- NAME: Bill Pullman
- OCCUPATION: Actor, Producer, Playwright
- BIRTH DATE: December 17, 1953 (Age: 60)
- EDUCATION: Hornell High School, State University of New York at Delhi, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, State University of New York at Oneonta
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Hornell, New York
- Full Name: William James Pullman
- AKA: William Pullman
- AKA: Bill Pullman
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Bill Pullman is an actor of stage and screen known for roles in While You Were Sleeping, Independence Day andTorchwood, among many other projects.
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Born in Hornell, New York, on December 17, 1953, Bill Pullman pursued stage work before making his big-screen debut in Ruthless People. Other comedies followed like Spaceballs and Clerks before the actor hit it big with roles in Sleepless in Seattle and While You Were Sleeping, then playing the U.S. president in the global blockbuster Independence Day. He later returned to a presidential role in sitcom 1600 Penn.
"I think a lot of comedy in television I think is snarky—it's weak sarcasm, and I never laugh. That's why I don't watch television quite a bit because ... what I see is children saying snarky things about parents and everybody laughs ..."
"The thing about acting is it's the one that lets me get immersed in the other things. I always come back to acting."
"We've got a lot of secondhand waffle irons. You always keep them in the hopes that the kids will stop by and say, 'We want waffles.'"
"Everybody who, off that movie, all wanted to do something very creative afterward, because you're so aware that you got real creativity in the room."
[On working with David Lynch on the film 'Lost Highway.']
"I don't like this instinct of reality television to wear your lifestyle in public. I've really always loved the anonymity of things."
Actor Bill Pullman was born William James Pullman on December 17, 1953, in Hornell, New York. At one point he decided that he would pursue a construction career, enrolling at the technology-oriented State University of New York at Delhi. Yet he opted instead for a life as a thespian after being inspired by a drama club. He switched schools and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater arts from SUNY Oneonta, and later earned his master's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, focusing on directing.
Pullman worked as a professor at Montana State University before relocating and doing stage work on the East Coast. He eventually moved to Los Angeles and began to appear in film, making his big-screen debut as a wrongdoer in the comedy Ruthless People (1986), with Bette Midler and Danny DeVito.
Over the following decades, Pullman went on to establish a prolific, rich film career with supporting and lead roles spanning many genres. He played space pilot Lone Starr in Spaceballs, the 1987 Mel Brooks spoof of Star Wars, before portraying a researcher who ventures to Haiti in Wes Craven's The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988). He rounded out the decade with roles in The Accidental Tourist (1988) and Cold Feet (1989).
Entering the '90s, Pullman took on more work in comedies like Sibling Rivalry (1990), Going Under (1991) and Clerks (1992) as well as the thriller Liebestraum (1991) and the musical Newsies (1992). (The latter film later became an award-winning Broadway show.) With 1993 roles as Meg Ryan's fiancé in Sleepless in Seattle, directed by Nora Ephron, and as a college dean husband opposite Nicole Kidman in Malice, he then got a bigger break as co-lead in the 1995 Sandra Bullock romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping, an international hit.
Yet Sleeping's success would be dwarfed the following year by the massive global blockbuster Independence Day; the movie featured an invading alien armada and Pullman as U.S. President Thomas J. Whitmore, along with a supporting cast that included Will Smith, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Jeff Goldblum and Mary McDonnell as the first lady.
In the new millennium, Pullman continued mixing type with roles in the arthouse comedy Igby Goes Down (2002), the horror flick The Curse (2004) and the drama Phoebe in Wonderland (2009). He has also found himself sometimes being compared and confused with fellow actor Bill Paxton.
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Without question, the president of the United States is one of the most respected and dignified positions held throughout the world. However, the men that have taken the oath to lead the nation forward have their own stories, struggles and lives beyond the speeches and suits that are on display to the public. These are the actors that have shown the men of the White House for who they really are.
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