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William Sanderson

1, 2, 3, 5
First seen
Appeared in
22 episodes (see below)
Mentioned in
Biographical Information
Date of birth
January 10, 1944 (1944-01-10) (age 73)
Date of death
Place of birth
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Place of death
External Links
[{{{website}}} Official Site]
[{{{facebook}}} Facebook]
[{{{myspace}}} Myspace]
[{{{twitter}}} Twitter]


William Sanderson, born January 10, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, is an American actor who plays the role of Sheriff Bud Dearborne on the HBO original series True Blood. Making his debut in the series' premiere episode, "Strange Love", in the series' first season, William was a starring actor who plays the role of the former sheriff of Bon Temps, Louisiana. A once major pillar of the Bon Temps Police Station, William was the working partner of the town's current sheriff, Andy Bellefleur. A man of few words, the former sheriff was a bit smarter, and much more contemplative than his co-worker Andy, but remained suspicious of vampires, just because they were vampires. In his spare time, he enjoyed square dancing with his wife, and plays a recurring role through the series' first, second, third and fifth seasons. Originally retiring from the Police Department in the series' third season, William met an untimely demise on the Season 5 episode "Everybody Wants to Rule the World".


William Sanderson was born on January 10, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. to an elementary school teacher mother and a landscape designer father. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He holds business (B.B.A., 1968) and law (J.D., 1971) degrees from the University of Memphis (then known as Memphis State University). The Law School at Memphis State was then located just a few yards from the Theatre Building and of course the Theatre Department. He was bit by the acting bug and started acting in college productions while at Memphis State University, where he is still today remembered as an outstanding Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sanderson has appeared in many movies, and is known for his role in the 1982 classic science fiction film Blade Runner as J. F. Sebastian. Sanderson portrayed a character named Deuce in an episode of the hit science fiction TV series Babylon 5, and later reprised the role in the TV movie Babylon 5: Thirdspace. He is also the basis and the voice for the recurring character of Dr. Karl Rossum in Batman: The Animated Series. He starred in the controversial film Fight for Your Life, which has a strict ban in the United Kingdom.

He has made many guest appearances on TV shows, and his credits range from The X-Files, Knight Rider (1982 TV series), Married... with Children, Babylon 5, ER, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Coach. He plays a key role in an audio dramatization of Ursula K. Le Guin's "Vaster than Empires and More Slow" in NPR's series. In 2001, Sanderson played a courageous bartender named Dewey in Tom Selleck's TNT film Crossfire Trail.

He portrayed "Larry" in the American TV show Newhart from 1982 to 1990, famous for the catch phrase, "Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl."

Sanderson returned to prominence playing E. B. Farnum in the HBO TV series Deadwood from 2004 to 2006. His role is a tragicomic hotelier and first mayor of Deadwood. In 2008, Sanderson joined the cast of True Blood playing town Sheriff Bud Dearborne.

Sanderson portrayed "Oldham", the resident interrogation expert of the DHARMA Initiative in the tenth episode of the fifth season of ABC's series Lost.



  • Blade Runner (1982)


  • Lost (2009)
  • True Blood (2008-2012)
  • Deadwood (2004-2006)
  • Newhart (1982-1990)


Season one appearances
"Strange Love" "The First Taste" "Mine" "Escape from Dragon House"
"Sparks Fly Out" "Cold Ground" "Burning House of Love" "The Fourth Man in the Fire"
"Plaisir D'Amour" "I Don't Wanna Know" "To Love Is to Bury" "You'll Be the Death of Me"
Season two appearances
"Nothing but the Blood" "Keep This Party Going" "Scratches" "Shake and Fingerpop"
"Never Let Me Go" "Hard-Hearted Hannah" "Release Me" "Timebomb"
"I Will Rise Up" "New World in My View" "Frenzy" "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"
Season three appearances
"Bad Blood" "Beautifully Broken" "It Hurts Me Too" "9 Crimes"
"Trouble" "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" "Hitting the Ground" "Night on the Sun"
"Everything Is Broken" "I Smell a Rat" "Fresh Blood" "Evil is Going On"
Season five appearances
"Turn! Turn! Turn!" "Authority Always Wins" "Whatever I Am, You Made Me" "We’ll Meet Again"
"Let's Boot and Rally" "Hopeless" "In the Beginning" "Somebody That I Used to Know"
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" "Gone, Gone, Gone" "Finally" "Save Yourself"

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