Photo of William Holden William Holden

Born to a wealthy family in O'Fallon, Ill., on April 17, 1918, as William Franklin Beedle Jr., William Holden changed his name and became a dependable and handsome Hollywood lead, making his film debut alongside Barbara Stanwyck in Golden Boy (1939).

He hit his stride with a string of memorable roles in Born Yesterday (1950); Sunset Boulevard (1950); Stalag 17 (1953), which earned him an Oscar; Executive Suite (1954); Sabrina (1954); Picnic (1956); The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957); The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) and The Wild Bunch (1969).

Despite a general slump in the 1970s, Holden earned an Emmy for his television debut in "The Blue Knights" (1973) and marked another career high with an Oscar-nominated performance in Network (1976). He died on Nov. 16, 1981, from an accidental fall at the age of 63.

William Holden in The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

1969 R

Director Sam Peckinpah's brilliant 1969 Western epic tells the story of a bunch of aging outlaws, led by Pike Bishop (William Holden), whose botched plans to pull off one last job forces them to collude with a crooked Mexican general (Emilio Fernández) -- leading to ugly bloodshed. Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Jaime Sánchez co-star in this special edition, which includes never-before-seen outtakes and three exclusive documentaries.

  • William Holden in The Bridge on the River Kwai The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • William Holden in Network Network
  • William Holden in Sunset Boulevard Sunset Boulevard
  • William Holden in Sabrina Sabrina
  • William Holden in The Horse Soldiers The Horse Soldiers
  • William Holden in Paris When It Sizzles Paris When It Sizzles
  • William Holden in Stalag 17 Stalag 17
  • William Holden in Casino Royale Casino Royale
  • William Holden in The Bridges at Toko-Ri The Bridges at Toko-Ri
  • William Holden in The Towering Inferno The Towering Inferno
  • William Holden in Born Yesterday Born Yesterday
  • William Holden in The Country Girl The Country Girl
  • William Holden in Picnic Picnic
  • William Holden in Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
  • William Holden in When Time Ran Out... When Time Ran Out...
  • William Holden in Escape from Fort Bravo Escape from Fort Bravo
  • William Holden in The Devil's Brigade The Devil's Brigade
  • William Holden in Golden Boy Golden Boy
  • William Holden in Texas Texas
  • William Holden in Union Station Union Station
  • William Holden in Damien: Omen II Damien: Omen II
  • William Holden in Fedora Fedora
  • William Holden in Invisible Stripes Invisible Stripes
  • William Holden in Breezy Breezy
  • William Holden in 21 Hours at Munich 21 Hours at Munich