In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, William H. Macy, 67, opens up about struggling for years before finding fame and a family.

William was 50 years old when his first daughter, Sofia, was born in 2000, followed by her sister, Georgia, two years later. “I’m glad I did it late in life,” the Shameless star told Closer. “I had more patience, and I had money. I didn’t think I’d ever be a father, and boy, do I really like it!”

william h. macy daughters getty images

William with his daughters.

He took a long time attaining success as an actor, too. Born and raised in the South by a hard-drinking mom (an inspiration for his boozy Shameless character, Frank Gallagher) and a WWII bomber-pilot dad, he did theater and commercials in Chicago and NYC for years.

But it wasn’t until his acclaimed turn in 1996’s Fargo that “I moved up to the adults’ table,” he says. “An Oscar nomination is a great career move. I should’ve done it earlier.”

After Fargo, William found himself being offered lead roles like Shameless’ lovable derelict, which has earned him four Emmy nods and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. “He’s a movable party,” William says of his character. “Everybody’s got a Frank in their family.”

For more on William, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for exclusive news!