William Michael "Hoot" Hootkins (July 5, 1948 – October 23, 2005) was an American character actor, best known for supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Batman.
Hootkins (left) in 2002
William Michael Hootkins
July 5, 1948
|Died||October 23, 2005 (aged 57)|
Santa Monica, California, United States
|Burial place||Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, North Dallas, Texas, United States|
(Jul–Oct 2005; his death)
Hootkins was born in Dallas, Texas. He attended St. Mark's School of Texas from grade 1 through 12. At age 15, Hootkins found himself caught up in the FBI's investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when he was interviewed about Ruth Paine, his Russian teacher. Marina Oswald, the Russian wife of the assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and their children had been living with Paine in Dallas. In school he also developed his taste for theatre, joining the same drama group as Tommy Lee Jones, who was a year ahead of him in high school. Hootkins would later say that, since Jones was better-looking and got all the best parts, "I supported from then on in."
Hootkins attended Princeton University, studying astrophysics before transferring to oriental studies, where he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese. This stood him in good stead when he played the part of an interpreter in an episode of The West Wing titled "Impact Winter". He was a mainstay of the Theatre Intime, making a particular impact with his performance in Orson Welles' Moby Dick—Rehearsed. On the recommendation of his friend John Lithgow, he moved to London in the early 1970s and trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He made his home in London until 2002, when he moved to Los Angeles.
In England, Hootkins found work in the theatre as well as in film, and he would have his greatest success on stage portraying Alfred Hitchcock in Terry Johnson's 2003 hit play Hitchcock Blonde, first at the Royal Court Theatre and in London's West End. The role was such a success that producers planned to take the show to Broadway, but it was canceled after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Film and televisionEdit
Hootkins appeared in many roles that made him a welcome figure at fan conventions, particularly for Star Wars in his role of Jek Tono Porkins. He also appeared in significant parts in films as Hardware (1990), Like Father, Like Santa (as Santa Claus), and Hear My Song (1991), where he was the Mr. X who was presumed to be the Irish tenor Josef Locke under a false name. He portrayed Fatty Arbuckle in Ken Russell's infamous 1977 flop Valentino, and played Hans Zarkov's assistant in the 1980 Flash Gordon. He also made appearances in such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark and Tim Burton's Batman (the latter as Lt. Eckhardt).
He also appeared in several roles on television, including Charles Frohman in The Lost Boys (1978), Colonel Cobb in the remake of The Tomorrow People and as Uncle George in the 2002 remake of The Magnificent Ambersons.
He was also a voice artist, recording dozens of plays for BBC Radio Drama where his roles ranged from J. Edgar Hoover and Orson Welles to Winston Churchill. In audio books, he read works by Jack London, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Bloch and Carl Hiaasen and performed a complete reading of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick for Naxos Records Audiobooks in some 24 hours and 50 minutes. He also voiced Dingodile in Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Maximillian Roivas in the cult hit Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and Lucifer in the stop-motion film The Miracle Maker. He played Bobby Mallory in BBC Radio4's dramatisations of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski novels, alongside Kathleen Turner.
|1973||Big Zapper||Kono's Henchman|
|1977||Twilight's Last Gleaming||Sgt. Fitzpatrick||Credited as Bill Hootkins|
|Star Wars||Jek Tono Porkins|
|1978||The Billion Dollar Bubble|
|1979||The Lady Vanishes||Party guest|
|1980||Bad Timing||Col. Taylor|
|Raiders of the Lost Ark||Major Eaton|
|1982||Trail of the Pink Panther||Taxi Driver|
|1983||Curse of the Pink Panther||Taxi Driver|
|Dreamchild||1st Radio actor|
|White Nights||Chuck Malarek|
|1986||Biggles: Adventures in Time||Chuck|
|1987||Superman IV: The Quest for Peace||Harry Howler|
|1990||Hardware||Lincoln Wineberg Jr.|
|1991||The Pope Must Die||Cardinal Verucci|
|Hear My Song||Mr X|
|The Princess and the Goblin||Peter||Voice|
|1992||Dust Devil||Captain Cornelius Beyman|
|A River Runs Through It||Murphy|
|La vida láctea||Julian Reilly|
|1993||The Cement Garden||Commander Hunt||Voice|
|1994||The NeverEnding Story III||Bark Troll / Falkor||Voice|
|Death Machine||John Carpenter|
|1996||The Island of Dr. Moreau||Kiril|
|1997||This World, Then the Fireworks||Jake Krutz|
|Rhinoceros Hunting in Budapest||The Man|
|1998||Something to Believe In||Car Dealer|
|1999||The Omega Code||Sir Percival Lloyd|
|2000||The Miracle Maker||Lucifer||Voice|
|2001||Town & Country||Barney||Credited as Bill Hootkins|
|Steamboy||English version, Voice|
|Dear Wendy||Marshall Walker|
|2005||Colour Me Kubrick||Frank Rich||(final film role)|
|1986||Rocket to the Moon||Phil Cooper||Broadcast on American Playhouse and Channel 4|
|1977||Yanks Go Home||Colonel Richter||Episode: Some of Our Coal is Missing|
|Van der Valk||Frank Garvin||Episode: Dead on Arrival, credited as Bill Hootkins|
|Come Back, Little Sheba||Postman||TV movie, credited as Bill Hootkins|
|1978||The Lost Boys||Charles Frohman||TV mini-series, 3 episodes|
|Crown Court||Barry Ferguson||Episode: Scalped (Part 1)|
|1980-1981||Tales of the Unexpected||Harry Chester/Peter Bligh||2 episodes|
|1981||Agony||Herman Tweeder||Episode: Communications Breakdown|
|Play for Today||Mel||Episode: Before Water Lilies|
|The Life and Times of David Lloyd George||Winston Churchill||6 episodes|
|1982||Bret Maverick||Congressman Theodore Roosevelt||Episode: Horse of Yet Another Color|
|1983-1990||Bergerac||Karl Goldman/Eugene Field||2 episodes|
|1983||Cagney & Lacey||Zachary Kendall||Episode: Date Rape|
|Remington Steele||Chester Harcourt||Episode: Vintage Steele|
|Philip Marlowe, Private Eye||Frank Dorr||Episode: Finger Man|
|Taxi||Liquor Authority Agent||Episode: Jim's Mario's|
|Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime||Hamilton Betts||Episode: The Affair of the Pink Pearl|
|Whiz Kids||Gregor||Episode: Red Star Rising|
|Who Dares Wins||Various roles|
|1986||Blackadder II||Monk||Episode: Beer|
|Paradise Postponed||Bugloss||3 episodes|
|1987||The New Statesman||Wiloughby Guzzler||Episode: Baa Baa Black Sheep|
|1990||Capital City||Jay||Episode: Shoes on the Wrong Feet|
|Agatha Christie's Poirot||FBI Agent Burt||Episode: The Adventure of the Cheap Flat|
|1992||The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||Diaghilev||Episode: Barcelona, May 1917|
|1994||The Tomorrow People||Colonel Cobb||5 episodes|
|1995||Iron Man||Crimson Dynamo||Episode: "Not Far from the Tree"|
|Gargoyles||London Street Thug (voice)||Episode: "M.I.A."|
|1997-2002||Extreme Machines (TLC Documentary Series)||Himself||Narrator (All Episodes)|
|2002||The Magnificent Ambersons||Uncle George||TV movie|
|2004||Land of Lost Monsters||Narrator|
|The West Wing||US Translator||Episode: Impact Winter|
|2005||Absolute Power||US Ambassador||Episode: Spinning America|
- Austin Mutti-Mewse, Obituary: William Hootkins, The Guardian, November 14, 2005, accessed December 13, 2012.
- Janet Maslin (January 19, 1992). "Hear My Song (1991) Review/Film; Irish Tenor Is Focus of Intrigue and Blarney". The New York Times.
- "J Edgar Hoover". radiolistings.co.uk. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "The third man reconstructed". independent.co.uk. August 3, 1998. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "Narrator Profile - William Hootkins". AudioFile. Retrieved August 17, 2013.