William Franklin Beedle Jr. was born on April 17, 1918 in O’Fallon, Illinois. His father was a successful chemical analyst, and the family moved to Pasadena, California when Holden was 3. While studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College in 1937, he was spotted by a talent scout in a production at the school and was signed to both Paramount and Columbia.

His first major role was in “Golden Boy” in 1939, where he portrayed a young man torn between violin and boxing. After returning from military service in World War II, he starred in “Sunset Boulevard” in 1950 opposite Gloria Swanson, and soon after that won on Oscar for his performance as a bitter sergeant in “Stalag 17.” He continued getting quality film roles, and during this time began to travel extensively throughout the world. He developed a passion for African wildlife preservation and spent much of his time, when not working on films, in campaigning for the ethical treatment of animals.

For the rest of his film career Holden continued to be selective in the roles he chose, starring in classics such as “Network,” “The Towering Inferno,” “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Sabrina,” opposite Audrey Hepburn. He married Brenda Marshall in 1941 and they divorced in 1971; they had two sons, Peter and Scott. Holden was the best man at Ronald Reagan’s wedding. He was also said to be a hygiene fanatic and showered up to four times on a daily basis. Holden died on Nov. 16, 1981 as a result of blood loss, after falling when no one was around to aid him. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. In 1995, Empire magazine picked him as #57 in the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.

Some of William Holden's credits include:

"Our Town"
"Those Were the Days"
"Blaze of Noon"
"Dear Ruth"
"Man from Colorado" "Born Yesterday"
"Father Is a Bachelor"
"Boots Malone"
"The Moon Is Blue"
"The Bridges at Toko-Ri"
"The Country Girl"
"Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"
"World of Suzie Wong"
"The Lion"
"The Devil's Brigade"
"The Wild Bunch"
"Damien: Omen II"

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