Family & Companions
The Southern drawl, droopy eyes, stringy hair and face cracked by the elements lend themselves to playing hicks and 'white trash' roles, and William Sanderson has played them for over twenty years. He is perhaps best recalled as Larry, the speaking member of a trio of brothers on the long-running CBS series "Newhart."
Sanderson is anything but a hick, however. After a rebellious youth and a stretch in the army, he graduated from Memphis State University and then went on to its law school. Sanderson opted to move to NYC to pursue an acting career rather than practice law. He found work off-Broadway where he appeared in over thirty stage productions. By the early 1980s, Sanderson was working in movies and on TV. He is remembered as the young uncle to Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek) in Michael Apted's "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980) and, teamed again with Spacek, as Calvin in Jack Fisk's "Raggedy Man" (1981). Sanderson contributed a moving vignette as a prematurely aging designer who harbors the runaway android (Darryl Hannah) in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" (1982). He has also had roles in other high profile features like Hal Needham's "City Heat" (1984), Joe Johnston's "The Rocketeer" (1991) and Joel Schumacher's "The Client" (1994) followed.
On TV, Sanderson offered strong turns as a convict trying to help youth offenders stay out of prison on "Scared Straight: Another Story" (CBS, 1980) and as Tommy Lee Jones' cell mate in "The Executioner's Song" (NBC, 1982). That same year, he made a guest appearance as a local hayseed on the CBS sitcom "Newhart" and, based on positive reaction, was asked to join the cast in a recurring role. As Larry, he would enter the inn with his two brothers and utter, "Hello, my name is Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and my other brother Darryl." No one was sure what made this funny, but the audience loved it and, at one point, there was even talk of a spin-off series. In 1989, Sanderson was cast as Lippy Jones in the Western miniseries "Lonesome Dove" (CBS), a role he reprised in 1993's "Return to Lonesome Dove." He also won critical praise for his performance as a sadistic inmate in the Civil War-era prison camp drama "Andersonville" (TNT, 1996), directed by John Frankenheimer. Sanderson's distinctive voice began to be used in animated series in the 1990s, including "Santo Bugito" (CBS, 1995), set in a sleepy Southwestern town.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Film debut, "Savage Weekend"
Played Loretta Lynn's young uncle in "Coal Miner's Daughter"
TV series debut as regular, "Bret Maverick" (NBC)
Appeared as Tommy Lee Jones' cellmate in "The Executioner's Song"
Played Larry (of Larry, Daryl and Daryl) on "Newhart" (CBS)
Cast as the brilliant, gentle toy maker J.F. Sebastian in Ridley Scott's future noir classic "Blade Runner"
Played Lippy Jones in the "Lonesome Dove" miniseries on CBS
Co-Starred in "Stephen King's 'Sometimes They Come Back'"
Reprised role of Lippy Jones in "Return to Lonesome Dove" (CBS)
Portrayed a character named Deuce in an episode of the hit series "Babylon 5" (TNT), later reprised the role in the TV movie "Babylon 5: Thirdspace" (1998)
Co-starred in John Grisham's "The Client"
Provided voice for the "Santo Bugito" (CBS) series
Co-starred opposite Beau Bridges in the satirical television series "Maximum Bob" (ABC)
Co-starred with Faye Dunaway in "Stanley's Gig"
Starred with Robert Duval in "Gods and Generals"
Cast as hotelier and camp mayor E.B. Farnum on HBO's "Deadwood"
Starred in the big-screen version of the popular video game, "BloodRayne"; directed by Uwe Boll
Again worked with director Uwe Boll for "Dungeon Siege"
Re-teamed with director Uwe Boll for "Postal"
Joined the cast of HBO's "True Blood" playing town Sheriff Bud Dearborne
Cast as Father Juge in "A Merry Friggin' Christmas"
Reprised role of E.B. Farnum in HBO's long-gestating "Deadwood" film