A native of south Arkansas, William began acting in community theater at age eleven. He was honored by the International Thespian Society during his high school years and, in his senior year, won National Society of Arts and Letters Drama competition at the state level, becoming the youngest participant ever to compete at the National Competition. After graduating from Hendrix College in Arkansas, he attended the Drama Studio London’s American school in Berkeley, CA. While still in school he was asked by prominent casting director Jackie Burch to audition for the role of Rocky in the feature film Mask, directed by Peter Bogdanovich. He didn’t get the role, but shortly thereafter was cast as Laura Dern’s love interest in her very first film, Smooth Talk. Meanwhile, Burch remembered him for her next project, the Columbia Pictures horror classic Fright Night. Shortly after its premiere, he made his Broadway debut in Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues, replacing Matthew Broderick in the lead role of Eugene Jerome. He subsequently reprised his roles as Charlie Brewster in the sequel to Fright Night and Eugene for the national tour of Simon’s Broadway Bound, with Nathan Lane. He began starring in television projects also around this time. After a few non-picked up pilots, he landed the role of Herman Brooks on the Fox Network’s Herman’s Head, which ran for three years, anchoring the networks Sunday night line up with The Simpsons, In Living Color, and Married With Children. His subsequent television credits, both as a series regular and guest work, are extensive.