Best photos ( William Holden )

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Birth information

17 April 1918 O'Fallon, Illinois, USA

Death information

12 November 1981 Santa Monica, California, USA

Given Name

William Franklin Beedle Jr.

Nickname

The Golden Boy
Bill
Golden Holden

How tall is William Holden?

1.8 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Brenda Marshall

Life Story of William Holden

Billy Wilder proclaimed William Holden to be "the ideal motion picture actor". For almost four decades, the handsome, affable 'Golden Holden' was among Hollywood's most durable and engaging stars. He was born William Franklin Beedle Jr., one of three sons to a high school English teacher and a chemical and fertilizer analyst, head of the George W. Gooch Laboratories in Pasadena. His father, a keen physical fitness enthusiast, taught young Bill the art of tumbling and boxing. During his days as a student at South Pasadena High, he also became adept at team sports (football and baseball), learned to ride and shoot and to be proficient on piano, clarinet and drums.

To his father's chagrin, Bill had no inclination of following in dad's footsteps, though he did major in chemistry at Pasadena Junior College. A trip to New York and Broadway had set Bill's path firmly on an acting career. He had already performed in school plays and lent his voice to several radio plays in Los Angeles by the time he was spotted by a Paramount talent scout (playing the part of octogenarian Eugene Curie) at the Pasadena Workshop Theatre. In early 1938, he was offered a six-month studio...

Significant features of William Holden

Often infused his parts, even the more serious ones, with sardonic humor
Often portrays men related to war
Often portrays flirting men
Blue eyes and dark brown hair

How much money has William Holden earned?

Sunset Blvd. (1950) $30,000
Sabrina (1954) $150,000
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) $250,000 + 10% of the gross (World-wide)
The Horse Soldiers (1959) $750,000 + 20% of profits
The Counterfeit...

Publications and Magazines about William Holden

Bob Thomas Golden Boy: The Untold Story of William Holden. 1983
William Holden--Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies. 1976
Michelangelo Capua William Holden: A Biography. 2010
Epstein, Edward Z. Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. 2015

What movies did William Holden play or participate?

Actors Filmography
S.O.B. (1981) Tim Culley, The Earthling (1980) Patrick Foley, Der Tag, an dem die Welt unterging (1980) Shelby Gilmore, Ashanti (1979) Jim Sandell, Escape to Athena (1979) Prisoner smoking a cigar in prison camp, Omen II: Damien (1978) Richard Thorn, Fedora (1978) Barry Detweiler, Network (1976) Max Schumacher, 21 Hours at Munich (1976) Chief of Police Manfred Schreiber, The Towering Inferno (1974) Jim Duncan, Jagdzeit (1974) Hal Wolkowski, Breezy (1973) Frank Harmon, The Blue Knight (1973) Bumper Morgan, The Revengers (1972) John Benedict, Wild Rovers (1971)...

Birth information

17 April 1918 O'Fallon, Illinois, USA

Death information

12 November 1981 Santa Monica, California, USA

Given Name

William Franklin Beedle Jr.

Nickname

The Golden Boy
Bill
Golden Holden

How tall is William Holden?

1.8 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Brenda Marshall

Life Story of William Holden

Billy Wilder proclaimed William Holden to be "the ideal motion picture actor". For almost four decades, the handsome, affable 'Golden Holden' was among Hollywood's most durable and engaging stars. He was born William Franklin Beedle Jr., one of three sons to a high school English teacher and a chemical and fertilizer analyst, head of the George W. Gooch Laboratories in Pasadena. His father, a keen physical fitness enthusiast, taught young Bill the art of tumbling and boxing. During his days as a student at South Pasadena High, he also became adept at team sports (football and baseball), learned to ride and shoot and to be proficient on piano, clarinet and drums.

To his father's chagrin, Bill had no inclination of following in dad's footsteps, though he did major in chemistry at Pasadena Junior College. A trip to New York and Broadway had set Bill's path firmly on an acting career. He had already performed in school plays and lent his voice to several radio plays in Los Angeles by the time he was spotted by a Paramount talent scout (playing the part of octogenarian Eugene Curie) at the Pasadena Workshop Theatre. In early 1938, he was offered a six-month studio...

Significant features of William Holden

Often infused his parts, even the more serious ones, with sardonic humor
Often portrays men related to war
Often portrays flirting men
Blue eyes and dark brown hair

How much money has William Holden earned?

Sunset Blvd. (1950) $30,000
Sabrina (1954) $150,000
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) $250,000 + 10% of the gross (World-wide)
The Horse Soldiers (1959) $750,000 + 20% of profits
The Counterfeit...

Publications and Magazines about William Holden

Bob Thomas Golden Boy: The Untold Story of William Holden. 1983
William Holden--Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies. 1976
Michelangelo Capua William Holden: A Biography. 2010
Epstein, Edward Z. Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. 2015

What movies did William Holden play or participate?

Actors Filmography
S.O.B. (1981) Tim Culley, The Earthling (1980) Patrick Foley, Der Tag, an dem die Welt unterging (1980) Shelby Gilmore, Ashanti (1979) Jim Sandell, Escape to Athena (1979) Prisoner smoking a cigar in prison camp, Omen II: Damien (1978) Richard Thorn, Fedora (1978) Barry Detweiler, Network (1976) Max Schumacher, 21 Hours at Munich (1976) Chief of Police Manfred Schreiber, The Towering Inferno (1974) Jim Duncan, Jagdzeit (1974) Hal Wolkowski, Breezy (1973) Frank Harmon, The Blue Knight (1973) Bumper Morgan, The Revengers (1972) John Benedict, Wild Rovers (1971)...

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William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, etc.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#57). [1995]

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William Holden and Lee Grant in Damien - Omen II (1978)

Holden was the best man at the 1952 wedding of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.

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William Holden in Damien - Omen II (1978)

Not to be confused with the character actor William Holden (1862-1932).

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32 th
William Holden, Fritz Ford, Lee Grant, etc.

Brian Donlevy was his best man when Holden married Brenda Marshall in 1941. A Congregationalist Church service was planned in Las Vegas. Since William and Brian were still filming The Remarkable Andrew (1942), there were delays and it was 3am before they arrived for the ceremony. By that time the minister had long gone to bed. It was 4pm Sunday before another preacher could be found to perform the wedding. After they were married, they had a champagne breakfast and hopped a plane back to Los Angeles so he and Brian could wrap up shooting, and Brenda was off to Canada to film some location footage that she was still working on. It would be three more months before they would have a real honeymoon (one mishap after another postponed it ... including the TWO of them having to undergo emergency appendectomies)!

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31 th
William Holden in Damien - Omen II (1978)

He was very instrumental in animal preservation in Africa. In the 1970s he purchased a large acreage of land with his own money and began an animal sanctuary. His love of the wild animal was shared with his then companion Stefanie Powers (from Hart to Hart (1979)). He would appear on talk shows to promote the saving of animals and to spread the word of anti-poaching and illegal animal trade.

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30 th
William Holden in Damien - Omen II (1978)

A hygiene fanatic, he reportedly showered up to four times daily.

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29 th
William Holden and Elizabeth Shepherd in Damien - Omen II (1978)

The son of Mary (nee Ball) Beedle and William Franklin Beedle. He had two brothers, Robert Westfield Beedle (born 1921 - died January 1, 1944) and Richard P. Beedle (born 1925). The family was of English, Irish, and distant French, ancestry.

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28 th
William Holden in Damien - Omen II (1978)

Immortalized in [Canadian band], Blue Rodeo's song "Floating" with the lyric: "I need love and it's you, And I feel like William Holden floating in a pool" - Greg Keelor, the writer of the song, said this: "That sort of quiet desperation at the end of a relationship when nothing's really making sense and I sort of had the image of William Holden at the beginning of Sunset Blvd. (1950) in my head, and I'd always sort of related to that character floating in that pool. I was always hoping for the opportunity to play the gigolo for some wealthy woman. This is a song about identifying with that sort of compromised existence."

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27 th
William Holden and Lee Grant in Damien - Omen II (1978)

Although it is thought by some that J.D. Salinger got the name for his hero Holden Caulfield in "The Catcher in the Rye" when he saw a marquee for Dear Ruth (1947), starring William Holden and Joan Caulfield, Salinger's first Holden Caulfield story, "I'm Crazy," appeared in Collier's on December 22, 1945, a year and a half before this movie came out.

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26 th
William Holden and Julie Andrews in S.O.B. - Hollywoods letzter Heuler (1981)

Holden said that, at some point, he lost his passion for acting and that it eventually just became a job so that he could support himself.

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25 th
William Holden and Richard Mulligan in S.O.B. - Hollywoods letzter Heuler (1981)

He was voted the 63rd Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

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24 th
William Holden and Larry Hagman in S.O.B. - Hollywoods letzter Heuler (1981)

Considered himself to be a Democrat, although he was never involved in any political campaigns and never endorsed a candidate. In 1947 he joined the Committee for the First Amendment to oppose blacklisting in Hollywood, and was later very upset by the blacklisting of his close friends Dalton Trumbo and Larry Parks.

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23 th
William Holden, Robert Vaughn, etc.

Was friends with photographer Peter Beard.

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22 th
William Holden and Bourvil in Pascal (1969)

Is portrayed by Gabriel Macht in The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000)

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21 th
William Holden and Bourvil in Pascal (1969)

Made two films with Audrey Hepburn: Sabrina (1954) and Paris When It Sizzles (1964).

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20 th
William Holden in Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

Was involved in a serious road accident in Italy in July 1966.

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19 th
William Holden, Lucille Ball, and James Gleason in Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 391-397. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.

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18 th
William Holden and Lucille Ball in Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

Turned down Henry Fonda's role in Mister Roberts (1955).

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William Holden, Lucille Ball, and Frank McHugh in Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

Turned down The Guns of Navarone (1961) because producer Carl Foreman wouldn't meet his fee of $750,000 + 20% of the gross.

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16 th
William Holden and Lucille Ball in Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949)

Holden was cast as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch (1969) after the role had been turned down by Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Sterling Hayden, Richard Boone and Robert Mitchum. Marvin actually accepted the role but pulled out after he was offered a larger pay deal to star in Paint Your Wagon (1969).

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15 th
William Holden, Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, and Dorothy Lamour in The Fleet's In (1942)

Starred alongside Grace Kelly in The Country Girl (1954) and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954). Both actresses were nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for their performances in these films. Kelly won.

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14 th
William Holden, Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, and Dorothy Lamour in The Fleet's In (1942)

He had a daughter, Arlene, in 1937 with actress Eva May Hoffman. Arlene was raised by her mother and her stepfather, composer Emil Newman.

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William Holden, Eddie Bracken, and Dorothy Lamour in The Fleet's In (1942)

Holden appeared among the top ten box office stars six times, as ranked by Quigley Publications' annual poll of movie exhibitors, The Top Ten Money-Making Stars, the definitive list of movie stars' pull at the box office. He actually topped the list in 1956, two years after entering it at #7 in 1954, the year he won the Best Actor Oscar with his performance in Stalag 17 (1953). In 1955, he was ranked #4, then hit #1 for the first and only time in 1956, and then dropped to #7 in 1957 before rebounding slightly to #6 in 1958. After five straight years in the Top 10, he dropped off the list in 1959 and 1960, but reappeared in the Top Ten in 1961, ranked in eighth place. His 1961 appearance among the Top Ten Box Office stars was his last. He moved to Switzerland for tax reasons in 1959, and did not return to live in Hollywood until 1967.

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12 th
William Holden and Dorothy Lamour in The Fleet's In (1942)

Was the Top Box Office Star of 1956, as ranked by Quigley Publications' annual poll of movie exhibitors, The Top Ten Money-Making Stars, the definitive list of movie stars' pull at the box office.

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William Holden and Dorothy Lamour in The Fleet's In (1942)

Father of Scott Holden, Arlene Holden and Peter Holden.

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William Holden and Susannah York in Beim siebten Morgengrauen (1964)

Turned down Marlon Brando's role in Sayonara (1957) in order to make The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

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William Holden, Nancy Kwan, and Sylvia Syms in Die Welt der Suzie Wong (1960)

Held a press conference in late 1980 to deny newspaper reports that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, which was borne out by his death certificate, which made no mention of any type of cancer.

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William Holden and Nancy Kwan in Die Welt der Suzie Wong (1960)

In the last years of his life he increasingly suffered from emphysema.

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William Holden and Nancy Kwan in Die Welt der Suzie Wong (1960)

Was originally cast for the lead in The Rainmaker (1956), role eventually played by Burt Lancaster.

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William Holden and Nancy Kwan in Die Welt der Suzie Wong (1960)

Was considered for the role of "Maurice Novak" in Career (1959).

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William Holden and Ricky Schroder in The Earthling (1980)

Toward the Unknown (1956) was the only movie made by his production company, "Toluca Productions".

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William Holden and Ricky Schroder in The Earthling (1980)

Holden was vice-president of the Screen Actors Guild (when Ronald Reagan was its president) and Parks Commissioner for Los Angeles.

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William Holden and Ryan O'Neal in Missouri (1971)

Holden did not legally change his name from Beedle until he joined the USAF in 1942. For a time in 1943, Holden shared an apartment in Ft. Worth, Texas with baseball superstar Hank Greenberg while both of them were serving stateside in WWII. Holden's younger brother, Robert Beedle, was actually a Navy fighter pilot who was killed in action in World War II, and after The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) was released, he was remembered by his squadron-mates as having been very much like Holden's character of Lt. Harry Brubaker in that movie.

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William Holden and Ryan O'Neal in Missouri (1971)

He was a favorite actor of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy but disappointed her immensely when she discovered he was a Republican.

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William Holden in Revengers (1972)

Was a Boy Scout.

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