William Samuel "Wil" Horneff (born June 12, 1979) is an American actor.

Early life

Horneff was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the eldest of four children of Robin, a choreographer, dancer, and teacher, and Van Horneff, a pistachio farmer, talent manager, race car driver, and real estate developer. His parents own the Robin Horneff Performing Arts Center in Waldwick, New Jersey, and his father also owns a gymnastics mat business.[2] He grew up in Saddle River, New Jersey and attended Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey.[3] Horneff began acting professionally in 1992 at the age of thirteen. He made his Broadway debut in John Guare's Four Baboons Adoring The Sun opposite Stockard Channing and James Naughton.


His first film appearance was a relatively minor role in the cult film The Sandlot as Phillips, the arch-rival of the title characters. This was soon followed by an appearance in the TV series Law & Order, as well as leading roles in films such as Ghost in the Machine and Born to Be Wild.

In 1995, he won the Young Artist Award as Best Young Leading Actor in a Made for TV Movie for his role as Jody Baxter in The Yearling and won the Young Artist Award the following year as Best Young Leading Actor in a Feature Film for his role as Rick Heller in Born to Be Wild.

After several other television and film appearances, most notably the acclaimed Emmy Award-winning mini-series Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, he temporarily left acting to finish high school and later to attend Columbia University in New York City where he received his degree in English[citation needed].

He also travelled extensively during this time, visiting France, Spain and Germany. His family often visit relatives in Europe, which has allowed him to learn to speak both French and German fluently. He also spent several months in Russia, helping underprivileged children in and around Kostroma.[4]

In 2002, he made his acting comeback with a second guest appearance in the TV series Law & Order. Since then, he has appeared in numerous different TV series' such as The Handler, CSI: NY, and House, in addition to several horror films such as The Roost. He currently resides in New Jersey[citation needed].

Outside of acting, he is a keen athlete, having competed in three events in the Junior Olympics when he was younger. His hobbies include tennis, basketball, karate (in which he has a black belt), skiing, rock-climbing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (in which he is a black belt), and flying[citation needed]. He took flying lessons at fourteen years old and obtained a pilot's license several years later[citation needed].

He also owns and operates Training Grounds Jiu-Jitsu & MMA in Westwood, New Jersey. He's won several prestigious Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Grappling titles, such as the Pan American Championships and the U.S Open.


  1. ^ "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/75/Wil-Horneff.html
  3. ^ Coutros, Evonne (April 12, 1994). "Young actor aims high". The Record. Bergen County, NJ. Retrieved October 28, 2007 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Biography for Wil Horneff on IMDb

External links