William Gaither "Billy" Crudup (/ˈkruːdəp/; born July 8, 1968 in Manhasset, New York) is an American actor of film and stage.
He also has experience in voice acting, having voiced the English version of the character Ashitaka from the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke. He was also the (U.S.) narrator of Mastercard's long-running "Priceless" ad campaign from 1998 to 2005.
His film roles include:
- Sleepers (1996) as Tommy Marcano
- Everyone Says I Love You (1996) as Ken
- Princess Mononoke (1999) as Ashitaka (voice)
- Waking The Dead (2000) as Fielding Pierce
- Almost Famous (2000) as Russell Hammond
- Big Fish (2003) as Will Bloom
- Mission: Impossible III (2006) as Musgrave
- The Good Shepherd (2006) as Arch Cummings
- Watchmen (2009) as John Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
- Public Enemies (2009) as J. Edgar Hoover
- Eat, Pray, Love (2010) as Steven
- The Watch (2012) as Creepy Neighbor
- Spotlight (2015) as Eric MacLeish
- Jackie (2016) as the Journalist
- Justice League (2017) / Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) as Dr. Henry Allen
- Alien: Covenant (2017) as Captain Chris Oram
His stage roles include:
- Measure for Measure (2001) as Angelo
- The Elephant Man (2002) as John Merrick
- Arcadia (2011) as Bernard Nightingale
- Waiting for Godot (2013) as Lucky
- Doing It for the Art: He's been open about the fact that prefers doing smaller projects to big budget films.
- Fake Brit: In Stage Beauty.
- Irony as She Is Cast: He and his Watchmen co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan both have been in a relationship with Mary-Louise Parker. Crudup lived with her from 1996-2003 and they have a son together. Morgan started dating Parker in 2006, they became engaged in 2008, but eventually broke up.
- Looks Like Jesus: In Almost Famous.
- Love Interest: A good chunk of his roles were this in a film with a female protagonist.
- Mr. Fanservice: Plays these from time to time.
- Money, Dear Boy: His role as the narrator in the popular and long-running "Priceless" campaign for Mastercard gave him the financial security to pursue more artistically fulfilling projects.
- Playing Against Type: He rarely plays the same type of characters.
- Production Posse: He's done two films with Zack Snyder, both of which were DC Comics adaptations.
- Romance on the Set: He met his former longtime girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker during the 1996 Broadway run of Bus Stop. They dated for seven years and have one son together. He left her when she was seven months pregnant to date his Stage Beauty co-star Claire Danes for four years.
- Star-Making Role: He became busy after starring in Almost Famous.
- Those Two Actors: He co-starred with both Jeff Goldblum and Marion Cotillard twice.
- What Could Have Been:
- He was actually the second choice for the role of Russell in Almost Famous. The first choice, Brad Pitt decided instead to appear in the more financially successful film Fight Club.
- Was "replaced" by actor Michael Hayden in the Lincoln Center Theatre production of Henry IV.
- Declined an offer to play Bruce Banner in Hulk.
- Defied with Titanic. He was among the actors considered for Jack Dawson before Leonardo DiCaprio was cast but has said he doesn't think the film would have been anywhere near as successful if he'd played the role or that his career would have been all that different as a result.
- Your Costume Needs Work: While shooting this "Priceless" commercial where he finally appears in-person, the sound engineer thought Crudup was doing an impression of the narrator, as in, an impersonation of his own voice.