Know Your “That Guy”: William Atherton

When you’re dealing with That Guys, you find that a lot of them fall into groups.  For August, I thought we could highlight some of the That Guys who exemplify movie douchebaggery, starting with Walter Peck himself, William Atherton.

William Atherton

Born: July 30, 1947

Number of Roles: 76

Best Known for Playing: Slimy, bureaucratic douchebags

First Appearance: Johnson in The New Centurions (1977)

Most Recent Appearance: Ned Bogden on Law and Order: SVU (2010)

Notable Roles:

  • Walter Peck in Ghostbusters
  • Richard Thornburg in Die Hard and Die Hard 2
  • Professor Jerry Hathaway in Real Genius
  • Bob Gminski in The Pelican Brief
  • Dr. Noah Faulkner in Bio-Dome
  • Franklin Murdoch in The Outer Limits “To Tell the Truth”
  • Dr. Destiny on Justice League
  • Winchester Rep in The Last Samurai
  • CIA Agent Block in Into the Sun
  • Mickey Rayborn on Life
  • Principal Reynolds on Lost

Fun Facts:

  • Claimed that due to the success of Ghostbusters, people would heckle him on the street by calling him “dickless”
  • Almost injured by the 200 pounds of shaving cream that was dumped on him at the end of Ghostbusters.
  • Sang “What’ll I Do”, the main theme for Robert Redford’s film version of The Great Gatsby.

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