To be a convincing character actor, you have to be versatile, to be able to play a benign best-friend type, then turn into a malevolent bastard on command. Few do that better than William Fichtner, the handsome Buffalo, NY native who plays DA Frank Crenshaw in the Steve Carell-Tina Fey comedy 'Date Night,' and who has made a career of alternately playing Best Buds and Total Jerks.

Fichtner got his start in the late '80s on the classic daytime drama 'As the World Turns,' then followed it with bit parts in films like 'Quiz Show,' 'Heat,' and 'Albino Alligator.' Before long, though, Fichtner's ability to portray a somewhat menacing antagonist -- or an equally likable best friend -- put him in blockbusters like 'Contact,' 'Armageddon,' 'Black Hawk Down,' and 'The Longest Yard.'
categories Features