Billy Crudup

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Billy Crudup
Billy Crudup May 2015.jpg
Crudup at the PEN Gala, May 2015.
Born William Gaither Crudup
(1968-07-08) July 8, 1968 (age 50)
Manhasset, New York, U.S.
Alma mater UNC Chapel Hill
Tisch School of the Arts
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Partner(s) Mary-Louise Parker
Claire Danes
Children 1

William Gaither "Billy" Crudup (/ˈkrdəp/; born July 8, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, Will Bloom in Big Fish, and as the voice of the MasterCard "Priceless" commercials in the U.S. since 2005. He also starred in the 2007 romantic comedy film Dedication. In 2009, he appeared as Doctor Manhattan in the film Watchmen and J. Edgar Hoover in the film Public Enemies. He also has experience in voice acting, having voiced the English version of Ashitaka from the Studio Ghibli animated film Princess Mononoke.

Early life

Crudup was born in Manhasset, New York. His parents, Georgann (née Gaither) and Thomas Henry Crudup III, divorced during his childhood, and later remarried, before divorcing a second time.[1][2][3] His maternal grandfather was William Cotter "Billy" Gaither, Jr., a well-known Florida trial lawyer, and his maternal grandmother later remarried to Episcopal bishop James Duncan.[4][5][6][7] Crudup has two brothers: Tommy, an executive producer, and Brooks, also a producer. He left New York with his family when he was about eight years old, first living in Texas, then in Florida. He graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1986.

Crudup attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received an undergraduate degree, and he continued his passion for acting with the undergraduate acting company, LAB! Theatre. He also acted for UNC-STV's most popular show, General College. He was a member of the Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He then studied at the Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in 1994. A year after graduating, he made his debut on Broadway in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia.


Crudup began acting in films such as 1996's Sleepers, 1997's Inventing the Abbotts and 1998's Without Limits, where he played the role of running legend and Olympian Steve Prefontaine. While he has appeared in many films, he regularly returns to the stage. His first role in an animated feature was in 1999's English release of Princess Mononoke, in which he starred as Ashitaka. He then played Russell Hammond, the lead guitar player of the fictional band Stillwater in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000). He has also been the voice of MasterCard "Priceless" commercials in the U.S. since 2005. In 2006's The Good Shepherd, he played British spy Arch Cummings, a stand-in for Kim Philby. The same year, he played a supporting role in Mission: Impossible III.

He also appeared as Zartan in The Ballad of G.I. Joe video on

Crudup in New York City, January 2011

Crudup received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as the title character in The Elephant Man on Broadway, as well as for his role as Katurian in the Broadway production of The Pillowman, also starring Jeff Goldblum, which closed on September 18, 2005. From October 2006 through May 2007, he was featured in the first two parts of The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard at Lincoln Center, playing literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, for which he received another Tony Award nomination and subsequent win.

He also starred in The Metal Children, an off-Broadway play written and directed by Adam Rapp in 2010. Crudup completed Watchmen with director Zack Snyder in Vancouver, British Columbia. He portrays the superhero Doctor Manhattan. He portrayed former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner in a story about 2008's financial crisis, Too Big to Fail (2011).

In 2011, Crudup was honored with a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play for his role in the Broadway revival of Arcadia.[8]

In February 2012, Crudup narrated a five-part television series on the first (of three) stages of the renovation of Madison Square Garden, which was televised on the Madison Square Garden Network.

He is on the Board of Directors for The Actors Center in New York City.

In August 2013, he co-starred with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in the Harold Pinter play, No Man's Land as well as in Waiting for Godot at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The shows transferred to The Cort Theatre in New York City, where they will be performed in repertory until March 2014.[9]

Personal life

From 1996 to 2003, Crudup dated actress Mary-Louise Parker, with whom he has a son, William Atticus Parker (born January 7, 2004). He left Parker while she was seven months pregnant and started a relationship with his Princess Mononoke and Stage Beauty co-star Claire Danes.[10] They broke up four years later.[11][12][13][14][15][16]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Sleepers Tommy Marcano
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Ken
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Jacey Holt
1997 Grind Eddie Dolan
1997 Princess Mononoke Ashitaka Voice
English dub
1998 Monument Ave. Teddy
1998 Without Limits Steve Prefontaine
1998 The Hi-Lo Country Pete Calder
1999 Jesus' Son FH
2000 Waking the Dead Fielding Pierce
2000 Almost Famous Russell Hammond
2001 World Traveler Cal
2001 Charlotte Gray Julien Levade
2003 Big Fish Will Bloom
2003 Stage Beauty Ned Kynaston
2005 Trust the Man Tobey
2006 Mission: Impossible III Musgrave
2006 The Good Shepherd Arch Cummings
2007 Dedication Henry Roth
2008 Pretty Bird Curtis Prentiss
2009 Watchmen Jon Osterman / Dr. Manhattan
2009 Public Enemies J. Edgar Hoover
2009 The Ballad of G.I. Joe Zartan Short film
2010 Eat Pray Love Steven
2011 Thin Ice Randy Kinney
2011 Too Big to Fail Timothy Geithner
2012 The Watch Creepy Neighbor Uncredited
2013 Blood Ties Frank Pierzynski
2014 Rudderless Sam
2014 The Longest Week Dylan Tate
2014 Glass Chin JJ Cook
2015 Red Light Winter Davis
2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment Dr. Philip Zimbardo
2015 Spotlight Eric MacLeish
2016 Youth in Oregon Brian Gleason In post-production
2016 20th Century Women Filming


Year Play Role Production Notes
2013 Waiting for Godot Lucky Berkeley Repertory Theatre / California
Cort Theatre / Broadway
With Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Shuler Hensley.
2013 No Man's Land Foster Berkeley Repertory Theatre / California
Cort Theatre / Broadway
With Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Shuler Hensley.
2011 Arcadia Bernard Nightingale Ethel Barrymore Theater / Broadway Tony Award nominee – Best Featured Actor in a Play
2010 The Metal Children Tobin Falmouth Vineyard Theater / Off-Broadway
2009 The 24 Hour Plays (staged readings) Billy
2006–2007 The Coast of Utopia: Part 2 - Shipwreck Vissarion Belinsky Lincoln Center Theatre / Broadway
2006–2007 The Coast of Utopia: Part 1 - Voyage Vissarion Belinksy Lincoln Center Theatre / Broadway Tony Award winner – Best Featured Actor in a Play
2005 The Pillowman Katurian Edwin Booth Theatre / Broadway Tony Award nominee – Best Actor in a Play
2004 The 24 Hour Plays (staged readings) Bobby
2002 The Elephant Man John Merrick Royale Theatre / Broadway Tony Award nominee – Best Actor in a Play
2002 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Flake / Defense Counsel National Actors Theatre / Off-Broadway
2001 Measure for Measure Antonio Public Theatre (Shakespeare in the Park)
1998 Oedipus Oedipus Blue Light Theatre Company / Off-Broadway
1997 The Three Sisters Solyony Roundabout Theatre / Broadway
1996 Bus Stop Bo Decker Circle in the Square Theatre / Broadway
1995 Arcadia Septimus Hodge Lincoln Center Theatre / Broadway
1994 America Dreaming Robert Vineyard Theater / Off-Broadway



Tony Award. for The Coast of Utopia: Part 1 - Voyage
OFCS Award, for Almost Famous
Paris Film Festival, for Jesus' Son
Western Heritage Award, for The Hi-Lo Country
NBR Award, for The Hi-Lo Country


Satellite Award, for Charlotte Gray
Screen Actors Guild Awards, for Almost Famous
Blockbuster Entertainment Award, for Almost Famous
Independent Spirit Award, for Jesus' Son
MTV Movie Award, for Almost Famous


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  2. Evertz, Mary (2001-10-26). "Crudup family keeps busy in New York Series: PEOPLE". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2010-05-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  10. Mary-Louise Parker Likes to Reveal Herself
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  14. Stoynoff, Natasha (22 October 2007). "Claire Danes - Pygmalion". People. Retrieved 30 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  16. Sblendorio, Peter (5 October 2015). "Claire Danes opens up about former relationship with Billy Crudup". New York Daily News. Retrieved 6 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links