Will Patton, the oldest of four siblings, was born on June 14, 1954, in Charleston, SC. Painfully shy as a child, performing became a way for him to connect with people. His parents divorced when he was a young teenager, and he spent less than a year at the North Carolina School for the Arts before he was expelled. He spent time as a young adult in various odd jobs while waiting for an acting break.
He published a small book in 1999 called Lassitudes of Fire that chronicled his difficult and struggling years as an actor. It is a must read for any true Patton fan.