1 December 1951, Rowayton, Connecticut, USA
Richard Treat Williams
Richard Treat Williams was born in Rowayton, Connecticut, to Marian (Andrew), who dealt in antiques, and Richard Norman Williams, a corporate executive. Educated at prep-school, he first made a serious commitment to his craft during his days at Pennsylvania's Franklin and Marshall College. Working summers with the nearby Fulton Repertory Theat...
Richard Treat Williams was born in Rowayton, Connecticut, to Marian (Andrew), who dealt in antiques, and Richard Norman Williams, a corporate executive. Educated at prep-school, he first made a serious commitment to his craft during his days at Pennsylvania's Franklin and Marshall College. Working summers with the nearby Fulton Repertory Theatre at Lancaster in the heart of Amish country, Williams performed the classics as well as contemporary dramas and musicals. After graduating, Williams--whose first name, incidentally, is a family surname on his mother's side--headed for Manhattan where he understudied the Danny Zuko role in "Grease." After working in the The Andrews Sisters musical "Over Here," he made his film debut as a cop in Deadly Hero (1975), then returned to "Grease," this time in the starring role. While he took leaves for two small film roles, in The Ritz (1976) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976), it was his stage work in "Grease" that led to his cinematic breakthrough in Hair (1979). Spotted by director Milos Forman, Williams was asked to read for the role of Berger, the hippie. It took 13 auditions to land the part, but the film's release catapulted Williams into stardom. He then portrayed a GI on the make in Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979) and starred in the romantic comedy Why Would I Lie? (1980) before tackling the role of Danny Ciello, the disillusioned New York City cop who blew the whistle on his corrupt colleagues in Sidney Lumet's Prince of the City (1981). He followed that with The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981), in which he played the legendary plane hijacker who successfully eluded capture (by Robert Duvall); Flashpoint (1984), in which he and Kris Kristofferson starred as a pair of maverick border patrolmen who come upon a large cache of stolen money; Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984), in which he played a Jimmy Hoffa-like labor organizer; and Smooth Talk (1985), a screen adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' short story, "Where Are You Going?" Television viewers have seen Williams in a prestigious pair of dramas, Dempsey (1983), a three-hour story of the hard-living heavyweight champ, and John Erman's adaptation of Tennessee Williams' classic "A Streetcar Named Desire," which pitted Williams' Stanley Kowalski against Ann-Margret's Blanche Dubois. Williams has also returned to Broadway sporadically -- first to appear in "Once in a Lifetime" while filming "Hair," and in 1981 to play the role of the pirate king in "The Pirates of Penzance."
(2011, on filming Deep Rising) Fun. Just fun. I loved that movie. Just six months of freezing cold water up in Vancouver, Canada. But a grea...
(2011, on filming Deep Rising) Fun. Just fun. I loved that movie. Just six months of freezing cold water up in Vancouver, Canada. But a great cast, some of whom have become very big movie stars since then, and a wonderful director with a great mind, Stephen Sommers. Just a really terrific, great guy. Probably the most energetic director I've ever come across. I'm proud of that film! I think that film's fun. Unfortunately, it came out right on the heels of Titanic. Once you've seen one boat sink...
(2011, on filming Hair) Probably the greatest film experience of my life. You know, throw on a pair of jeans and a vest and walk out of my a...
(2011, on filming Hair) Probably the greatest film experience of my life. You know, throw on a pair of jeans and a vest and walk out of my apartment, walk into Central Park, and start shooting. It was so cool. I mean, a lot of prep, a lot of hard work on the singing and the dancing and all, but once we had that down, we started working in the park, and it was just really, really fun. I loved John Savage and Beverly D'Angelo, and Milos Forman is one of the great filmmakers of all time. That was really an honor to be a part of.
(2011, on filming Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead) Probably one of the most iconic, interesting scripts. Scott [Rosenberg's] script,...
(2011, on filming Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead) Probably one of the most iconic, interesting scripts. Scott [Rosenberg's] script, he created a new language that I just thought was amazing. And Gary Fleder, with whom I've remained very good friends, he's a wonderful director. Great guy. When I came in and said, "I think Critical Bill doesn't have a bathroom in the apartment, but he has to pee, so how about he pees in plastic bottles?" And someone said, "What if we have the plastic bottles lined up?" So everybody had these kind of weird, fun ideas, and then Andy [Garcia] started playing with the idea that the apartment smelled, so he's got the handkerchief through the whole scene. We just had a blast. It was a really fun, creative, open environment, and without Gary and Andy, I don't think Critical Bill would've come to life. But it really was one of my most fun roles. I'm really proud of that character. He was really fun to play. It's very difficult to make it work when someone's that far out on the edge of reality, but I think as a team we kind of pulled it off. And, I mean, look, you've got Andy, Christopher Walken, Jack Warden. Oh, man, Jack Warden. Who gets to work with Jack Warden? That was so cool. To have Jack Warden actually describing your character to the audience? That's one of the greatest honors I've ever had in film.
(2011, on filming The Phantom) Fun! You can see my teeth marks all over the screen. I chewed it up. But I had a blast. I mean, I don't think...
(2011, on filming The Phantom) Fun! You can see my teeth marks all over the screen. I chewed it up. But I had a blast. I mean, I don't think the film quite works, but I love Simon Wincer, the director, and Billy Zane was a lot of fun. The thing that was fun about that was that I'm a fan of the '30s screwball comedies and '30s-style acting, which was that balls-to-the-wall, all-American acting. It reminds me of the guy who starred in the original King Kong, where everybody's, like, "Say! We're gonna do this! Hey, let's take this bar and turn it into a theater!" You know? I always thought that Xander Drax was kind of like Clark Gable on acid. So I had a lot of fun with that. Again, I was given a lot of leeway, and I just had a blast, saying stuff like, "The skulls of Touganda!" All that stuff was so much fun. If I'm not having fun, I don't really want to do it.
(2011, on filming Prince of the City) You know, I was very young, but it's an extraordinary journey into the dark side. I realized seeing it...
(2011, on filming Prince of the City) You know, I was very young, but it's an extraordinary journey into the dark side. I realized seeing it 30 years later, as difficult as it is to see myself learning my craft on film... It really was an American tragedy, watching this guy try and find his way back from being corrupt. But you can't go back. You cannot undo it. And by trying to undo it and control it, he brought down the entire Special Investigations unit, and the New York Police Department changed. It's really an extraordinary job on Sidney [Lumet's] part. It's a great study in the human condition. It's a big film. It's big emotionally. It's operatic. It's a great, great film, I think. I wish I'd had more experience and been a little older when I did it, but it's the best I could do at the time, and I'm very proud of it.
Treat Williams's FILMOGRAPHY
Example Example Example
Treat Williams'S roles
Cpl. Chuck 'Stretch' Sitarski
James Conway O'Donnell
Sheriff Marshall T. Becker
Colonel Nathan Fitzgerald
Det. Roger Mortis
FBI Asst. Director Walter Collins
Jack Fuller Sr.
Dr. Achilles Milo
Colonel Stephen Glen