According to the obituary written by his loving wife Mimi, who referred to William as a "Giant of a man with the sole of a poet", she went on to say: "Although William often played toughs and strongmen, in his actual life he was an elegant man with a brilliant intellect who loved to argue about politics and current affairs, discuss philosophy and physics and assert fine-pointed opinions about art and poetry..."
William (Bill) Lucking graduated from U.C.L.A. and the Pasadena Playhouse with degrees in both literature and theater. He continued his professional training as a journeyman actor under under Gordon Davidson at the Mark Taper Forum, during which time he worked on both main stage and Monday Night Theater Productions, While at the Taper he also studied with well known acting coach Jeff Corey.
In 1971, Lucking moved to Santa Paula, California to raise a family in a small town atmosphere while continuing to develop a thriving career in film and television. His most recent film credits include Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts and The Limey, both directed by Steven Soderbergh. His numerous television credits include work as a series regular on Outlaws with Rod Taylor and most recently guest starring roles on West Wing, N.Y.P.D. Blue, J.A.G., Martial Law, The X-Files, Millenium, and many others including more than a dozen Movies of the Week.
In the late 80's, Lucking renewed his interest in the theater, both behind the scenes and on stage. He co-founded the Santa Paula Theater Center in Ventura County, CA and served as Artistic/Managing Director for five seasons. In this capacity he Produced a wide range of projects including Pinter's The Hothouse, as well as Going to See the Elephant, Major Barbara, Camino Real, All the King's Men, and several world premieres. Lucking's most recent stage roles include Blue in the CTG/Ahmanson production of Conversations With My Father at the Doolittle Theater in Los Angeles and Dr. Sloper in the Ensemble Theater Company of Santa Barbara's production of The Heiress.
After the death of his wife of thirty years, Lucking began to focus on his longtime efforts as a writer. Writing since his college years, and still laboring on obscurity, he has created numerous screenplays and short stories. He recently finished a novel entitled Casual Labor and is working on a second while he pursues a publisher. During this time he has also Directed several episodes of television including Mike Hammer with Stacy Keach, and the long running syndicated series Silk Stalkings
In 1999, Lucking moved to Pasadena where he continues to work as an actor, writer, and director.
To bring you up to speed since our original publication of this profile, the Vicksburg, Michigan native has played tough bikers in "Hell's Belles" (1969) and "Wild Rovers" (1971), craggy cowboys in "The Magnificent Seven Ride!" (1972) and "The Return of a Man Called Horse" (1976), and determined military and police officers in "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze" (1975) and "K-PAX" (2001). His other film work includes appearances in "Oklahoma Crude" (1973), "The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder" (1974), "10" (1979), "The French Atlantic Affair" (1979), "Captain America II: Death Too Soon" (1979), "The Ninth Configuration" (1980), "The Mountain Men" (1980), "Coast to Coast" (1980), "Stripes" (1981), "Ladykillers" (1988), "False Identity" (1990), "Extreme Justice" (1993), "The River Wild" (1994), "The Limey" (1999), "Erin Brockovich" (2000), "Red Dragon" (2002), "The Rundown" (2003), and "Contraband" (2012).
On television he has had starring or featured roles in Outlaws as Harland Pike and "The A-Team" as Colonel Lynch. He has appeared on such television series as "Mission: Impossible", "The Partridge Family", "Simon & Simon", "Bonanza", "Kung Fu", "Baa Baa Black Sheep", "Gunsmoke", "The Rockford Files", "The Waltons", "The Incredible Hulk", "Knight Rider", "Magnum, P.I.", "M*A*S*H", "Hunter", "The Greatest American Hero", "Murder, She Wrote", "NYPD Blue", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "JAG", "Walker, Texas Ranger", "The X Files", "ER", "The Pretender", "Profiler", "The West Wing", "Sons of Anarchy", "Cold Case"and "Tales of the Gold Monkey", among other television shows.
In the theater, Lucking graduated from UCLA and the Pasadena Playhouse with degrees in literature and theater. In 1986, with fellow actor and Michigan native Dana Elcar, he co-founded the Santa Paula Theater Center.
As co-instructor of the company's free acting workshop he was admired for his minimalist approach; a counterpoint to Elcar's methodical style. He served alongside Elcar as artistic director for five seasons. He produced such projects as Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story", Harold Pinter's "The Hothouse", George Bernard Shaw's "Major Barbara", Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real", and Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men". His most recent stage roles include Blue in the CTG/Ahmanson production of "Conversations with My Father"at the Doolittle Theater in Los Angeles and Dr. Sloper in the Ensemble Theater Company of Santa Barbara's production of "The Heiress".
Don't even think of acting as a profession unless not doing it would cause you to sicken and waste away. After you have made this preposterous decision, there are a few rules to guide you either up or down in your career
First, as an actor, I think you would do well not to move or speak until you had exhausted all other options and are forced into these two activities. Adhering to this principal will cut down on the 'Sturm und Drang' the rest of us will have to watch and will most certainly increase the clarity and focus of your work.
Secondly, you must be of two minds. One is, you must believe that you are 'a real frog in an imaginary garden' and the other is that you are a hard nosed entrepreneur for whom only the bottom line matters. The former has always been easier for me than the latter but I continue to try."
He offers us this quote from a comic book as the most appropriate way to send an actor off into his new life:
SO BE IT! The illusion hath begun."
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Judge Franklin T. Hildred
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Colonel Jack Westford
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Police Det. Frank Lunden / Police Captain Tom DeSousa
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Col. Lynch / Army Col. Lynch
Sergeant Mac McClellan
Sam Houston Hunter
Officer McKnight (as Bill Lucking)
Det. Norm White
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Recruiter (as Bill Lucking)
George Benton / Kenny
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Jim Walter (as Bill Lucking)
Sham Murphy (as Bill Lucking)
Stader (as Bill Lucking)
Policeman (as Bill Lucking)
Tom Gryce (as Bill Lucking)
Charlie (as Bill Lucking)
George (as Bill Lucking)
Police Officer Pete Kolodny
Charlie Joe Lightfoot
Renny (as Bill Lucking)
Tetzel / Crocker Cooper
Harry Chaney (1981)
* © 1972 Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Studios Inc.