Actor Will Patton successfully divides his time between mainstream and independent features, television films, and a stage career on and off-Broadway. Born and raised in North Carolina, the son of a Lutheran minister, Patton learned his craft at the North Carolina School of the Arts and at New York's Actor's Studio where he studied under Lee Strasberg. In addition, Patton studied at the Open Theater under Joseph Chaikin before making it to the New York stage. Patton has won two Obie Awards for Tourists and Refugees No. 2 and for Sam Shepard's Fool for Love. Patton also has had experience working at London's Royal Court Theatre. Upon his return to New York, Patton joined the experimental Winter Project troupe. During the 1970s, Patton performed in two soap operas, Search for Tomorrow and Ryan's Hope. Patton first appeared on film in the short underground film Minus Zero(1979). During the early '80s, Patton appeared in such New York-based independent films as Michael Oblowitz's King Blank and Variety (both 1983). After playing a small but important villainous role in Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Patton was cast in his first big-budget film, Martin Scorsese's After Hours (1985), where he played a brutish boyfriend with a thing for leather and chains. His best portrayal of a villain can be found in the Gene Hackman-starring thriller No Way Out (1987). In the '90s he could be seen in The Rapture, In the Soup, Romeo Is Bleeding, Copycat, the infamous Kevin Costner project The Postman, and the Michael Bay blockbuster Armageddon. At the beginning of the 21st century Patton continued to remain busy with major roles in Remember the Titans, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Mothman Prophecies, and The Punisher, as well as smaller roles in diverse films like Into the West, Wendy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, and Brooklyn's Finest.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- His father, who was a teacher, actor, director, playwright and commercial fisherman, also ran a camp for at-risk children and was a Lutheran chaplain at Duke University.
- Studied under Lee Strasberg at New York's Actors Studio.
- Won three Obie (off-Broadway) Awards in the 1980s.
- Made TV debut in the 1981 TV-movie Kent State.
- Appeared on the soap operas Ryan's Hope and Search for Tomorrow in the '80s.
- Film credits include Silkwood, Desperately Seeking Susan, After Hours, No Way Out, Armageddon, Remember the Titans and A Mighty Heart.
- Was a regular on the 2001-03 CBS spy drama The Agency; other notable TV credits include Numb3rs and 24.
- Provided the voice of John Wilkes Booth in the 2009 American Experience documentary The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
- Has recorded more than 30 audiobooks, including numerous James Lee Burke mysteries; was named Best Voice in Mysteries & Suspense by AudioFiles magazine in 2008 and '09.