Who is actor William Russ?

William Hardy Russ IV was born in Portsmouth, Virginia USA, on 20 October 1950 – his zodiac sign is Leo and he holds American nationality. William is an actor, who is perhaps still best known for his portrayal of Alan Matthews, one of the lead characters in the 1990s TV comedy series “Boy Meets World”, also starring Ben Savage, Rider Strong and William Daniels, and which follows a teenager who with his best friend is testing his theories about growing up together – the series won five awards, and was nominated for 17 others.

Early life and education

William was raised an only child in Portsmouth by his father who was a taxi driver, and his mother who was a housewife.

His parents urged him to focus on his education, but William spent half of his time while attending high school studying, and the other half playing sports such as football and soccer with his friends. He matriculated in 1968, and then enrolled at a college at which he became interested in acting, and began practicing his skills at a local theatre – he started appearing in his first plays while attending his senior year, and upon graduation in 1972, William focused on his career as an actor, and spent the following five years appearing solely in stage plays and refining his craft, before moving on to television.

Roles in movies

William has been credited with roughly 140 appearances in movies and TV series, and we are about to mention some of his most notable performances in this article.

He made his debut film appearance in 1977, when he played Sharon’s brother in the surrealist horror movie “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats”, written and directed by George Barry, and two years later, William portrayed the supporting character Demesta in the comedy “Just You and Me, Kid” which starred George Burns, Brooke Shields and Lorraine Gary. He gained recognition in 1980 when he portrayed Paul Gaines in the erotic thriller “Cruising”, which starred the famous actor Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino and Karen Allen, and which is based on the eponymous novel written by Gerald Walker – the story follows a serial killer who targets only gay men, especially those wearing leather clothes.

The following years saw William appear in several critically acclaimed movies, such as the 1982 neo-noir drama “The Border” which starred Jack Nicholson, the epic historical drama “The Right Stuff” based on the same-titled novel by Tom Wolfe in 1983, and the comedy “Beer” in 1985. The year 1988 saw him portray Luke in the horror movie “The Unholy”, which starred Ben Cross and Hal Holbrook, and in 1989 he starred as Nick Bartkowski in the heist comedy “Disorganized Crime”.

In 1991, William played the lead character Roy Dean Bream in the drama “Pastime”, which tells a story about aging, and follows a white baseball pitcher who starts training a black young pitcher in 1957 – the film won one award and was nominated for five others.

He went on to appear in the neo-noir erotic thriller “Traces of Red” in 1992, and the drama “Aspen Extreme” in 1993. In 1998, William was invited to play the supporting character Dennis Vinyard in the evergreen crime drama movie “American History X”, starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong and which follows an ex neo-nazi skinhead as he tries to guide his brother and keep him away from gangs – it won four awards while it was nominated for 15 others including one Oscar, and holds 39th place on the list of the best movies ever created compiled by the movie and TV series’ rating website IMDb.

Three of William’s most recent notable performances in movies have been in the drama “Life as a House” in 2001, the independent feature movie “California Solo” in 2012, and the 2018 thriller “Drones”.

It has been announced that William has been cast in two upcoming movies, the comedy thriller “Keeping Company”, and the drama “Chasing the Rain”.

Roles in TV series

William made his debut TV series appearance in 1978, when he portrayed Burt McGowan in the soap opera “Another World” starring Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford and Hugh Marlowe, and which is about the people living in Bay City. It was very popular in the US, and won 43 awards while it was nominated for 176 others, including a Primetime Emmy during its airing from 1964 to 1999.

William went on to appear in single episodes of many , such as the action comedy “The Dukes of Hazzard” in 1982, the crime drama “Miami Vice” in 1985, and the medical drama “St. Elsewhere” in 1986.

He gained recognition in 1988 when cast to play Roger Lococo, one of the lead characters in the crime drama “Wiseguy”, created by Stephen J. Cannell and filmed in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. The year 1992 saw William guest star in three episodes of the comedy “Middle Ages”, then again appeared in a single episode of many series, including the episode “Socrates’ Sister” of the weird western series “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” in 1993, the episode “The Life, Death, and Life of Wild Bill Hickok” of the science fiction western “Legend” in 1995, and the episode “The First Commandment” of the Canadian-American military science fiction adventure series “Stargate SG-1” in 1997.

William’s next lead role came in 2003, when he portrayed Tommy Doyle in the serial drama “Mister Sterling”, which also starred Josh Brolin and Audra McDonald in the story following the Governor of California’s son who becomes elected a Senator. In 2005, William appeared as Assistant District Attorney Christopher Palmer in five episodes of the comedy drama “Boston Legal”, while a few of his following roles were in the supernatural series “Ghost Whisperer” in 2007, the comedy drama “The Ex List” in which he played the supporting character Jimmy Bloom in nine episodes in 2008, and the episodic comedy web series “Home at Last”, which saw him play Bob in six episodes.

Three of William’s most recent roles in TV series have been in three episodes of the science fiction drama “Colony” in which he played Hennessey in 2017, three episodes of the police procedural web series “Bosch” as Captain Garwood in 2018, and two episodes of the procedural series “9-1-1” in 2019, portraying Chuck.


In 1992, William was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for “Pastime”, and in 2012, he and his colleagues won a Silver Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival for “Green Guys”.

In 2019, William was nominated for a Jury Prize for Best Actor at the Open World Toronto Film Festival, for his performance in the short movie “Father by Law”.

Love life and wife

William met his future other half Clare Wren sometime in the mid-‘90s, and they started dating about a week later – not everyone supported their relationship, as William is 12 years older than Clare, however, they still married in the early 2000s in a private ceremony attended by their closest friends and family. Clare is an actress who is perhaps still best known for her roles in movies “Steel and Lace” and “Midnight Edition”, as well as in the series “JAG”. Several months after the wedding, Clare gave birth to their first child while their second child followed three years later – both Clare and William have kept their children away from the media’s attention.

William hasn’t talked about any other women he might have been with before meeting Clare, and as of September 2020, he is married and has two children.

Hobbies and other interests

William was physically quite active during his 20s and 30s, as it was important for his acting career, and he had multiple workout sessions at the gym each week and followed a somewhat strict diet.

He likes to portray bad guys and violent characters, and luckily for him, he’s usually cast in these kind of roles.

He is a lover of animals, and has had several pet dogs, while his favorite animals are horses. William has donated money to several animal shelters, as well as to ranches which take in ill or abandoned animals.

He has his own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom are the late Robin Williams, the late Leslie Nielsen, and Natalie Portman, and some of his favorite movies are “The Fisher King”, “Airplane!” and “V for Vendetta”.

Height and net worth

William’s age is 69. He has short brown hair and brown eyes, his height is 6ft (1.83m) and he weighs around 170lbs (77kgs).

As of September 2020, his net worth has been estimated at over $1.9 million.