William Atherton as Viceroy Mercado
If the Earth Republic has a reputation for being cold, unfeeling and ruthless, then Viceroy Mercado - one of its higher ranking officials - does not do much for combatting that image.
William Atherton has starred in motion pictures, on Broadway and television. He first achieved international prominence as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s first feature The Sugarland Express, and followed it with starring roles in John Schlesinger’s classic The Day of the Locust, Robert Wise’s The Hindenburg and Richard Brooks’ Looking for Mr. Goodbar. He is known around the world for his memorable roles as the antagonistic anchorman in the action blockbusters Die Hard I and II, as the relentless government bureaucrat in the iconic Ghostbusters as well as the conniving professor in the cult classic Real Genius.
Among his more than 30 feature films are co-starring roles in John Landis’ Oscar, Bill Duke’s Hoodlum, Richard Pearce’s No Mercy, Alan J. Pakula’s The Pelican Brief, Costa Gravas’ Mad City and Ed Zwick’s The Last Samurai.
On television, he has starred in numerous mini-series including Centennial and Malibu. Some of his many TV films include leading roles in TNT’s production of Joan Didion’s Broken Trust and his portrayal of ‘Darryl F. Zanuck’ in HBO’s Golden Globe-winner, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Atherton was also a recurring series lead opposite Damien Lewis on NBC-TV’s Life and as ‘Principal Reynolds’, resolved some of the final questions in the last season of Lost.
Consistently honored for his work on the stage, Atherton has created roles on and off Broadway for many of America’s leading playwrights. These include the title role in Joe Papp’s original production of David Rabe’s The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, the role of ‘Ronnie’ in John Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves and ‘Bing Ring Ling’ in Rich and Famous. He also starred in the Broadway premiere of Arthur Miller’s The American Clock and the Tony-winning revival of Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. His repertoire of more than 20 well-known productions also includes the acclaimed New York premieres of Franz Kafka’s: The Castle and Kressman Taylor’s Address Unknown. For his work on the stage he has received the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Circle Critics Award, the Theatre World Award and nominations for an Obie and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award.