Back in 1996, a man with a well-groomed mustache and piercing green eyes was taking the flight to New York.
He had participated in the first audition for the movie ‘Fargo’ and waited forever for a call. As you could bet, no one was more confident than him at the time: The 45-year-old man fiercely believed he would make the perfect Jerry Lundeegard.
The director duo, unfortunately, didn’t see it that way. They had no plan to get back to him, so he intended to crash the second casting call and fight for the role once more.
“I was making a joke — and luckily it landed — but I said, ‘I’m afraid you’re going to screw up your movie and cast someone else in this role.’”, the man recalled. Even further, he threatened to shoot one of the directors’ dog if he didn’t win the part.
That hyperbolic moment literally saved his whole career: Not only did he gain the part, but also national recognition and fortune.
That’s the behind-the-scene story of William H. Macy, a tiny piece of many unusual, hidden facets he prefers to keep away from the crowd.
In Case You Are Wondering Who This Man Is…
Brace yourself, then, because what I’m going to reveal is gonna surprise you. William H. Macy is an actor, screenwriter, and director in theater, film, and television. With a filmography stretches from the 1970s till now, along with numerous awards and nominations, it’s safe to say that he is one of the most respected veterans in the industry.
Then why don’t you find this name familiar, you might ask? Well, Macy’s career has been built mostly on appearances in small independent projects. Even ‘Fargo’, the movie that served as his breakthrough and brought him an Oscar nomination, is no exception. Nonetheless, his rather lowkey path makes a story that’s no less glorious than any Hollywood star.
Starting On Stage
Just like many acclaimed actors, William H. Macy got his start in the theater. In an interview with Broadway.com, the Miami native noted that his time on the stage was unforgettable.
“I’ve put in the time. I’m working for 40 years in this business and was onstage for 20 before I even started making movies. So it’s a combo platter — I don’t feel I’ve hoodwinked anyone to get to this point, but I’m aware of how lucky I am,” he said.
Well yes, although his talent is undeniable, the actor wouldn’t be who he is today without the power of luck. As he began his career, 20-year-old Macy bumped into the famous legend David Mamet – the mastermind behind classics such as ‘Oleanna’, ‘American Buffalo’ and ‘Glengarry Glen Ross.’ It was Mamet who guided Macy on his first steps, let him star in his plays, and later brought the young man to the silver screen.
That said, William H. Macy was much more blessed than other actors who struggled to make their way to the stage. If you think this smooth start would make his road to recognition less bumpy, though, you are dead wrong.
From Stage To Screen
After pursuing theater in Broadway for about a decade, the actor left for the West Coast thinking he’d earned enough credits to break into TV and film. With the support of David Mamet, William H. Macy landed his first major role on the hit drama “E.R.” as Dr. David Morgenstern.
Unfortunately, having a strong backup was not useful in this case: Despite working very hard, the young man failed to make an impression. Not giving up, Macy continued to appear in numerous movies and TV series, but none of them was impressive enough to transform his career.
It wasn’t until the role of Jerry Lundeegard in the indie project ‘Fargo’, which he literally fought for, did Macy shoot his name to stardom. Many years later, the actor eventually revealed how he pursued the audition with some intense tenacity, as mentioned above.
William H. Macy On Getting Cast In ‘Fargo’
And it was a smart move since not only did he get the role but also catapulted his career to new heights. Soon after, he was cast in another fan-favorite smash, ‘Boogie Nights.’ This time, however, he didn’t have to threaten anyone to be up for the part.
The actor spent the next 20 years starring in critically acclaimed indie hits. Some notable projects, as his loyal fans would recall, are ‘Ghosts of Mississippi’, ‘Psycho’, ‘Magnolia’, and ‘In Enemy Hands.’ William H. Macy awards include ACCA for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Film Excellence Award in Boston Film Festival, BSFC Award for Best Supporting Actor, and so on.
Not that he needed it, yet in 2011, the veteran scored another big break at the age of 61.
Some ‘Shameless’ Awards Attention
In 2010, Showtime announced its adaption for “Shameless,” a critically acclaimed and long-running British television series. Macy wanted to be a part of it, but he realized how risky it was to lead an already-beloved series.
“I was excited. I was nervous. … Doing a series can hold such bounty if it goes well, and can be so treacherous if it doesn’t go well. And I guess the worst of all scenarios is that it’s successful and it stinks,” said the actor in 2018. “Cause you’re stuck there for a long, long, long, long time. And that’s why actors stuck in those situations turn this weird gray shade. And all they’ve got to show for their efforts is lots and lots of money.”
Eventually, he got the role of Frank Gallagher – the father of a destitute and dysfunctional family. During an interview with NYTimes before the launch, the show’s creator revealed that he wanted to depict the American working class in a melodramatic way – that explains why Macy’s character is so gloomy, so isolated, and often delves into issues of alcoholism and abuse.
Frank Gallagher On Bullying
Though being an experienced actor, Macy remarked that the tragic life of Frank Gallagher still struck him hard. During the filming, he was constantly surprised and horrified. “I’m a Lutheran from western Maryland. I read these scripts and I have the same reaction as the audience does. It’s horror,” he explained.
Since the 61-year-old had a hard time portraying Gallagher, little did he know that this role would turn him into a household name. Thanks to ‘Shameless’, the actor took home five Emmy nominations in 2014. The series also brought him to younger generations who are not familiar with indie classics from the past decades.
About William H Macy Net Worth
With everything you’ve known about this Miami native, you might be asking: How much is William H Macy net worth now?
Well, this fine thespian might have chosen for himself a humble path. William H Macy net worth, however, is not as humble. As shown on Celebrity Net Worth, he owns a fortune of $45 million, which makes him one of the most affluent stars in Hollywood.
It is worth noting that, unlike Kylie Richards or Kim Fields, the veteran does not try his hands at other ventures. Acting is Macy’s main source of income, and he has been consistently building up his wealth with numerous performances throughout the years.
His hard work and burning desire for acting definitely paid off, as the actor can now command a whopping $350 million to star in an episode. Macy’s earning was one of the highest salaries for actors and actresses at the time of Shameless’ peak.
Other Surprising Facts About The ‘Shameless’ Actor
So, you have known everything about the ‘Shameless’ actor’s rose to fame. You have got a glimpse at William H Macy net worth. Is that everything about him, though? Definitely not! Out of the limelight, there is more to Macy than we could imagine. He is not only a thespian but also a passionate man with a wild youth, many hidden flairs, and a big love for his small family.
William H Macy Is A True Pisces
William H. Macy was born on March 13, 1950, which means he has joined the 70s club. Just like Bruce Willis, the ‘Shameless’ actor is a proud Pisces representative. People born under this sign are known for being emotionally sensitive, gracious, and gifted in art. There is no surprise he harbored a passion for acting at a young age!
He Admitted To Have Some Fun With LSD In High School
We all did something kooky when we were young, so don’t be surprised when this gentleman admitted trying drugs! In an interview, William H. Macy revealed to have some fun with LSD with his high school buddies.
If you consider the time period when he was a teenager, though, this might make a lot of sense. People were trying many things back then that likely weren’t all that great for them, but it was the experience and the euphoria they sought.
He Actually Enjoys Riding Motorcycles
Apparently, William H. Macy picked up the hobby after shooting Wild Hogs and has been sticking with it ever since. As a fan, I can only hope he wouldn’t become like the character he portrayed, who could not stay seated on his motorbike without falling off.
He Is An Experienced Woodworker
Macy has been into this pastime for a long time and has become pretty proficient at it. As proof of his skill, he has been featured in a magazine. Although everyone can practice woodworking, it is a hobby that requires a lot of time and effort to really master.
He Has Two Daughters
The Emmy winner deserves an accolade for being a great dad to his daughters. Macy and his wife, actress Felicity Huffman, share two children, Sophia and Georgia.
Before the marriage with the Desperate Housewives alum, the actor spent five years with his first spouse, Carla Santos Shamberg. Macy and the Erin Brockovich producer exchanged vows in 1980, but they eventually parted ways without any children.
A few years later, William H. Macy found the love of his life once again. He married Felicity Huffman in 1997, and three years later, they welcomed their first child. Georgia, the couple’s second child, was born in 2002.
Considering their parents are both celebrities, it’s no wonder that Sophia and Georgia are naturals in front of the camera. The blonde beauties are not only sharing the red carpet with Macy and Huffman but are also well-known on social media.
The Bottom Line
“Felicity and I have to pinch ourselves. We won the lottery. It’s really hard. Two percent of the union makes a living. To get to do what we like and to make a living doing it … it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Just like Macy said in an interview, the veteran has lived a life with no regret: He devoted everything to acting, and many of his roles have become iconic.
Following Shameless’ conclusion (which was aired in October 2021), William H. Macy will still dedicate to movie sets, but this time as a director instead of an actor. Hold onto your shocks and see what he will bring to the screen next!
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