William Hall Macy, Jr. (born March 13, 1950) is an American actor and writer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo. He is also a teacher and director in theater, film and television. His film career has been built mostly on his appearances in small, independent films, though he has appeared in summer action films as well. Macy has described his screen persona as "sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy... Everyman". He has won two Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, being nominated for nine Emmy Awards and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards in total. He is also a three-time Golden Globe Award nominee.
Macy was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Georgia and Maryland. His father, William Hall Macy, Sr., was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and an Air Medal for flying a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in World War II; he later ran a construction company in Atlanta and worked for Dun & Bradstreet, before taking over a Cumberland, Maryland-based insurance agency, when Macy was nine years old. His mother, Lois (née Overstreet), was a war widow who met Macy's father after her first husband died in 1943; Macy has described her as a "Southern belle".
After graduating in 1968 from Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland, he participated in the anti-war hippie movement. Macy studied veterinary medicine at Bethany College of West Virginia. By his own admission a "wretched student," he transferred to Goddard College and became involved in theatre where he performed in ensemble productions of The Three Penny Opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream and a wide variety of contemporary and improvisational pieces. That is where he first met David Mamet. After graduating in 1971, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, and got a job as a bartender to pay the rent. Within a year he and David Mamet, among others, founded the successful St. Nicholas Theater Company, where Macy originated roles in a number of Mamet's plays, such as American Buffalo and The Water Engine.