William Ragsdale was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, and attended Hendrix College. He garnered attention as the young hero of Fright Night and Fright Night Part 2. Ragsdale was featured in the romance comedy movie Mannequin Two: On the Move.
Ragsdale has had a sporadic career with regard to prime-time television. He featured for three years on Herman's Head. He had a brief recurring role in the television series Judging Amy. He played a television producer for Grosse Pointe as well. He appeared on Ellen as the boyfriend of Ellen Morgan (played by Ellen DeGeneres). He has had guest roles on television, including a four-episode stint on Less than Perfect, as well as small feature movie roles.
He played the role of Gary Hawkins for a dozen episodes of the television series Justified from March 2010 through March 2012, during the series' first three seasons. During 2014, he played Chris Smith in the remake of the movie Left Behind.