Photo of William Fichtner William Fichtner

As a military brat, William Fichtner learned early how to adapt to varying environments, a talent that's helped him become one of today's most sought-after character actors. Born Nov. 27, 1956, in East Meadow, N.Y., Fichtner studied criminal justice before shifting his focus to acting.

Fichtner's first acting break came when he was cast on the soap opera "As the World Turns," a job he kept for seven years (1987-93). Toward the end of that run, he also started to land small roles in films such as Malcolm X and Quiz Show.

In 1995, Fichtner played a more substantial part (as a small-town hood) in Steven Soderbergh's The Underneath. And while Fichtner assayed a leading role in 2000's Passion of Mind (opposite Demi Moore), it's in supporting turns that he continues to dazzle, in films such as Contact and Crash. In 2005, he took on the role of Sheriff Underlay on the sci-fi series "Invasion."

William Fichtner in Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence

2016 PG-13

Twenty years after the initial invasion of Earth by an army of advanced extraterrestrials, the same foes attack again with redoubled force, forcing humankind to construct defenses cobbled from alien technology left behind after the original attack.

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