William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) was an American actor. Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1954 and the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1974. One of the most popular and well known movie stars of all time, Holden was one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s, he was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times (1954–1958, 1961) and appeared on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list as number 25. He starred in some of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time, including such blockbusters as Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, The Towering Inferno, and Network.
Holden, oldest of three sons (brothers were Robert and Richard), was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, the son of Mary Blanche (née Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. Growing up, Holden was raised in the Methodist church, and while some sources cite him as a Congregationalist, Holden identified himself as a Methodist throughout his life. The family, which moved to South Pasadena when he was three, was of English descent; Holden's paternal...
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