William Devane

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William Devane
William Devane 1974.JPG
Devane in The Missiles of October (1974)
BornWilliam Joseph Devane
(1937-09-05) September 5, 1937 (age 77)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)Eugenie Devane (1961–present; 2 children)
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William Devane
William Devane 1974.JPG
Devane in The Missiles of October (1974)
BornWilliam Joseph Devane
(1937-09-05) September 5, 1937 (age 77)
Albany, New York, U.S.
Years active1967–present
Spouse(s)Eugenie Devane (1961–present; 2 children)

William Joseph Devane (born September 5, 1937) is an American film, television and theater actor, perhaps best known for his role as Greg Sumner on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing (1983–1993).[1]

Life and career[edit]

Devane was born in Albany, New York in 1937 (some sources say 1939 or 1940), the son of Joseph (Joe) Devane, who had been Franklin D. Roosevelt's chauffeur when he was Governor of New York.[2] His father was of Irish descent and his mother had Dutch and German ancestry.[3] Devane graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

In 1966, Devane portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in the Off-Broadway spoof MacBird. He gained acclaim for his role as President John F. Kennedy in a TV movie about the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Missiles of October (1974), and again when he played blacklisted radio personality John Henry Faulk in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie, Fear on Trial (1975). He is widely known for his ten years as the villainous Greg Sumner on Knots Landing.

In 1994, Devane appeared as Al Capone in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in an episode entitled "That Old Gang of Mine". He also had a recurring role on the CBS show Early Edition (1996–2000) as lead character's father.

Devane appeared in the films McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) with Julie Christie and Warren Beatty; Lady Liberty (1971) with Sophia Loren; Family Plot (1976) directed by Alfred Hitchcock; Marathon Man (1976) with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier; Rolling Thunder (1977) with Tommy Lee Jones; Red Alert (1977) with Ralph Waite, based on a novel by Harold R. "Hal" King; The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) with Jackie Earle Haley; Yanks (1979) with Richard Gere; Testament (1983) with Jane Alexander; Timestalkers (1987) with Lauren Hutton and Klaus Kinski; Forgotten Sins (1996) with John Shea; Exception to the Rule (1997), with Kim Cattrall and Sean Young; Payback (1999) with Mel Gibson; Hollow Man (2000), with Elisabeth Shue and Kevin Bacon; and Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, and Donald Sutherland.

Devane has played members of the Presidential Cabinet on two evening dramas. In 2004, on The West Wing, he guest-starred as the Secretary of State and potential Vice-Presidential nominee. In Season 4 (2005), he joined the cast of 24 as Secretary of Defense James Heller. He also "Special Guest Starred" as Heller in season 5 & 6. On The West Wing, Devane appeared in several scenes with Martin Sheen; they also appeared together as President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy, respectively, 30 years earlier in The Missiles of October (1974).

In 2004, Devane starred in three episodes of Stargate SG-1 (3 episodes), as President Henry Hayes and appears in the direct-to-DVD movie Stargate: Continuum. He also starred in the short-lived sitcom Crumbs and as Brian's real estate broker father in What About Brian (2006–07). In 2008, he starred in Russ Emanuel's "Chasing the Green" alongside Jeremy London, Ryan Hurst, and Robert Picardo. He also appears in the Jesse Stone mystery movies with Tom Selleck. In 2010, he appeared in NCIS: "Worst Nightmare" as the grandfather-who-is-not-what-he-appears-to-be of a child kidnapped from Marine Corps Base Quantico.

In 2012, Devane began a recurring role as Grandpa Edward Grayson on the ABC primetime soap opera Revenge.[4] Devane also played the President of the United States in the Christopher Nolan film The Dark Knight Rises.

Devane reprised his role as James Heller, now President, in the limited-run series 24: Live Another Day, which premiered in May 2014.



1967In the Country
1971The Pursuit of HappinessPilot
The 300 Year WeekendTom
McCabe & Mrs. MillerClement Samuels, Esq
My Old Man's Place
La mortadellaJock Fenner
1972Irish Whiskey Rebellion
1975Report to the CommissionerAsst. D.A. Jackson
1976Family PlotArthur Adamson / Edward Shoebridge
Marathon ManPeter Janeway
1977The Bad News Bears in Breaking TrainingMike Leak
Rolling ThunderMajor Charles Rane
1979The Dark
YanksCaptain John
1981Honky Tonk FreewayMayor Kirby T. Calo
1983TestamentTom Wetherly
1987Hadley's RebellionCoach Ball
1990Vital Signs
1994Lady in Waiting (aka Hollywood Madam
1997Exception to the RuleLawrence Kellerman
2000The Man Who Used To Be Me
Poor White TrashRon Lake
Space CowboysEugene "Gene" Davis
Hollow ManDr. Howard Kramer
2001Race to SpaceRoger Thornhill
2002The BadgeThe Judge
Threat of Exposure
2003The Wind Effect
Monte WalshCal Brennan
2008The Fall
2009The Least Among YouAlan Beckett
Chasing the Green
2010The River WhyDutch Hines
The Kane Files: Life of Trial
2011Flag of My Father
2012Red CloverPop O'Hara
The Dark Knight Rises
2013Bad Turn WorseBig Red
201450 to 1Leonard Doc Blach



External links[edit]