Born: 21 February 1953
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois
Best known as: Star of the TV crime drama C.S.I.
William Petersen is known to TV fans as dedicated crime fighter Gil Grissom, thanks to his years as the star of the CBS drama C.S.I. (2000-09). Petersen had previously played tense, obsessive lawmen in the films To Live And Die In L.A. (1985, with Willem Dafoe) and Manhunter (the 1986 "prequel" to Silence of the Lambs). The roles earned him respect but not stardom, and throughout the 1990s he took a variety of roles on stage and screen, including parts in the films The Beast (1997) and The Skulls (2000) and the TV remake of 12 Angry Men (1997, with James Gandolfini). The success of C.S.I. made Petersen a familiar face to viewers, and even after his character "left" the show Petersen had a hand in the series, serving as executive producer.
Extra credit: Peterson played John F. Kennedy in the 1998 TV movie The Rat Pack; in 1990 he played JFK's father Joseph Kennedy in the miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts.
Copyright © 1998-2015 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.
More on William Petersen from Fact Monster: