Bill Pullman

One of seven children, boyishly handsome Bill Pullman was born Dec. 17, 1953, in bucolic Hornell, N.Y. A trip to a drama club led Pullman to attend the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to acquire a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing.

Pullman moved to the Big Apple in 1980 to pursue acting and performed in off-Broadway productions before making his film debut in Ruthless People (1986). The next year, director Mel Brooks cast Pullman as the lead in the sci-fi spoof Spaceballs; his subsequent films included A League of Their Own (1992) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

In 1994, Pullman displayed his protean talents as Linda Fiorentino's slimy spouse in The Last Seduction, and in 1995 he bagged his breakout role in the crowd-pleaser While You Were Sleeping. One year later, he played the president in the box-office smash Independence Day, and in 1999 he starred in Lake Placid.