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William James "Bill" Pullman (born December 17, 1953) is an American film, television, and stage actor.

Early life

Pullman was born in Hornell, New Yorkmarker, the son of Johanna (née Blaas), a nurse, and James Pullman, a physician. His father's family descends from England and his maternal grandparents were immigrants from Netherland. After graduating from Hornell High School in 1971, he attended the State University of New York at Delhi and the State University of New York at Oneontamarker in the 1970s. He eventually received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Pullman taught theater at SUNY Delhi and Montana State Universitymarker (where he was convinced by his students to attempt film). When he was 40, he moved to Hornell to pursue an acting career.


During the 1980s, he primarily worked with theatre companies around New York and Los Angeles, Californiamarker. His first prominent movie role was in the film Ruthless People (which starred Danny DeVito and Bette Midler). Other notable films included the lead in Spaceballs (1987), The Serpent and the Rainbow (opposite Zakes Mokae), While You Were Sleeping (1995), Independence Day (1996), and Lost Highway (1997). Pullman continues to act in both theatre and in movies, independent and big budget. His more recent films have been The Grudge and Scary Movie 4 (the latter ironically heavily spoofing The Grudge though Pullman's part spoofed The Village).

From February 2001 until February 2002, Pullman starred with Mercedes Ruehl, in Edward Albee's play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on Broadwaymarker. The play won several awards: 2002 Tony Award for Best Play; 2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play; 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Pullman was nominated, but did not win, the 2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Play. He starred as Dr. Richard Massey in the End of Days miniseries, Revelations.He may co-star with Val Kilmer in the new Lewis and Clark movie, if it ever materializes. Pullman starred in Edward Albee's Peter and Jerry, at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre in New York. Pullman received a second Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play for Peter and Jerry in 2008.

In addition to acting, Pullman is a creative writer. His first play, Expedition 6, is about the International Space Station mission Expedition 6 that was in orbit at the time that the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed on reentry, grounding the U.S. space shuttle program, which was to provide the vehicle for the crew's return to earth. The play opened at San Franciscomarker's Magic Theater in September 2007.

Most recently, Pullman joined the cast of Peacock starring opposite Susan Sarandon, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Josh Lucas. Filming will take place in Des Moines, Iowamarker. He will appear on Broadway in a production of David Mamet's Oleanna, co-starring Julia Stiles.

Pullman is also a Jury Member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.

Personal life

Pullman is married to Tamara Hurwitz, and has three children, daughter Maesa (born 1988), and sons Jack (born 1989), and Lewis (born 1993).

Jack Pullman, a student at Warren Wilson College near Ashevillemarker, was arrested for assault and possessing moonshine on October 27, 2008.

He lost his sense of smell in college after an injury left him in a coma for two days.

Pullman is an avid bird watcher and co-owns a resort in Paradise Valley, AZ with Mike Tyson to house Tyson's 350 pigeons.

Pullman co-owns a cattle ranch with his brother in Montana, near the town of Whitehallmarker, where he lives part-time.

American cultural critic Greil Marcus used Pullman as a major piece of his argument in the book The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice. In the chapter entitled "American Berserk: Bill Pullman's Face", Marcus argued that many different aspects of American culture could be clearly seen in Pullman's facial expressions in various films.

On May 24, 2008, Pullman was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he received his graduate degree.



  1. 1
  2. The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards - Official Website by IBM
  3. Bill Pullman's theatrical space odyssey,, September 20, 2007
  4. Pullman and Stiles Will Star in Mamet's Oleanna on Broadway, Opening Oct. 11,, June 30, 2009
  6. Biography. -
  8. Associated Press (October 20, 2002). - Entertainment: "Yeltsin visits Armenian brandy distillery". - c/o Amarillo Globe-News.

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