William Horatio Powell (July 29, 1892 – March 5, 1984) was an American actor. He typically played highly self-confident characters, with a sophisticated sense of humor and wit.
A major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series based on the novels of Dashiell Hammett in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947).
Powell was engaged to actress Jean Harlow. After her sudden death in 1937, It is reported that a single white gardenia with an unsigned note was placed in her hands before she was interred, presumed to have been written by Powell. The note read, "Good night, my dearest darling." He also paid for her final resting place—a $25,000, 9×10-foot private room lined with multicolored imported marble located in the "Sanctuary of Benediction" of the Great Mausoleum, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.
William Powell died of heart failure in Palm Springs, California, on March 5, 1984, at the age of 91, some 30 years after his retirement. He is buried at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California, near his son William David Powell and wife Diana Lewis.