Bill Smitrovich - Selfless in the pursuit of honest truth

Bill Smitrovich - Selfless in the pursuit of honest truth

First Published: November 2001
Editor's Note:
In 1993, Bill Smitrovich received the Michael Landon Humanitarian Award for his work with the Down Syndrome Congress, and then in 1996 he served on the executive board of the International Special Olympics Committee in his home state of Connecticut.
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor

Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor

Bill Smitrovich | "Murder She Wrote" (1984)
Lance Henriksen, Bill Smitrovich | "Millennium" (1996) [e]
Bill Smitrovich | "The '60s" (1999)
Bill Smitrovich | "Without a Trace" (2002)
Eddie Cahill, Bill Smitrovich, Natalie Martinez | "CSI: NY" (2004)
Bill Smitrovich | "Criminal Minds" (2005)
Bill Smitrovich, Morgan Freeman | "The Contract" (2006)
Michael Chiklis, Bill Smitrovich | "Eagle Eye" (2008)
Bill Smitrovich, Taylor Cole | "The Event"  (2010) [a]
Bill Smitrovich, Taylor Cole | "The Event"  (2010) [b]
Bill Smitrovich | "The Event"  (2010) [c]
Bill Smitrovich | "The Event"  (2010) [a]
Bill Smitrovich, Blair Underwood | "The Event"  (2010) [a]
Blair Underwood, Bill Smitrovich | "The Event"  (2010) [b]
Bill Smitrovich | "Californication" (2013) [d]
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor [e]
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor
Bill Smitrovich | Working Actor

Bill Smitrovich began his professional career at the age of thirty-three, as a stage actor with Arthur Miller in the World Premiere of "American Clock" directed by Dan Sullivan, which went from The Spoleto Festival to Broadway.

Filmmakers became more and more aware of Bill Smitrovich's ability to create characters that are so real they appear seamless, and as directors are still discovering this fine actor's talent, the best is yet to come. His journey as an actor has included working with such distinguished and varied directors as Stephen Frears, Wolfgang Peterson, Michael Mann, Rob Reiner, Bruce Beresford, and Roland Emmerich among others.

Smitrovich starred opposite Kevin Costner as General Maxwell Taylor, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the Beacon/New Line release of "Thirteen Days". The film directed by Roger Donaldson, chronicles the story of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Bill also received strong praise for his role as Byron De La Beckwiths public defender in the Rob Reiner directed, civil rights drama "Ghosts Of Mississippi" opposite James Woods and Alec Baldwin.

In writer David Koepp's directorial debut "The Trigger Effect", one of Bill's favorite film roles to date, he co-starred with Elizabeth Shue and Dermot Mulroney. Bill played Steph, a self-righteous neighbor living in a bizarre time-warp.

Smitrovich was also seen in the summer blockbusters "Air Force One" opposite Glenn Close and "Independence Day" opposite Will Smith. His comedic abilities became evident in his collaborations with Ron Howard in "Splash", Bruce Beresford in "Her Alibi", and Tony Bill in "Crazy People" opposite Dudley Moore and Darryl Hannah.

The spring of 2001, saw Bill starring opposite John Cleese in "HMO", a 1/2 hour, single-camera television pilot for Touchstone and ABC. He starred as a wisecracking surgeon, navigating the bureaucratic world of health management organizations alongside a cast of inept hospital workers.

His versatility was apparent in his early film roles and garnered the attention of television producers, most notably Michael Mann. His long time association with Mann began with his role as 'Sonny Crocket's corrupt partner' in the pilot "Miami Vice" and as a series regular on Mann's police drama "Crime Story" as Sgt. Danny Krychek. His relationship with Mann continued in the stylish thriller "Manhunter". In other television roles, Bill is well-known for his portrayal of the sympathetic and admirable dad, Drew Thacher on the Emmy Award winning ABC series "Life Goes On". He also starred in the critically acclaimed Fox series "Millennium" as Lt. Bletcher.

Bill was seen on the CBS 'live' television presentation of "Failsafe", opposite an all-star cast including George Clooney, Richard Dreyfuss, Harvey Keitel, Don Cheadle, Brian Dennehy, and James Cromwell. It was produced by George Clooney and directed by Stephen Frears.

Earlier this season, Smitrovich was asked by David E. Kelley to join the ensemble cast of his successful ABC series, "The Practice" as a recurring character, the hard-laced District Attorney WaIsh. Last year, he starred as Inspector Cramer in the A&E television movie "The Golden Spiders; A Nero Wolfe Mystery" directed by Bill Duke. The movie was so well received, A&E began airing a series of one-hour Nero Wolfe mysteries with Maury Chakin as Nero Wolfe, Timothy Hutton as Archie, and Bill as Cramer. In September, they begin production of the second season of the critically heralded series. He also starred in the highly successful NBC mini-series "The 60's" as Bill Herlihy, the conflicted father of an Irish Catholic family.

His early theatrical work includes starring roles in Gary Leon-Hill's "Food From Trash" as Sudden Pisanger at the Actors' Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival, "Requiem For A Heavweight" at the Long Warf Theatre, directed by Arvin Brown and Terrence McNally's "Frankie & Johnny" at The West Side Arts Theatre.

Always making time to return to his roots, last summer he returned to the theatre and created the role of Captain James Anderson in A.R. Gurney's original play "Far East". The play premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It was then brought to Lincoln Center where Bill and the production enjoyed critical acclaim and an extended run. It then aired as the inaugural play on the premiere of the PBS series "Stage To Screen".

Last year, Bill was back at Williamstown to portray Mr. Antrobus in Thorton Wilder's "The Skin Of Our Teeth". This performance and more specifically, Bill's portrayal was met with tremendous audience response and garnered wonderful reviews. This staging of the play "is a generous explosion of visual, aural and visceral energy on stage, big and colorful, loud, clever, and raucous. The performances are expert, Smitrovich is utterly threatening, full of smoldering passion and anger and frustration and bravado." (Paul Lamar_ The Daily Gazette)

Recently, he was back yet again, this time starring in the Williamstown production of "The Winter's Tale". While receiving his Masters degree at Smith College and teaching theatre arts at U. Mass-Amherst, Bill was a founding member of the renowned "No Theatre Company", now in association with the "Wooster Group" whose members include Willem Dafoe and Spalding Gray.

Bill was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where in I992 he received an honorary Doctorate from his alma-mater, The University of Bridgeport. He is an avid golfer who originated and has hosted the annual "Life Goes On Celebmty Golf Classic" for the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. In I993 he received the "Michael Landon Humanitarian Award" for his work with the Down Syndrome Congress, then in 1996 he served on the executive board of the "International Special Olympics" committee in his home state of Connecticut. Bill currently lives in Los Angeles with Shaw Purnell, his wife of fifteen years and his two children, A.J. and Maya.

Bill Smitrovich's advice to the aspiring actor:

Acting generally requires a relaxed concentration. Preparation informs and relaxes and allows us to play with the words. It also uncovers the truth.

There is a reason a play is called a 'play'. Find the purpose of your role in the play (or screenplay). Look for the music in the words.

There is a reason we break down a script into 'beats', here is a reason a scene has a 'tempo' and there is a 'rhythm' to everything. Why do you think they call them 'notes'.

Being an actor requires great courage. Courage to risk. Courage to just 'be' and the wisdom to know the difference. Look for the heart, mind, body and soul of your character. Be selfless in the pursuit of honest truth.
Lastly. "READ. READ. READ."

  • Love The Art In Yourself - Not Yourself In The Art - Stanislavsky
  • All Great Art Aspires To Music
  • Preparation Reduces Anxiety. Know Your Lines!
  • Speak The Truth
  • ......and have fun!
Here's the latest from Bill! (Dec 1, 2019)



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Bill Smitrovich's Credits
 2022 The Wizdor Hotel

 2021 MacGyver (TV Series)

 2020 Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (TV Series)
Anton Chevic

- Dead People Lie Down (2020) ... Anton Chevic

 2019 The Son (TV Series)
Judge Rowe

- Hot Oil (2019) ... Judge Rowe

 2018 Magnum P.I. (TV Series)
Sam Carlyle

- The Woman Who Never Died (2018) ... Sam Carlyle

 2017-2018 Dynasty (TV Series)
Tom Carrington

- Poor Little Rich Girl (2018) ... Tom Carrington
- Our Turn Now (2018) ... Tom Carrington
- Rotten Things (2017) ... Tom Carrington

 2016-2017 Grey's Anatomy (TV Series)
Dr. Walter Carr / Therapist

- Go Big or Go Home (2017) ... Dr. Walter Carr
- All I Want Is You (2016) ... Therapist
 2017 Valley of Bones

 2017 Designated Survivor (TV Series)
Nate Butcher

- Brace for Impact (2017) ... Nate Butcher
 2017/I Bitch
Papa / Jill's dad

 2016 Documentary Now! (TV Series)
Mike Stankowicz

- Globesman (2016) ... Mike Stankowicz

 2014-2016 The Last Ship (TV Series)
Jed Chandler

- Scuttle (2016) ... Jed Chandler
- Achilles (2015) ... Jed Chandler
- It's Not a Rumor (2015) ... Jed Chandler
- Fight the Ship (2015) ... Jed Chandler
- Unreal City (2015) ... Jed Chandler
 2015 Ted 2

 2015 Two and a Half Men (TV Series)

- For Whom the Booty Calls (2015) ... Rick
 2014 The November Man

 2014 Rake (TV Series)
Bernie Michaels

- Hey, Good Looking (2014) ... Bernie Michaels
- Staple Holes (2014) ... Bernie Michaels
- Serial Killer (2014) ... Bernie Michaels

 2014 Intelligence (TV Series)
Stanwick Finnegan

- Secrets of the Secret Service (2014) ... Stanwick Finnegan

 2013 Californication (TV Series)

- Blind Faith (2013) ... Jack

 2012 CSI: NY (TV Series)
Robert Hicks

- Blood Out (2012) ... Robert Hicks
 2012 Ted

 2012 How to Be a Gentleman (TV Series)

- How to Be Draft Andrew (2012) ... Clyde
 2012 Unfair and Imbalanced (TV Movie)
Marty Silver

 2012 Harry's Law (TV Series)
Mike Horace

- Gorilla My Dreams (2012) ... Mike Horace
 2011 The Rum Diary
Mr. Zimburger

 2010-2011 The Event (TV Series)
Vice President Raymond Jarvis

- Arrival (2011) ... Vice President Raymond Jarvis
- The Beginning of the End (2011) ... Vice President Raymond Jarvis
- One Will Live, One Will Die (2011) ... Vice President Raymond Jarvis
- Us or Them (2011) ... Vice President Raymond Jarvis
- Strain (2011) ... Vice President Raymond Jarvis
 2011 Second City This Week (TV Series)
Celebrity Guest

 2009 Castle (TV Series)
Ben Davidson

- A Chill Goes Through Her Veins (2009) ... Ben Davidson
 2008 Seven Pounds
George Ristuccia

 2008 Boston Legal (TV Series)
D.A. Jack Fitzhugh

- Kill, Baby, Kill! (2008) ... D.A. Jack Fitzhugh

 2004-2008 Without a Trace (TV Series)
Alexander Olczyk

- Live to Regret (2008) ... Alexander Olczyk
- Satellites (2008) ... Alexander Olczyk
- A Bend in the Road (2008) ... Alexander Olczyk
- At Rest (2007) ... Alexander Olczyk
- Deep Water (2007) ... Alexander Olczyk
 2008 Eagle Eye
Admiral Thompson
 2008 Flash of Genius
Judge Franks (as Bill Smitrovitch)
 2008 To Be Continued (Short)

 2008 Desperate Housewives (TV Series)
Reverend Green

- The Gun Song (2008) ... Reverend Green
 2008 Iron Man
General Gabriel
 2008 The Last Lullaby

 2008 Eli Stone (TV Series)
Judge Oliver Doyle

- I Want Your Sex (2008) ... Judge Oliver Doyle
 2007 Me & Lee? (TV Movie)

 2007 Brothers & Sisters (TV Series)
Ben Ridge

- History Repeating (2007) ... Ben Ridge

 2007 Criminal Minds (TV Series)
Det. Farraday

- Revelations (2007) ... Det. Farraday
- The Big Game (2007) ... Det. Farraday
 2006 A House Divided (TV Movie)

 2006 The Nine (TV Series)

- Outsiders (2006) ... Powell
 2006 The Contract
 2006 Heavens Fall
George Chamlee

 2006 Law & Order (TV Series)

- Family Friend (2006) ... Ernie

 2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Liam Weller

- Strain (2005) ... Liam Weller
 2005 Mrs. Harris (TV Movie)
Joel Arnou

 2005 Numb3rs (TV Series)
David Croft

- Noisy Edge (2005) ... David Croft
 2005 The Game of Their Lives
Admiral Higgins

 2005 Fat Actress (TV Series)
John McGuire

- Cry Baby McGuire (2005) ... John McGuire

 2005 24 (TV Series)
Gene McLennen

- Day 4: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (2005) ... Gene McLennen

 1994-2005 NYPD Blue (TV Series)
Al Angelotti / Dr. Peter Shennon

- Moving Day (2005) ... Al Angelotti
- The Final Adjustment (1994) ... Dr. Peter Shennon
 2004 While I Was Gone (TV Movie)
Reverend Daniel Beckett

 2004 LAX (TV Series)
Nick's Supervisor

- Pilot (2004) ... Nick's Supervisor

 2001-2004 The Practice (TV Series)
A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh

- The Firm (2004) ... A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh
- Police State (2004) ... A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh
- Goodbye (2003) ... A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh
- Special Deliveries (2003) ... A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh
- Burnout (2003) ... A.D.A. Kenneth Walsh
 2003 The Reagans (TV Movie)
Alexander Haig
 2003 The Law and Mr. Lee (TV Movie)

 2002 Robbery Homicide Division (TV Series)
Howard Castman

- In/Famous (2002) ... Howard Castman

 2001-2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV Series)
Inspector Cramer

- Cop Killer (2002) ... Inspector Cramer
- The Silent Speaker: Part 2 (2002) ... Inspector Cramer
- The Silent Speaker: Part 1 (2002) ... Inspector Cramer
- Help Wanted, Male (2002) ... Inspector Cramer
- Before I Die (2002) ... Inspector Cramer
 2001 H.M.O. (TV Movie)
 2001 Far East (TV Movie)
Captain James Anderson

 2001 Nash Bridges (TV Series)
Ray Urbanski

- Fair Game (2001) ... Ray Urbanski
- Cat Fight (2001) ... Ray Urbanski
- Change Up (2001) ... Ray Urbanski
 2000 Thirteen Days
Gen. Maxwell Taylor

 1999-2000 Batman Beyond (TV Series)
Ronny Boxer / Frank Watt

- Ace in the Hole (2000) ... Ronny Boxer (voice)
- Golem (1999) ... Frank Watt (voice)

 2000 God, the Devil and Bob (TV Series)

- God's Girlfriend (2000) ... (voice)
 2000 Fail Safe (TV Movie)
Gen. Stark (as William Smitrovich)
 2000 The Golden Spiders: A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV Movie)
Inspector Cramer
 1999 Kiss Toledo Goodbye
T. Bud

 1999 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Lt. Joseph Dane

- The Inheritors (1999) ... Lt. Joseph Dane
 1999 The '60s (TV Movie)
Bill Herlihy
 1999 Batman Beyond: The Movie (TV Movie)
Frank Watt (voice)

 1998 Fantasy Island (TV Series)

- Dying to Dance (1998) ... Ezra
 1998 Futuresport (TV Movie)
Coach Douglas
 1998 Around the Fire
Matt Harris
 1998 Mr. Murder (TV Movie)
Lt. Lowbock

 1997 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
Bill McNabb

- Great Expectations (1997) ... Bill McNabb
 1997 Air Force One
General Northwood

 1996-1997 Millennium (TV Series)
Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher

- Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions (1997) ... Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher
- Lamentation (1997) ... Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher
- Walkabout (1997) ... Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher
- Sacrament (1997) ... Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher
- The Thin White Line (1997) ... Lt. Bob 'Bletch' Bletcher
 1996 Ghosts of Mississippi
Jim Kitchens
 1996 The Trigger Effect
 1996 Independence Day
Captain Watson
 1996 The Phantom
Uncle Dave Palmer
 1995 Long Island Fever (TV Movie)
Edward Potter

 1995 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
Larry Armstrong / Leonard Atkins

- Frozen Stiff (1995) ... Larry Armstrong / Leonard Atkins
 1995 Nick of Time
Officer Trust

 1995 Fantastic Four (TV Series)
Daredevil / Matthew Murdock

- And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them (1995) ... Daredevil / Matthew Murdock (voice)
 1995 Bodily Harm
Lt. Darryl Stewart
 1995 Texas Justice (TV Movie)
Mitch Conlon

 1995 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (TV Series)

- Past Tense: Part II (1995) ... Webb
- Past Tense: Part I (1995) ... Webb
 1994 Children of the Dark (TV Movie)
Milos Janecek

 1989-1993 Life Goes On (TV Series)
Drew Thatcher

- Life Goes on (and on and On) (1993) ... Drew Thatcher
- Last Wish (1993) ... Drew Thatcher
- Bedfellows (1993) ... Drew Thatcher
- Five to Midnight (1993) ... Drew Thatcher
- Visions (1993) ... Drew Thatcher
 1993 Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story (TV Movie)
Dan Schweitzer
 1993 Gregory K (TV Movie)
George Russ
 1990 Crazy People
 1989 Renegades
 1989 Her Alibi

 1986-1988 Crime Story (TV Series)
Sgt. Danny Krychek / Det. Danny Krychek

- Going Home (1988) ... Sgt. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
- Escape (1988) ... Sgt. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
- Pursuit (1988) ... Sgt. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
- Seize the Time (1988) ... Sgt. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
- Moulin Rouge (1988) ... Sgt. Danny Krychek (as William Smitrovich)
 1986 Manhunter
Lloyd Bowman
 1986 Band of the Hand
 1986 A Killing Affair
Pink Gresham
 1985 Silver Bullet
Andy Fairton

 1984-1985 Miami Vice (TV Series)
DEA Miami Commander / Lt. Scott Wheeler

- The Prodigal Son (1985) ... DEA Miami Commander
- Brother's Keeper (1984) ... Lt. Scott Wheeler
 1985 Key Exchange
 1984 The Beniker Gang
Laundry Truck Driver
 1984 Maria's Lovers
 1984 Splash
Ralph Bauer

 1983 American Playhouse (TV Series)

- Overdrawn at the Memory Bank (1983) ... (uncredited)
 1983 Johnny Garage (TV Movie)
Steve Enright (as William Smitrovich)
 1983 Without a Trace
Police officer
 1982 Born Beautiful (TV Movie)
Jake O'Neill
 1982 A Little Sex
 1982 Muggable Mary, Street Cop (TV Movie)
Charlie Hock
THEATRE (Broadway)
"Far East"
"The American Clock"
Lincoln CenterDir: Dan Sullivan
Dir: Dan Sullivan
THEATRE (Off Broadway & regional)
"A Winters Tale"
"The Skin Of Our Teeth"
"Far East"
"Frankie &Amp; Johnny"
"Of Mice And Men"
"Requiem For A Heavyweight"
"Food From Trash"
"The American Clock"
"Never Say Die"
"The American Century"
2001 Williamstown Theater Festival
2000 Williamstown Theater Festival
1999 Williamstown Theater Festival
Westside Arts Theatre
Hong Kong Int'1 Arts Festival
Long Wharf Theatre
Actors Theatre of Louisville
Spoleto Festival
The Classic
Theatre Annenberg Center
Dir: Darko Tresnjack
Dir: Darko Tresnjack
Dir: Dan Sullivan
Dir: Arvin Brown
Dir: Jon Jory
Dir: Jon Jurasas

 Photo camera Credits 
[a] © 2010 - NBC/Universal
[b] © Photo by Harper Smith NBC/Universal
[c] © Photo by Justin Lubin NBC/Universal
[d] © 2013 Jordin Althaus - Showtime
[e] © Photo by Claudette_Barius
[e] © 1996-1997 Twentieth-Century Fox

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