The Last Morsel

The Minister of Sinister
The Grim Reaper?s a Veg?
No Way!  Yes . . . . Way!

by Carol Wiley

He was the evil Col. Stuart in Die Hard 2 (remember the nude scene?), the insidiously good-old-boyish blackmailer in The Hot Spot, and a chimp killer in Project X.  In the sleeper of this past summer, Bill and Ted?s Bogus Journey, he was the sometimes bewildered but always bemused Grim Reaper ("His Royal Deathness, the Doc of Shock, the Man with No Tan").

William Sadler?s portrayals of the callous evildoer who kills literally hundreds of people per movie have won him the dubious reputation in Hollywood as the "Minister of Sinister."  Can people see him as anything but evil?

"Well, after playing a hard-edged, hard-bodies, icy killer in movie after movie, people are amazed to find out that I?m a vegetarian, a songwriter, and I like to be with my 5-year-old daughter," Sadler says.  "In real life, I?ve never even been in a fight."

In the beginning, Sadler?s career didn?t seem to revolve around so many villainous roles.  But after winning the 1981 Obie and Villager awards for the stage production of Limbo Tales and three awards for his Broadway portrayal of the crazy drill sergeant in Biloxi Blues, he took the role of the demented executioner in the highly acclaimed HBO series Tales from the Crypt.  Since then his starring roles have been, shall we say, most heinous.

Sadler says he?s looking to break out of this sinister image but has no regrets.  "There?s a lot more out there, and that?s what I?m looking for now," he adds.  "If I had a choice, I?d probably choose movies without so much violence; Die Hard 2 is a helluva ride - an action adventure - but that?s all it is.  It?s great entertainment, and there?s a need for that, (but) personally I?m drawn to gentler stories."

With seven movies, 75 stage productions, dozens of television roles and five awards to his credit, he shouldn?t have any trouble finding them.  Party on, dude.


Back to articles page