Biography

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.

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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 46

Birthday 1922-01-31

Day of Death 1995-01-25

Place of Birth Oakland, California, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2001 2001: The Making of a Myth as Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (archive footage) (uncredited)
1980 First Family as TV Interviewer
1979 Big Shamus, Little Shamus (1 episode)
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1 episode)
1977 What Really Happened To the Class Of '65? (1 episode)
1977 The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries (1 episode)
1976 Quincy, M.E. (4 episodes)
1976 Gemini Man (12 episodes) as Leonard Driscoll
1976 Riding with Death
1975 The Hindenburg as Luftwaffe Colonel
1975 Switch (1 episode)
1974 Harry O (2 episodes)
1974 Busting as Mr. Weldman
1973 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark as Tom Henderson
1971 Cannon (1 episode)
1970 McCloud (1 episode)
1970 The Challengers as Brad York
1969 Marcus Welby, M.D. (1 episode)
1968 The Syndicate as Burt Hickey
1968 The Hand of Night as Paul Carver
1968 Red and Blue as Trumpeter
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey as Dr. Heywood Floyd
1967 The High Chaparral (2 episodes)
1965 The F.B.I. (1 episode)
1965 Green Acres (4 episodes)
1965 Devils of Darkness as Paul Baxter
1964 Devil Doll as Mark English
1964 Ring of Spies as Gordon Lonsdale
1963 The Sentimental Agent (1 episode)
1963 Incident at Midnight
1963 Blind Corner as Paul Gregory
1962 The Saint (2 episodes) as Foots Fortunati
1961 Information Received as Rick Hogan
1961 Gorgo as Sam Slade
1961 Offbeat as Layton / Steve Ross
1959 Whirlpool as Hermann
1958 Dublin Nightmare as John Kevin
1957 High Tide at Noon as Alec Douglas
1955 Portrait of Alison as Dave Forrester
1954 The Stranger Came Home as Philip Vickers
1954 What Every Woman Wants as Jim Barnes
1953 Albert R.N. as Texas
1953 House of Blackmail as Jimmy
1953 Appointment in London as "Mac" Baker
1953 The Yellow Balloon as Len Turner
1949 Give Us This Day as Giovanni

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