William Hootkins
Born William Michael Hootkins
(1948-07-05)July 5, 1948
Dallas, Texas, United States
Died October 23, 2005(2005-10-23) (aged 57)
Santa Monica, California, United States
Occupation Film, television, voice actor
Spouse(s) Polly Hootkins
(1973-2005; divorced)
Carolyn Robb
(Jul-Oct 2005; his death)

William Michael Hootkins (July 5, 1948 – October 23, 2005) was an American character actor, most famous for supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Hardware.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Hootkins was born in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 15, Hootkins found himself caught up in the FBI's investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when he was interviewed about Mrs. Ruth Paine, the woman "harboring" Marina Oswald, the Russian wife of the presumed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. He had been studying Russian with Paine at his school, St. Mark's in Dallas, where he also developed his taste for theatre, joining the same drama group as Tommy Lee Jones.

Hootkins made his home in London, England, from the early 1970s until 2002, when he moved to Los Angeles. He studied at Princeton University, where he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and was a mainstay of the Theatre Intime, making a particular impact with his performance in Orson Welles' Moby Dick—Rehearsed. He then trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Acting career[edit | edit source]

In England, he found work in the theatre as well as in film, and he would have his greatest success on stage portraying Alfred Hitchcock in Terry Johnson's 2003 hit play Hitchcock Blonde, first at the Royal Court Theatre and in London's West End.

He appeared in many cult roles that made him a welcome figure at fan conventions, particularly for Star Wars in his role of Jek Tono Porkins. He also appeared in significant parts in films as Hardware (1990), Like Father, Like Santa (as Santa Claus), and Hear My Song (1991), where he was the Mr. X who was presumed to be the Irish tenor Josef Locke under a false name.

He also appeared in several roles on television, including Charles Frohman in The Lost Boys (1978), Colonel Cobb in the remake of The Tomorrow People and as Uncle George in the 2002 remake of The Magnificent Ambersons.

Voice acting[edit | edit source]

He was also a voice artist, recording dozens of plays for BBC Radio Drama where his roles ranged from J. Edgar Hoover and Orson Welles to Winston Churchill. In audio books, he read works by Jack London, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Bloch and Carl Hiaasen and performed a complete reading of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick for Naxos Records Audiobooks in some 24 hours and 50 minutes. He also voiced Dingodile in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, and did the voice acting for Maximillian Roivas in the cult hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Mr. Hootkins did the voice over on many wildlife documentaries for Animal Planet. One of his voice over projects was for the documentary 'The Meanest Animal Alive' which was all about the honey badger aka the ratel.

Death[edit | edit source]

Hootkins died of pancreatic cancer in Santa Monica, California in 2005 at the age of 57.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Film[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

Video Games[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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