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William “Will” Lyman (born May 20, 1948) is an American voice-over artist and actor. Perhaps best known for his polished, resonant voice, Lyman has narrated the PBS series Frontline since its second season in 1984 and plays William Tell in the action/adventure television series Crossbow.

Will Lyman
William Lyman

(1948-05-20) May 20, 1948 (age 71)
Alma materBoston University
OccupationVoice over artist, actor
Spouse(s)Anastasia Sylvester


Early life and educationEdit

Lyman was born in Burlington, Vermont, the son of Mabry (née Remington), an editor and educator, and Edward Phelps Lyman, an educator.[1] He is a 1971 graduate of Boston University's School of Fine Arts. Lyman married the former Anastasia Sylvester and they have one daughter, Georgia.


Lyman has made a successful career in television, theater and film, including appearances in Hostile Takeover and Welcome to the Dollhouse, and as narrator of the 2006 film Little Children. He has also appeared on the TV shows Commander in Chief, in which he portrayed the President of the United States (whose death in the story elevates Geena Davis' Mackenzie Allen to the office), and also appeared in TV shows Threat Matrix, The West Wing, and Law & Order.

Lyman narrated the highly rated Vietnam: A Television History, a 13-part documentary series about the war that was produced by WGBH in Boston in 1983 and broadcast nationally by PBS. In 1984, he became the exclusive narrator of PBS' long-running Frontline television series, and he became best known as such.

Other voice-over credits include documentaries for National Geographic, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel, to name a few. Lyman has narrated many episodes of the WGBH-TV Nova series (including the Frontline partnership, What's Up With The Weather?) -- more recently he narrated a series of commercials for the Mexican beer Dos Equis,[citation needed] revolving around their character of "The Most Interesting Man in the World", portrayed onscreen by actor Jonathan Goldsmith. He has also provided the voice for many commercials of the German automaker BMW. In addition, he was the award ceremony narrator in the movie Iron Man (2008 film).

In the January 26th, 2014 episode of The Simpsons, "Specs and the City", Lyman spoofed his Frontline voiceovers.

More recently he provided the narration for the 2018 documentary Trump's Showdown.


  1. ^ "Will Lyman Biography (1948-)". Film Reference. Advameg. Retrieved 30 March 2011.

External linksEdit