William Louis Petersen was born on the 21st February 1953 in Evanston, Illinois USA, of Danish, French and German descent. He is an actor as well as a producer, best known for the roles he created in television series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000 – 2009, 2011 – 2013), and feature films “Young Guns II” (1990), “Fear” (1996), “The Skulls” (2000) among others. William Petersen has been active in the entertainment industry since 1976.
How much is the net worth of William Petersen? It has been estimated by sources that the overall size of his wealth is as much as $35 million, as of the data given in mid-2016. Reportedly, he earned $500,000 per episode of the series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.
William Petersen Net Worth $35 Million
To begin with, Petersen grew up in Boise, Idaho, the youngest of six children. Petersen left the family being 15 years old and moved to one of his brothers. In 1974, he briefly moved to Spain with his wife-to-be, where they married and had a daughter. In 1975, he graduated on a sports scholarship from Idaho State University and moved to Chicago, where he joined the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. In 1979, he founded his own theater company in Chicago.
After small roles, in 1985 Petersen landed the main role in the film “To Live and Die in L.A” (1985). He missed the opportunity to establish himself as an action hero in the 1980s, when he refused an offer to land a role in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam drama “Platoon” (1986). In 1990, he took the role of Joseph P. Kennedy in the miniseries “The Kennedys of Massachusetts”. This was followed by increasingly small roles in films and television series, until he starred in the highly successful CBS series “CSI: The Crime Scene Investigation” created by Anthony E. Zuiker, for almost 10 years continuously from 2000, latterly co-producing the aforementioned series. In the role of the charismatic chief investigator Gilbert Grissom his popularity increased tremendously, and in 2004, he was nominated as the Best Actor for the Golden Globes in the category – Best Actor TV Series Drama, additionally for Emmy and Satellite Awards. In 2005, he and the cast won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in Drama Series. At the beginning of 2009, he received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Later, he appeared in the main cast of the films “Detachment” (2011) and “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (2012). In 2015, he is joining the cast of drama series Manhattan over at WGN America. Overall, in landing the above mentioned roles William Petersen added huge sums to the total size of his net worth.
Finally, in the personal life of the actor, he married Joanne Brady in 1974, and they had a daughter but divorced in 1981. In 2003, William married for the second time, to Gina Cirone. In 2011, twins were born to the family via a surrogate mother. Petersen also has two grandchildren.
His name originates from the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection".
William's paternal grandfather, Jurgen Petersen, was born in Germany, to Danish parents, Andreas Christian Petersen and Anna Margaretha Ericksen. William's paternal grandmother, Lizzie Ricksher, was of German and French ancestry, while both of William's maternal grandparents, Arthur Cornelius Hoene and Katherine Vera Vollmar, were of German descent.
Owns the rights of James Ellroy's crime novel "Clandestine".
An avid Chicago Cubs fan, he sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field every year and also narrated the documentary Wrigley Field: Beyond the Ivy (2001) about Wrigley Field.
Was 33 years old when Manhunter (1986) was released. When the film's remake, Red Dragon (2002), was released, his Will Graham successor, Edward Norton, was also 33 years old.
Because his role in Manhunter (1986) was so emotionally exhausting, he did everything he could to rid himself of the Will Graham character after filming was completed. This included cutting his hair and dyeing it blonde, and shaving off his beard.
I'm a huge "Membership First" guy. It seems to me that all of the artists in all of the unions and guilds are getting screwed. What we're losing in the SAG contract is the middle class -- those who want to be actors and won't make much money but want to stick with it anyway. The studios and companies, meanwhile, get to have it both ways. They've got their $100 million movies where they pay Brad and Tom $20 million and everyone else works for scale. Then those who make the indie movies don't pay anybody anything. You're supposed to make 28 cents for the honor of working with Gus Van Sant. But the company behind, say, "Milk," winds up making a ton. The whole thing is a shell game, a con, and the actors are the ones who wind up getting jobbed.
After Manhunter (1986) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), there were all these cop movies that came my way, but they weren't any good, so I didn't do them. Then, there was talk about my doing Platoon (1986), but I didn't want to sit in a ditch in the Philippines for eight weeks for no money. Instead, I did an HBO baseball movie for more money and more fun, and I got to play ball. I enjoy watching great movies like Platoon (1986), but I don't have to be in them. I never fell in love with movies. I didn't want to spend all that time an effort. I've had it pretty good. I've had it my own way.
(On his life before his 2nd marriage) When I was younger, women wanted to sleep with me because of whatever movie or play they saw me in, and for about 15 years I certainly took advantage of that more often than not. I got married to my wife, Gina, last summer. I'd been working on the marriage thing with her, trying to get to a place where that was a good thing as opposed to a bad thing. Fidelity was hard when I was younger, but with maturity I got to a mindset of, What's with all this running around to get girls? Now for me it's the old case of, Why go out for hamburger when I've got steak at home?
(On Las Vegas) The only good thing about Vegas is watching horse races and football games and being able to throw some money down on them. I don't play the tables, because they're just a sucker's game. Actually, the whole thing is a sucker's game. I'm not a huge Vegas fan, but it's the perfect milieu for the show. Everyone who goes there, even if they're old ladies from a Bible group in Mississippi, they go there to stick nickels into slots and feel a little dirty and dark. Shit happens when you get into that world. Guys lose their wives and money, women end up deciding to stay and become strippers. It's the dirty playground for the Darth Vader in all of us.
After Manhunter (1986), I had to actually kill off the character. I cut off most of my hair and dyed it blonde. I changed my whole look just to get rid of him.
I was only 21, and there were many things I didn't know. I was trying to be a man and I wasn't ready for it. - on being married at a young age
The greatest thing that ever happened to me in terms of my acting was the audition for To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). After I read, William Friedkin put down the script and said, "You got the part". I really thought it was a joke. I went back to my hotel room and took a bath and they called and wanted to make a deal. I still didn't believe it.
"Theater in Chicago will always be my first love. It started careers for me and about 50 of my friends. We all love coming back. As soon as the TV show is over, I'll be back in Chicago, doing live theater." (on what he plans to do after "CSI")
"It took me two months to get that part. I mean, who the hell was I? I wasn't going to sell that picture" - on his role as "Will Graham" in Manhunter (1986).
"Their argument was, Everybody else is going to start copying the show, so why not us? My attitude was, Well, then let everybody else do it. Don't rip yourself off." (On the network and producers' decision to create the CSI spin-off series, CSI: Miami (2002)).
(On seeing the Marlon Brando movie, Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972) (aka "Last Tango in Paris") "It was the first time that I understood that acting was an art form. It was not Clint Eastwood on a horse, Bob Hope in a road movie. It was not Don Knotts in The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). These are favorite movies of mine, too. But when I sat in "Last Tango in Paris", the lightbulb went on. To this day, Brando is the one I want to meet, and the one I'm terrified to meet".