Image of William Sylvester

William Sylvester

William Sylvester (January 31, 1922 – January 25, 1995) was an American TV and film actor. His most famous film credit was Dr. Heywood Floyd in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968). Born in Oakland, California and married at one time to the British actress Veronica Hurst, he moved to England after the Second World War and became a staple of British B films at a time when American and Canadian actors were much in demand in order to give indigenous films some appeal in the US. As a result, he gained top billing in one of his very first films, House of Blackmail (1953), directed by the veteran filmmaker Maurice Elvey, for whom he also made What Every Woman Wants the following year. He also starred in such minor films as The Stranger Came Home (1954, for Hammer), Dublin Nightmare (1958), Offbeat (1960), Information Received (1961), Incident at Midnight, Ring of Spies and Blind Corner (all 1963). There were also lead roles in four British horror films: Gorgo (1960), Devil Doll (1963), Devils of Darkness (1964) and The Hand of Night (1966). Among his many TV credits were a 1959 BBC version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (playing Mark Antony), The Saint, The Baron, The High Chaparral, Harry O and The Six Million Dollar Man. His later films included You Only Live Twice (1967) and, back in the USA after his prominent role for Kubrick, Busting (1973), The Hindenburg (1975) and Heaven Can Wait (1978). He died in Sacramento, California in 1995, aged 72.

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Jan 31, 1922 In Oakland, California, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Give Us This Day 1949-10-14
Latest Project:
Movie 2001: The Making of a Myth 2001-01-13
Known For
Poster of Quincy, M.E.
Poster of The High Chaparral
Poster of Incident at Midnight
Poster of The Saint
Movie 2001: The Making of a Myth Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (archive footage) (uncredited) 2001-01-13
Movie First Family TV Interviewer 1980-12-25
Series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Lt. General Preston Myers 1979-09-20
Series Big Shamus, Little Shamus Unknown 1979-09-29
Series The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries Unknown 1977-01-30
Series What Really Happened To the Class Of '65? Unknown 1977-12-08
Series Gemini Man Leonard Driscoll 1976-05-10
Movie Riding with Death Unknown 1976-01-01
Series Quincy, M.E. Unknown 1976-10-03
Series Switch Unknown 1975-09-09
Movie The Hindenburg Luftwaffe Colonel 1975-12-25
Movie Busting Mr. Weldman 1974-02-27
Series Harry O Unknown 1974-09-12
Movie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Tom Henderson 1973-10-10
Series Cannon Unknown 1971-09-14
Series McCloud Unknown 1970-02-17
Movie The Challengers Brad York 1970-02-20
Series Marcus Welby, M.D. Unknown 1969-09-23
Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey Dr. Heywood Floyd 1968-04-02
Movie Red and Blue Trumpeter 1968-08-08
Movie The Syndicate Burt Hickey 1968-09-16
Movie The Hand of Night Paul Carver 1968-08-11
Series The High Chaparral Unknown 1967-09-10
Movie Devils of Darkness Paul Baxter 1965-05-01
Series The F.B.I. Unknown 1965-09-19
Series Green Acres Unknown 1965-09-15
Movie Blind Corner Paul Gregory 1964-01-01
Movie Ring of Spies Gordon Lonsdale 1964-03-23
Movie Devil Doll Mark English 1964-09-01
Movie Incident at Midnight Unknown 1963-01-01
Series The Sentimental Agent Unknown 1963-09-28
Series The Saint Foots Fortunati 1962-10-04
Movie Offbeat Layton / Steve Ross 1961-01-01
Movie Information Received Rick Hogan 1961-08-01
Movie Gorgo Sam Slade 1961-02-02
Movie Whirlpool Hermann 1959-03-01
Movie Dublin Nightmare John Kevin 1958-10-01
Movie High Tide at Noon Alec Douglas 1957-04-30
Movie Portrait of Alison Dave Forrester 1955-11-29
Movie What Every Woman Wants Jim Barnes 1954-06-10
Movie The Stranger Came Home Philip Vickers 1954-09-24
Movie The Yellow Balloon Len Turner 1953-02-10
Movie Appointment in London "Mac" Baker 1953-02-17
Movie Albert R.N. Texas 1953-11-23
Movie House of Blackmail Jimmy 1953-07-13
Movie They Were Not Divided American Soldier (uncredited) 1950-04-24
Movie Give Us This Day Giovanni 1949-10-14