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Billy Crudup
Billy Crudup 2015 1b.jpg
Crudup in 2015
William Gaither Crudup

(1968-07-08) July 8, 1968 (age 56)
Education University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (BA)
New York University (MFA)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1989–present
(m. 2023)
Partner(s) Mary-Louise Parker
Claire Danes
Children 1

William Gaither Crudup (/ˈkrdəp/; born July 8, 1968) is an American actor. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead for his performance in Jesus' Son (1999). He went on to star in numerous high-profile films, including Almost Famous (2000), Big Fish (2003), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Watchmen (2009), Public Enemies (2009), The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015), Jackie (2016), and Alien: Covenant (2017), in both lead and supporting roles.

Crudup is a four-time Tony Award nominee, winning once for his performance in Tom Stoppard's play The Coast of Utopia in 2007. He has also starred in the streaming television series Gypsy (2017), The Morning Show (2019), which earned him a 2020 Primetime Emmy Award and a 2024 Critics' Choice Television Award, and Hello Tomorrow! (2023). In June 2023, he married British actress Naomi Watts.

Early life

Crudup was born in Manhasset, New York. His parents, Georgann (née Gaither) and Thomas Henry Crudup III, divorced during his childhood, and later remarried, before divorcing a second time. On his father's side, he is a descendant of Congressman Josiah Crudup of North Carolina. His maternal grandfather was William Cotter "Billy" Gaither, Jr., a well-known Florida trial lawyer, and his maternal grandmother later remarried to Episcopal bishop James Duncan. Born second of three boys, Crudup has two brothers: Tommy, an executive producer, and Brooks, also a producer. He left New York with his family when he was about eight years old, first living in Texas, then in Florida. He graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1986.

Crudup attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received an undergraduate degree, and he continued his passion for acting with the undergraduate acting company, LAB! Theatre. He also acted for UNC-STV's most popular show, General College. He was a member of the Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He then studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts graduate acting program, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1994.


Film and television

Crudup began acting in films such as 1996's Sleepers, 1997's Inventing the Abbotts, and 1998's Without Limits, where he played the role of running legend and Olympian Steve Prefontaine. His first role in an animated feature was in 1999's English release of Princess Mononoke, in which he starred as Ashitaka. He then played lead guitarist Russell Hammond from Stillwater, the fictional band at the center of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000). In 2006's The Good Shepherd, he played British spy Arch Cummings, a stand-in for Kim Philby. The same year, he played a supporting role in Mission: Impossible III. In 2007, he played the leading role of Henry Roth in the film Dedication.

Crudup completed filming Watchmen with director Zack Snyder in Vancouver, British Columbia. He portrayed the superhero Doctor Manhattan. He portrayed former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner in a TV film about 2008's financial crisis, Too Big to Fail (2011). Crudup stars in the Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2020, and a Critics' Choice Television Award in both 2020 and 2023.


Billy crudup
Crudup in New York City, January 2011

A year after graduating from Tisch, Crudup made his debut on Broadway in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia.

Crudup received a 2002 Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as the title character in The Elephant Man on Broadway, as well as a 2005 nomination for his role as Katurian in the Broadway production of The Pillowman, also starring Jeff Goldblum, which closed on September 18, 2005. From October 2006 through May 2007, he was featured in the first two parts of The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard at Lincoln Center, playing literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, for which he received a 2007 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

He starred in The Metal Children, an off-Broadway play written and directed by Adam Rapp in 2010.

In 2011, Crudup received a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actor in a Play for his role in the Broadway revival of Arcadia.

In August 2013, he co-starred with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart in the Harold Pinter play No Man's Land as well as in Waiting for Godot at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The shows transferred to The Cort Theatre in New York City, where they ran in repertory until March 2014.

In November 2017, he starred in the world premiere of David Cale's one-man play Harry Clarke at Vineyard Theatre. It moved to the Minetta Lane Theatre the following spring.

Other work

From 1998 to 2005, Crudup was the narrator for the U.S. television ad campaign "Priceless" for Mastercard. In the ads, the narrator (Crudup) lists the prices of two goods or services, then lists some third, intangible benefit gained from those purchases and concludes, "priceless". He said in 2005 that appearing in the ads "changed my life", in that they gave him the financial freedom to pursue the acting work that he wanted to do.

He appeared as Zartan in the 2009 parody video The Ballad of G.I. Joe on the website Funny or Die.

Personal life

From 1996 to November 2003, Crudup was in a relationship with actress Mary-Louise Parker. She was seven months pregnant with their son, William Atticus Parker, born in January 2004, when Crudup ended their relationship and began dating actress Claire Danes. Crudup and Danes separated in 2006. In 2017, Crudup began dating British actress Naomi Watts, after the two met on the set of the Netflix drama series Gypsy. The couple married in New York City in June 2023. In June 2024, Watts and Crudup celebrated their nuptials in a second ceremony surrounded by their family in Mexico.

Acting credits


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Sleepers Tommy
Everyone Says I Love You Ken
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Jacey Holt
Grind Eddie / Terry's brother
1998 Monument Ave. Teddy Timmons
Without Limits Steve Prefontaine
The Hi-Lo Country Pete Calder
1999 Princess Mononoke Ashitaka (voice) English dub
Jesus' Son FH
2000 Waking the Dead Fielding Pierce
Almost Famous Russell Hammond
2001 World Traveler Cal
Charlotte Gray Julien Levade
2003 Big Fish Will Bloom
Stage Beauty Ned Kynaston
2005 Trust the Man Tobey
2006 Mission: Impossible III Musgrave
The Good Shepherd Arch Cummings
2007 Dedication Henry Roth
2008 Pretty Bird Curtis Prentiss
2009 Watchmen Jon Osterman / Dr. Manhattan
Public Enemies J. Edgar Hoover
2010 Eat Pray Love Stephen
2011 Thin Ice Randy
Too Big to Fail Timothy Geithner Television film
2012 The Watch Paul
2013 Blood Ties Frank
2014 Rudderless Sam
The Longest Week Dylan Tate
Glass Chin J.J. Cook
2015 The Stanford Prison Experiment Dr. Philip Zimbardo
Spotlight Eric MacLeish
2016 Youth in Oregon Brian
Jackie The Journalist
20th Century Women William
2017 1 Mile to You Coach K
Alien: Covenant Oram
Justice League Henry Allen
2019 After the Wedding Oscar Carlson
Where'd You Go, Bernadette Elgie
2021 Die in a Gunfight Narrator
Donnybrook Victor Roberts Short
TBA Untitled Noah Baumbach film Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Gypsy Michael Holloway Main role, 10 episodes
2019 At Home with Amy Sedaris Dr. Raddish Episode: "Halloween"
2019–present The Morning Show Cory Ellison Main role, 20 episodes
2022 The Last Movie Stars James Goldstone (voice) Docuseries
2023 Hello Tomorrow! Jack Billings Main role

Short film

Year Title Role
2009 The Ballad of G.I. Joe Zartan
2017 Alien: Covenant - Prologue: Last Supper Christopher Oram


Year Play Role Production Notes
1994 America Dreaming Robert Vineyard Theatre
1995 Arcadia Septimus Hodge Lincoln Center Theatre
1996 Bus Stop Bo Decker Circle in the Square Theatre
1997 The Three Sisters Staff Captain Solyony Roundabout Theatre
1998 Oedipus Oedipus Blue Light Theatre Company
2001 Measure for Measure Angelo Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park
2002 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Flake / Defense Counsel National Actors Theatre
The Elephant Man John Merrick Royale Theatre
2004 The 24 Hour Plays Bobby N/A Staged reading
2005 The Pillowman Katurian Edwin Booth Theatre
2006–07 The Coast of Utopia: Part 1 – Voyage Vissarion Belinsky Lincoln Center Theatre
The Coast of Utopia: Part 2 – Shipwreck
2009 The 24 Hour Plays Billy N/A Staged reading
2010 The Metal Children Tobin Falmouth Vineyard Theatre
2011 Arcadia Bernard Nightingale Ethel Barrymore Theatre
2013 No Man's Land Foster Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Cort Theatre
Waiting for Godot Lucky Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Cort Theatre
2017 Harry Clarke Various Vineyard Theatre
2018 Minetta Lane Theatre
2024 Ambassadors Theatre


The following is a list of accolades Crudup has received or been nominated for throughout his film, television and theatre career:

Work Year Association / Category Results Ref
N/A 1995 Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Male Won
Arcadia Theatre World Award for Best Actor Won
The Three Sisters 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
The Hi-Lo Country 1998 National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance – Male Won
1999 Western Heritage Award for Bronze Wrangler Won
Jesus's Son 2000 Paris Film Festival for Best Actor Won
Almost Famous 2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Drama / Romance Nominated
MTV Movie + TV Award for Best Line from a Movie ("I am a Golden God!") Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Jesus's Son
Almost Famous
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor Nominated
Jesus's Son Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Nominated
Charlotte Gray 2002 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama Nominated
The Elephant Man Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play Nominated
The Pillowman 2005 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play Nominated
The Coast of Utopia 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
The Good Shepherd Silver Berlin Bear for Outstanding Artist Contribution Won
The Coast of Utopia Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play Won
Arcadia 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
Spotlight 2016 Independent Spirit Award for Robert Altman Award Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
Harry Clarke 2018 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance Won
The Morning Show 2020 Critics Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Dorian Award for Best Supporting TV Performance – Actor Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2022 Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2024 Critics Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated

See also

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