William Devane

William Devane

  • Born on
    • September 5th, 1939
William Joseph Devane (born September 5, 1937) is an American film, television and theater actor, known for his role as Greg Sumner on the primetime soap opera Knots Landing and as James Heller on the Fox serial drama 24, the role he reprised in Live Another Day. He is also known for his supporting roles in films such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Family Plot), Marathon Man, Rolling Thunder and Space Cowboys. Devane began his acting career with the New York Shakespeare Festival where he performed in 15 plays. In 1966, Devane portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in the Off-Broadway spoof MacBird. He gained acclaim for his role as President John F. Kennedy in a television docudrama about the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Missiles of October, and again when he played blacklisted radio personality John Henry Faulk in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie Fear on Trial. He is widely known for his ten years as the ambitious and hardnosed politician-turned-corporate titan Greg Sumner on Knots Landing. In 1994, Devane appeared as Al Capone in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in an episode entitled "That Old Gang of Mine". He also had a recurring role on the CBS show Early Edition as the lead character's father. Devane appeared in the films McCabe & Mrs. Miller; Lady Liberty; Family Plot; Marathon Man; Rolling Thunder; Yanks; Testament; Timestalkers; Forgotten Sins; Exception to the Rule; Payback; Hollow Man and Space Cowboys. Devane has played members of the Presidential Cabinet on two evening dramas. In 2004, on The West Wing, he guest-starred as the Secretary of State and potential Vice-Presidential nominee. Devane appeared in several scenes with Martin Sheen; they also appeared together as President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, respectively, 30 years earlier in The Missiles of October. In 2005, he joined the cast of 24 as Secretary of Defense James Heller for seasons 4, 5 and 6.


Acting (47 Credits)

2015Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise as Dr. Dix
2015Avengers: Age of Ultron as Korean Train Passenger
2015Truth as Gen. Hodges (voice) (uncredited)
2015The Grinder as Dean Sanderson Sr.
201450 to 1 as Leonard Doc Blach
2014Interstellar as NASA Board Member
201424: Live Another Day as President James Heller
2013Bad Turn Worse as Big Red
2012Red Clover as Pop O'Hara
2012Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt as Dr. Dix
2012The Dark Knight Rises as President
2011Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost as Dr. Dix
2010The Kane Files: Life of Trial as Thompson
2010The River Why as Dutch Hines
2010Jesse Stone: No Remorse as Dr. Dix
2009Jesse Stone: Thin Ice as Dr. Dix
2008Stargate: Continuum as President Henry Hayes
2007Jesse Stone: Sea Change as Dr. Dix
2006Payback: Straight Up as Fred Carter (archive footage)
2006Payback: Straight Up as Fred Carter (archive footage)
2006Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise as Dr. Dix
2003Monte Walsh as Cal Brennan
2002A Christmas Visitor as George Boyajian
2002The Badge as The Judge
200124 as President James Heller
2000Poor White Trash as Ron Lake
2000Space Cowboys as Eugene Davis
2000Hollow Man as Dr. Howard Kramer
1999Payback as Carter
1995Falling from the Sky: Flight 174 as Capt. Bob Pearson
1995Detonator II: Night Watch as Nick Caldwell
1994For the Love of Nancy as Tom
1990Vital Signs as Dr. Chatham
1987Timestalkers as Scott McKenzie
1983Testament as Tom Wetherly
1981Honky Tonk Freeway as Mayor Kirby T. Calo
1979The Dark as Roy Warner, aka Steve Dupree
1979Yanks as John
1979Knots Landing as Greg Sumner
1977The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training as Mike Leak
1977Rolling Thunder as Major Charles Rane
1976Family Plot as Arthur Adamson
1976Marathon Man as Janeway
1975Report to the Commissioner as Asst. D.A. Jackson
1974The Missiles of October as President John F. Kennedy
1974The Missiles of October
1971McCabe & Mrs. Miller as The Lawyer

Director (1 Credits)



Take Plex everywhere.

Watch free anytime, anywhere, on almost any device.

  • Roku
  • Samsung
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Apple iOS
  • Chomecast
  • XBOX
  • nVidia
  • Vizio
  • PlayStation
  • LG

See the full list of supported devices