William Hickey (actor)

William Hickey (Actor)

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William Hickey (actor)

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William Edward Hickey (September 19, 1927 – June 29, 1997) was an American actor. He was best known for his Oscar-nominated role as Don Corrado Prizzi in the John Huston 1985 film Prizzi's Honor, as well as the voice of Dr. Finklestein in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

Early life

Hickey was born in Brooklyn, the son of Nora and Edward Hickey, who were of Irish descent. He had an older sister, Dorothy Finn. Hickey began acting on radio in 1938.

Career

Best known as the ancient Mafia don in Prizzi's Honor (1985), Hickey had a long, distinguished career in film, television, and the stage. He began his career as a child actor on the variety stage and made his Broadway debut as a walk-on in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" (1951 production, starring Uta Hagen). He performed often during the golden age of television, including appearances on Studio One and Philco Playhouse. His most important contribution to the arts, however, remains his teaching career at the HB Studio in Greenwich Village, founded by Hagen and Herbert Berghof. George Segal, Sandy Dennis, and Barbra Streisand all studied under him.

Hickey enjoyed a career in film, television and theater. In addition to his work as an actor, he was a respected teacher of the craft. Notable for his unique, gravely voice and somewhat offbeat appearance, Hickey, in his later years, was often cast in "cantankerous-but-clever old man" roles....
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