLB) and cheers for the Chicago Cubs.

He stated in an interview for the magazine “Playboy” in 2004 that he had a near-death experience in the ‘80s, and that it made him believe that there is an afterlife.

William was admitted to a hospital in August 2021, as he felt unwell while shooting for “CSI: Vegas”; he was discharged not long afterwards, with the doctors stating that he was exhausted after three straight months of shooting.

He was invited to produce the popular crime mystery series “CSI: Miami”, but declined.

William was invited to star in the 1986 war movie “Platoon”, but refused over the 1987 romantic comedy film “Long Gone”; “Platoon” went on to win four Oscars, two of which for Best Director (Oliver Stone) and Best Picture (Arnold Kopelson).

Amongst William’s favorite actors is Martin Sheen, while some of his favorite movies include “Anne of Green Gables”, “The Way”, and “Badge of Honor”.

Height, eyes and wealth

William’s age is 70. He has blue eyes and brown hair, is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall and weighs around 175lbs (80kgs).

William’s net worth’s been estimated at over $40 million, as of May 2023.

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