William Holden Biography
William Holden came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. His father William Franklin Beedle was an industrial chemist and his mother Mary Blanche Ball a teacher. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College, he was signed to a film contract by Paramount. His first starring role was as a young man torn between the violin and boxing in Golden Boy (1939). From then on he was typecast as the boy-next-door.After returning from World War II military service, he got two very important roles: Joe Gillis, the gigolo, in Sunset Blvd. (1950), and the tutor in Born Yesterday (1950). These were followed by his Oscar-winning role as the cynical sergeant in Stalag 17 (1953). He stayed popular through the 1950s, appearing in such films as Picnic (1955).