Feb. 16th, 1951
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 8 1/2
William Katt's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - Big Game
2007 - The Man from Earth
2002 - Snake Island
2001 - Circuit
1999 - The Rage: Carrie 2
1999 - Jawbreaker
1997 - U'bejani
1986 - House
1985 - Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend
1979 - Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
1978 - Big Wednesday
1976 - Carrie
Guest TV Roles
Green Guardsman (Voiced)
Cmdr. James Merrick
William Theodore Katt (born February 16, 1951) is an American film and television actor, best known as the star of The Greatest American Hero. He is also known for playing Tommy Ross, the ill-fated prom date of Carrie White in the film version of Carrie.
Katt attended Orange Coast College before pursuing a career as a musician. He then started acting, appearing in summer stock and in small television roles. His earliest film credits include the role of a jock, Tommy Ross, in Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film adaptation Carrie, and the role of Sundance Kid in the 1979 film Butch and Sundance: The Early Days. The same year he also appeared as Barlow in the John Milius surf film Big Wednesday opposite Jan-Michael Vincent and Gary Busey. This role made him so well known in the surfing community that in 2004 he presented one of the Association of Surfing Professionals awards at their annual World championship tour ceremony, to wild applause from the crowd of professional surfers.
Katt auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker in 1977's science fiction blockbuster Star Wars, and footage of his audition has been featured in many Star Wars documentaries. The role went to Mark Hamill, and Katt instead starred that year in First Love.
In 1981, Katt was cast as the title role in a filmed version of the Broadway musical comedy Pippin, which film received mixed reviews. He won his best remembered role that year, however, as Ralph Hinkley, a mild-mannered schoolteacher given a superpowered suit by aliens on the television series The Greatest American Hero, a role he played until the show was canceled in 1983.
After The Greatest American Hero, Katt starred in the cult horror/comedy film House (1986) (reprising his role for the third sequel, House IV, in 1992) and played the recurring role of detective Paul Drake Jr. in the periodic Perry Mason TV movies of the late eighties. These co-starred his mother, Barbara Hale, who resumed her Della Street role from the original show, and Katt collaborated on some of the later scripts. Katt starred in the 1989 TV series Top of the Hill, and acted in the short-lived 1991 series Good Sports.
Katt continues to appear on television and in supporting film roles, and has also branched out into voice acting. He appeared in an episode of House, M.D. in 2006. In recent years, he has returned to genre work, with appearances in Andromeda and Justice League and roles in the award-winning film Gamers (2006), The Man from Earth (2007) and Alien vs Hunter (2007).
Katt briefly appeared in Heroes season 3, "The Butterfly Effect", as a nosy reporter investigating Ali Larter's character. He portrayed Jack Matheson in the thriller film Mirrors 2. In 2010, during season 6, Katt starred as C.J. Payne's musician birth father in the episode, "Who's Your Daddy, Now?", on the Tyler Perry comedy, House of Payne.
Katt has also written a Greatest American Hero comic book, and contributed to that series' Facebook page.
- Brother of Jody Katt (b. 1947) and Juanita Katt (b. 1953).
- In 2008, he started his own line of comic books, Catastrophic Comics, with the launch of the critically acclaimed book Sparks co-created with Christopher Folino.
- Disliked his _"The Greatest American Hero" (1981)_ (qv) outfit so much, due to its look and discomfort, TV Guide had to use an illustration of him rather than a photo for one cover.
- (1977) Listed as one of twelve Promising New Actors of 1977 in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 29.
- Auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker in the original _Star Wars (1977)_ (qv) opposite 'Kurt Russell (I)' (qv), who auditioned for the role of Han Solo.
- During California's historic gubernatorial recall, after being asked about the research and preparation he had done for his short-lived series _Top of the Hill (1989) (TV)_ (qv) . A fan asked, "So why don't YOU run for Governor?".
- Lookalike son of actor 'Bill Williams (I)' (qv), who starred as Kit Carson in _"The Adventures of Kit Carson" (1951)_ (qv), and mother, actress 'Barbara Hale' (qv).
- Attended and was a mentor at the 2nd annual HatcH audiovisual festival in Bozeman, MT in October 2005. HatcH is a film and arts festival whose mission is to provide mentorship, education, inspiration, and recognition to the next generation of creative innovators.
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