|Born||7 June 1985|
Ruane was born in Glasgow and raised in the Castlemilk area of the city, where he attended St Margaret Mary's Secondary School. Whilst still at school and with no previous acting experience, he was selected by director Ken Loach to portray the pivotal character Pinball in the gritty drama Sweet Sixteen set in the Inverclyde area (which has a local dialect virtually identical to that of Glasgow). Pinball, a volatile adolescent, was the best friend of protagonist Liam, played by fellow newcomer Martin Compston. The film was well received at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and Ruane received a British Independent Film Awards 'Most promising newcomer' nomination for his performance. Compston was the winner of the same category and embarked on what would become a successful acting career.
Ruane (along with Sweet Sixteen co-star Annmarie Fulton) was soon able to secure a part in the new BBC Scotland soap opera River City; in early 2004 his character Brian—another troubled teen���was written out to "receive medical treatment" following a storyline involving the abduction of Fulton's character Hazel.
Ruane has worked fairly infrequently as an actor since his early success, and has had several jobs in other industries including a DJ, car salesman and travel agent. In hindsight he admitted that he did not fully appreciate his good fortune at such a young age, and without any drama school training to refer to, he did not prepare for some auditions as professionally as he could have. Loach remained keen, casting him (alongside Compston) in Tickets (2005) and in The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006). He also appeared in minor roles on several television series.
In 2012 Ruane's career came full circle when he was cast as Rhino in The Angels' Share, another production directed by Ken Loach, written by Paul Laverty, produced by Rebecca O'Brien and set in the west of Scotland, in which he starred alongside a 'raw talent'—in this case Paul Brannigan—and which had positive feedback at Cannes (the 2012 festival). Another of the main cast members, Gary Maitland (also from Castlemilk), had featured in Sweet Sixteen and Tickets as well.
|2002||Sweet Sixteen||Pinball||Loach / Laverty film|
|2002||River City||Brian Henderson||TV series|
|2005||Tickets||Frank||Loach / Laverty|
|2006||Rebus||David Costello||TV series|
|2006||The Wind That Shakes the Barley||Johnny Gogan||Loach / Laverty|
|2006||Sea of Souls||David||TV series|
|2011||The Field of Blood||DC Colin McGovern||TV series|
|2011||The Shadow Line||Stephen||TV series|
|2011||Fast Romance||Gordon Boyd||Dir: Carter Ferguson|
|2012||Kelly + Victor||Craig|
|2012||The Angels' Share||Rhino||Loach / Laverty|
|2013||The Borgias||Papal physician||TV series|
|2016||River City||Brian Henderson||TV series|
- "William Ruane on why he isn't bitter about Martin Compston's success". Evening Times. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "Scottish actor plucked from obscurity works as a travel agent to make ends meet". Daily Record. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "Profile and awards: Sweet Sixteen (2002)". BIFA. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "River City Characters - Brian Henderson". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "River City classic scenes: Brian kills his grandmother in a car crash". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "The Angels' Share star Gary Maitland isn't giving up day job as a binman". Daily Record. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
- "From Castlemilk to California: the scheme which became a star factory". The Guardian. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2017.