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William Petersen

Ever since his film debut in director Michael Mann's 1981 crime drama Thief, actor William L. Petersen has carved a successful niche for himself in the realm of crime-oriented television and film. Audiences were quick to warm to the actor thanks to his everyman appearance and ability to elicit sympathy by portraying authority figures whose rank rarely surpassed their humanity, and in the following decades, Petersen would hone this persona to a fine point in such efforts as Mann's 1986 thriller Manhunter and, much later, the popular CBS crime series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. It was while studying on a football scholarship at Idaho State University that the Evanston, IL, native first discovered his love for the stage, and though the popular jock initially signed up for drama classes as a means of boosting his grade point average, his love for the stage soon surpassed his grip on the gridiron. A post-graduate move to Spain found Petersen studying Shakespearean acting, with a subsequent return to the States leading the burgeoning actor to Chicago. In addition to an association with the famed Steppenwolf Theater, Petersen and several of his peers co-founded Chicago's Remains Theater Ensemble in 1980. The next year, a small supporting role in Mann's Thief marked Petersen's first foray into the celluloid universe, and it was also around this time that Petersen made his Broadway debut with a starring role in The Night of the Iguana. As the 1980s progressed, Petersen became an increasingly recognizable figure in the world of film, in particular thanks to solid performances in such efforts as To Live and Die in L.A., Manhunter, and Amazing Grace and Chuck, with his stature on the screen virtually cemented by the time he kicked off the 1990s with a turn as Pat Garrett in Young Guns II. Though roles in such films as Return to Lonesome Dove, Fear, and The Beast did indeed increase Petersen's recognition factor among the moviegoing and television-viewing masses, he more often than not seemed to be lost without Mann's direction and criminals to chase. Of course, all of this would be solved when the veteran actor stepped into the role of crime scene investigator for the 2000 television series CSI, and though feature work had certainly taken precedence over television thus far in his career, the transition seemed to benefit Petersen when the Emmy-nominated series soon shot to the top of the ratings.

William Petersen and his girlfriend of seven years, Chicago Biology teacher Gina Cirone, are engaged. Pondering how best to pop the question, the CSI investigator decided that a reenactment of their first date might guarantee a favorable result. In December Petersen, who sees Cirone once a month, flew to Chicago, where he spoke to her high school classes. Then the couple took a long drive around the Windy City, followed by dinner at Spiaggia. Petersen, who asked for the same meal he'd eaten seven years before, gave her a 3-carat emerald-cut diamond-and platinum engagement ring. Although no wedding date has been set, Cirone plans to move to L.A. after the school year ends and continue teaching.

 

Multi-talented William Petersen

He's an actor of unmistakable talent. No matter what format he is performing, whether it be the live stage, movies or made for television movies. He is an actor of such depth that other performers dull in his shadow.


FANTASY LOVER
(for William)

His gentleness and soft-spoken voice engulfed me.
Tenderly his large sensitive hands molded around me,
Holding me as no other man had ever,
And deep inside of me I knew that -
He was the one.
The one who would touch my soul.
With a gentleness that can not be explained
Or reasoned with,
He can capture my breath by just smiling

 

'CSI' Hunk William Petersen Set to Wed

As soon as the school year is over; Gina will pack up and move to L.A.; where she and William, who plays Gill Grissom, will start preparing for their late summer wedding, say insiders.

"Billy used to fly into Chicago, where he still has a home, at least once a month to visit Gina, who's never been married," revealed a close source.

"But work on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" was taking up so much of his time that it was getting harder and harder to get away. So he flew into town and finally asked her to quit her job and marry him .

"He joked that between his family and Gina's, there'd be so many people they'd have to have the wedding at Wrigley Field."

The Nuptials have the blessings of both families who get along great, disclosed the close source. "Gina's already kind of a stepmom to Maite, Billy's 26-year-old daughter by his previous marriage."

In an unusual twist, the gala nuptials will have a surprising guest, revealed the close source.

They expect to invite Billy's first wife Joanne to the wedding. And why not? As Billy said, "She married a good friend of mine and we have a great relationship now...we're still god friends and that's important."

"After Billy and Gina are finally hitched, they'll settle into his L.A. home -- and she'll probably even end up helping him out on the show."

CSI star William Petersen celebrates 100th episode of the hit TV show

If you’ve ever watched an episode of the crime-solving series, you know how much impact a single lead slug can have on the interiors of the human body. The same could be said for the hugely popular drama about Las Vegas forensics investigators, which celebrates its 100th episode Nov. 18 (10 p.m. on channel 3 and 12) — a milestone for a show that resculpted the small-screen landscape. Since its debut in 2000, CSI has been entrenched at the top of the heap. Currently in its fifth season, CSI is the No. 1-ranked drama in Canada (four million viewers) and the U.S. (30 million). No small feat considering it premiered when reality-TV was rewriting the network handbook. No small feat either as it seemed like anything but a slam dunk prior to its premiere.

For one thing, star William Petersen — while a respected actor (Manhunter) — was far from a household name. For another, executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer — while a proven hitmaker on the big screen thanks to action thrillers such as Con Air and Armageddon — was an unknown quantity in the TV realm, particularly with fare that promised to be more cerebral than combustible. But Bruckheimer, like one of his movie alter-egos, didn’t just prove the naysayers wrong — he shot, blasted and blew them away. Credit his commercial instincts — and the power the mysterious minutia of death holds sway over viewers. The result has been as influential as profitable.

Television is, by nature, a repetitious medium — reproducing like a virus, so of course there have always been spinoffs. But nothing compares to the sheer volume and speed at which the CSI brand name has cloned itself. In a mere five years, the franchise has tripled its presence — without, stunningly, fragmenting its audience. While the original CSI outranks its siblings, CSI: Miami routinely attracts more than 20 million watchers, while CSI: NY comes close, outdrawing stalwart Law & Order on Wednesdays. The message to networks? The McDonaldization of TV is here in force — with CSI the biggest, sloppiest Big Mac of them all. The producer had been a Hollywood power player for nearly two decades — but in movies, not television. Yet in CSI, the Top Gun and Pearl Harbor titan expanded his horizons — and liked what he found. Along with the CSIs, he’s now responsible for a huge amount of programming — from hits (Cold Case and Without A Trace) to misses (the failed porn saga Skin) to sleeper successes (The Amazing Race). And he’s not slowing down. Among the numerous projects he’s got on the burner is a pilot for NBC described as — surprise — “CSI Pentagon.” Don’t begrudge Bruckheimer his fortunes, though. From CSI on, he’s demonstrated an uncanny savviness, taking what could have been a talky — i.e.: non-mainstream — show and slathering it with style, piling on enough sucking chest wounds and coloured camera filters to keep even an ADD-afflicted wrestling fan content. The secret of his enormous success? The ability to trick conservative audiences into thinking they’re watching something “edgy” (gore galore, such topics as tonight’s focus on Las Vegas’ transgender community) when, really, the scripts are about as groundbreaking as a Quincy rerun.

When a show hits, contract renegotiations follow. Most times, networks blink — take Brad Garrett, who held out for (and got) more money for the final seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond. But CBS chief Les Moonves drew a miserly line in the sand this year when CSI cast members Jorja Fox and George Eads staged a walkout of sorts in order to fatten their paycheques. Moonves fired both of them — and they quickly returned to work, without a penny more. Expect other network bosses to follow a similar hardline stance. All is not lost for the marquee names, though. Even as Fox and Eads were floundering, Petersen got a big bump up in price as the show’s headliner— and perhaps the only performer CBS thinks it can’t do without.

William Petersen's ''Manhunter'' limited edition double disc package on sale now !

Many people believe 1991’s multi-award winning ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ to be the film that introduced the world to Dr. Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter. In fact, the not-so-good doctor made his first screen appearance some time before the events in that film. Before The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal there was Manhunter, a film based on the Thomas Harris novel ‘Red Dragon’. Interestingly enough, Michael Mann’s 1996 feature doesn’t give Lecter (or Lecktor as he is in Manhunter) a lot of screen time, and instead concentrates on the FBI agent responsible for his incarceration and the pursuit of a new serial killer – The Tooth Fairy. Anchor Bay’s limited edition presents both the theatrical cut, and slightly longer director’s cut in a double disc package.

William Petersen plays Will Graham, a retired FBI profiler who was responsible for apprehending the cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), but at significant cost to his own psychological well being. Graham uses a particularly ingenious, not to mention dangerous technique when pursuing his quarry. In order to better understand criminal impulses he immerses himself into the psyche of a killer, thinking as they would in order to anticipate their next move. Although effective it has a severely detrimental effect on his mental health, as he risks losing his own identity within that of a serial killer.

When a new serial murderer surfaces, Graham is coaxed out of retirement by FBI Section Chief Jack Crawford, played here by Dennis Farina. The killer, dubbed the ‘Tooth Fairy’ because of the bite marks he leaves on his victims, is murdering whole families in their homes and appears to be following a lunar cycle. With only three weeks left before the Tooth Fairy is due to strike again, Graham agrees to help track him down. In order to do this Graham needs to construct an accurate profile of the killer, and to that end he visits the incarcerated Hannibal Lecktor...

Manhunter features some fine performances, especially from Petersen and Cox. Petersen portrays Will Graham as an intensely thorough character, one who is almost as meticulous in his work as the killer he is trying to capture. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the interaction between Graham and Lecktor. Brian Cox portrays Lecktor in a very different way to Anthony Hopkins, which is no bad thing. Cox’s performance is understated, emotionless and very unsettling, a direct contrast to Hopkins’ almost camp turn. The fact that Hannibal is locked away behind bars in a completely sterile environment, rarely to be seen, makes his appearances here even more powerful. What must not be forgotten is that the exchanges between Graham and Lecktor are merely a small part of a much larger picture, that of the pursuit of the Tooth Fairy.
Video
For the theatrical release of this collector’s edition we are treated to a great new THX certificated transfer, presented in its original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1 and anamorphically enhanced. Dante Spinotti’s cinematography is simply excellent, evident from the opening scene where Graham and Crawford are sitting on the beach with gorgeous blue skies and the ocean stretching as far as the eye can see. The transfer is first-rate, and apart from some minor print damage the video is superb for a relatively unknown feature of this age.
Extras
This limited edition comes complete with some very nice extra features, although not quite as many as I would have hoped for in a collector’s set like this. Aside from the usual theatrical trailer (anamorphically enhanced for once) and talent bios, we are given two short featurettes. The first, entitled ‘The Manhunter Look: A conversation with cinematographer Dante Spinotti’, is exactly that. The second, slightly longer featurette is entitled ‘Inside Manhunter’, and features interviews with most of the principal cast, although Michael Mann is conspicuous by his absence. Included in the package is a 24-page booklet, or rather a dossier that resembles the FBI files carried by Will Graham in the film. This holds some interesting essays on the film, as well as some excellent photographs. Finally we have the much-maligned director’s cut. While it is true that this version of the film is somewhat aurally and visually inferior to the theatrical cut, it is a nice addition and worth at least one viewing.

Overall
I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I prefer this to Silence of the Lambs and the rather disappointing Hannibal (although I know Woody disagrees!). In Manhunter the role of the killer is fleshed out, making him a far more interesting and threatening character than Buffalo Bill in Silence, which in turn makes the film more gripping. This edition contains everything a fan could want, excellent audio and video quality (at least for the theatrical version), a nice selection of extras and the director’s cut of the film. The director’s cut is an interesting inclusion, but it is not necessarily the better of the two versions. If you’re after a well-crafted, stylish, intense psychological thriller then you could do a lot worse than this. If you try not to view it as a prequel to the other films, but rather as a film in it’s own right, you will find you will find the film a lot more enjoyable. A single disc edition of the film is also available, but this doesn’t include the director’s cut. That said, it is cheaper and is a little easier to track down than the two disc set.



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