William Hickey

Active - 1957 - 2018  |   Born - Sep 19, 1928   |   Died - Jun 29, 1997   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Trained at the Hagen-Bergdorf school, William Hickey made his Broadway bow in a 1951 production of Shaw's St. Joan. For many years, Hickey was best known as a highly sought-after acting coach; among his students were such showbiz heavyweights as Jack Nicholson and Barbra Streisand. In 1957, Hickey appeared in his first film, repeating his stage characterization "Apples" in A Hatful of Rain. Hickey's wizened countenance and rusty-nail voice has been successfully harnessed for such showy screen roles as Rod Steiger's zany sidekick in Happy Birthday Wanda June (1971). 1990s assignments include the role of Fogarty on the TV sitcom Baby Talk(1991) and a voiceover gig as The Mad Scientist in Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). In 1986, William Hickey received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Don Corrado Prizzi in John Huston's Prizzi's Honor. His final screen performance was in the comedy Mousehunt (1997). Hickey died from complications of emphysema and bronchitis at the age of 69.

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