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Chill Wills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Chill Theodore Wills (July 18, 1902 – December 15, 1978) was an American film actor, and a singer in the Avalon Boys Quartet. He was a performer from early childhood, forming and leading the Avalon Boys singing group in the 1930s. After appearing in a few westerns he disbanded the group in 1938, and struck out on a solo acting career. One of his more memorable roles was that of the distinctive voice of Francis the Mule in a series of popular films. Wills' deep, rough voice, with its Western twang, was matched to the personality of the cynical, sardonic mule. As was customary at the time, Wills was given no billing for his vocal work, though he was featured prominently on-screen as blustery General Ben Kaye in the fourth entry, Francis Joins the WACS. He provided the deep voice for Stan Laurel's performance of "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" in Way Out West (1937), in which the Avalon Boys Quartet appeared. Wills was cast in numerous serious film roles, including as "the city of Chicago" as personified by a phantom police sergeant in the film noir City That Never Sleeps (1953), and that of Uncle Bawley in Giant (1956), which also features Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. Wills was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role as Davy Crockett's companion "Beekeeper" in the film The Alamo (1960). However, his aggressive campaign for the award was considered tasteless by many, including the film's star/director/producer John Wayne, who publicly apologized for Wills. Wills' publicity agent, W.S. "Bow-Wow" Wojciechowicz, accepted blame for the ill-advised effort, claiming that Wills had known nothing about it. The Oscar was instead won by Peter Ustinov for his role as Lentulus Batiatus in Spartacus. In Rory Calhoun's CBS western series The Texan, Wills appeared in the lead role in the 1960 episode entitled "The Eyes of Captain Wylie". Wills starred in the short-run series Frontier Circus which aired for only one season (1961–62) on CBS. In 1966, he was cast in the role of a shady Texas rancher, Jim Ed Love, in the short-lived ABC comedy/western series The Rounders (reprising his role in the 1965 film The Rounders, starring Henry Fonda), with co-stars Ron Hayes, Patrick Wayne and Walker Edmiston. in 1963-64, Wills joined William Lundigan, Walter Brennan and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in making appearances on behalf of U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee in the campaign against U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1968, Wills refused to support Richard Nixon for the presidency and served as master of ceremonies for George C. Wallace, former governor of Alabama, for the California campaign stops in Wallace's presidential campaign.[5] Wills was among the few Hollywood celebrities to endorse Wallace's bid against Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey; another was Walter Brennan. Also in 1968, he starred in the Gunsmoke episode "A Noose for Dobie Price", where he played Elihu Gorman, a former outlaw who joins forces with Marshal Matt Dillon, played by James Arness, to track down a member of his former gang who has escaped jail. His last role was in 1978, as a janitor in Stubby Pringle's Christmas. CLR Description above from the Wikipedia article Chill Wills, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

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Jul 18, 1902 In Seagoville, Texas, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Bar 20 Rides Again 1935-12-06
Latest Project:
Movie Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade 2004-07-25
Known For
Poster of Poco… Little Dog Lost
Poster of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Poster of Giant
Poster of Leave Her to Heaven
Movie Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade Self (archive footage) 2004-07-25
Movie Drive-In Movie Memories Unknown 2001-08-31
Movie That's Entertainment! III (archive footage) 1994-07-01
Movie John Wayne's 'The Alamo' Beekeeper 1992-06-06
Movie Stubby Pringle's Christmas The Janitor 1978-12-17
Movie Mr. Billion Col. Clayton T. Winkle 1977-03-03
Movie Poco… Little Dog Lost Big Burt 1977-11-23
Movie It's Showtime Unknown 1976-03-31
Movie Guns of a Stranger Tom Duncan 1973-05-01
Movie Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid Lemuel 1973-05-23
Series Alias Smith and Jones Unknown 1971-01-05
Movie The Steagle Tall Guy McCoy 1971-09-15
Movie The Liberation of L.B. Jones Mr. Ike 1970-03-18
Series Night Gallery Heppelwhite (segment "The Little Black Bag") 1970-12-16
Movie The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Gentleman George Agnew 1970-11-16
Movie Big Daddy Unknown 1969-06-11
Series Judd for the Defense Unknown 1967-09-08
Movie Fireball 500 Big Jaw 1966-06-07
Series The Rounders Unknown 1966-09-06
Series Tarzan Unknown 1966-09-08
Movie The Rounders Jim Ed Love 1965-01-08
Series Burke's Law Unknown 1963-09-20
Movie McLintock! Drago 1963-11-12
Movie The Cardinal Monsignor 1963-12-12
Movie The Wheeler Dealers Jay Ray Spinelby 1963-11-14
Movie Young Guns of Texas Preacher Sam Shelby 1962-11-01
Movie Gold of the Seven Saints Doc Wilson Gates, M.D. 1961-02-18
Movie The Little Shepherd Of Kingdom Come Major Buford 1961-06-01
Series Frontier Circus Unknown 1961-10-05
Movie The Deadly Companions Turk 1961-06-06
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Movie Where the Boys Are Police Captain 1960-12-28
Movie The Alamo Beekeeper 1960-10-23
Movie The Sad Horse Capt. Connors 1959-03-01
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Movie Disneyland '59 Self 1959-06-15
Movie From Hell to Texas Amos Bradley 1958-06-01
Series The Texan Unknown 1958-09-29
Movie Gun for a Coward Loving 1957-01-30
Movie Gun Glory Preacher 1957-07-19
Series Trackdown Unknown 1957-10-04
Movie Kentucky Rifle Tobias Taylor 1956-07-01
Movie Santiago Captain 'Sidewheel' Jones 1956-07-13
Movie Giant Uncle Bawley 1956-11-24
Movie New York Premiere Telecast 'Giant' Host 1956-10-09
Movie Francis in the Navy Francis the Talking Mule (voice) (uncredited) 1955-08-24
Movie Timberjack Steve Riika 1955-02-18
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Movie Francis Joins the WACS Benjamin Kaye / Francis the Talking Mule (voice) 1954-07-30
Movie Ricochet Romance Tom Williams 1954-11-01
Movie Hell's Outpost Kevin Russell 1954-12-15
Movie City That Never Sleeps Sgt. Joe, the 'Voice of Chicago' 1953-06-12
Movie The Man from the Alamo Fred Gage 1953-08-07
Movie Francis Covers the Big Town Francis the Talking Mule (voice) (uncredited) 1953-08-14
Movie Tumbleweed Sheriff Murchoree 1953-12-09
Movie Bronco Buster Dan Bream 1952-05-01
Movie Francis Goes to West Point Francis the Talking Mule (voice) (uncredited) 1952-07-01
Movie Ride the Man Down Ike Adams 1952-11-25
Movie Oh, Susanna Sgt. Barhydt 1951-03-01
Movie Francis Goes to the Races Francis the Talking Mule (voice) (uncredited) 1951-05-01
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Movie The Sea Hornet Swede 1951-11-06
Movie Cattle Drive Dallas 1951-08-08
Movie The Sundowners Sam Beers 1950-02-02
Movie The Grass Is Always Greener Windy 1950-01-07
Movie Rock Island Trail Hogger McCoy 1950-05-18
Movie Francis Francis the Talking Mule (voice) 1950-02-08
Movie Rio Grande Dr. Wilkins 1950-11-15
Movie High Lonesome Boatwhistle 1950-09-01
Movie Stella Chief Clark 1950-07-20
Movie Tulsa Pinky Jimpson (Narrator) 1949-04-13
Movie Red Canyon Sheriff Brackton 1949-05-05
Movie The Sainted Sisters Will Twitchell 1948-04-30
Movie Northwest Stampede Mileaway 1948-07-28
Movie The Saxon Charm Captain Chatham 1948-09-28
Movie Family Honeymoon Fred 1948-12-06
Movie That Wonderful Urge Homer Beggs 1948-11-20
Movie Loaded Pistols Sheriff Cramer 1948-12-15
Movie Heartaches 'Breezie' Mann 1947-06-28
Movie The Harvey Girls H.H. Hartsey 1946-01-18
Movie Gallant Bess Chief Petty Officer 1946-12-05
Movie The Yearling Buck Forrester 1946-12-18
Movie What Next, Corporal Hargrove? Sgt. Cramp 1945-11-21
Movie Leave Her to Heaven Leick Thome 1945-12-25
Movie See Here, Private Hargrove First Sgt. Cramp 1944-03-18
Movie Barbary Coast Gent Sheriff Hightower 1944-09-01
Movie Meet Me in St. Louis Mr. Neely 1944-11-28
Movie I'll Be Seeing You Swanson 1944-12-31
Movie Sunday Dinner for a Soldier Mr. York 1944-12-08
Movie A Stranger in Town Charles Craig 1943-04-01
Movie Best Foot Forward Chester Short 1943-10-08
Movie Tarzan's New York Adventure Manchester Montford 1942-05-01
Movie Stand by for Action Mate Jenks, Chef-Bootsmann 1942-12-31
Movie Mister Gardenia Jones Hotel Employee 1942-05-29
Movie The Bugle Sounds Sgt. Larry Dillon 1942-01-30
Movie Her Cardboard Lover Judge 1942-07-16
Movie Apache Trail 'Pike' Skelton 1942-09-01
Movie The Omaha Trail Henry Hawkins 1942-09-01
Movie Western Union Homer Kettle 1941-02-21
Movie The Bad Man 'Red' Giddings 1941-03-28
Movie Belle Starr Blue Duck 1941-09-12
Movie Billy the Kid Tom Patterson 1941-05-30
Movie Honky Tonk The Sniper 1941-10-01
Movie Wyoming Lafe 1940-09-13
Movie Boom Town Harmony Jones 1940-08-30
Movie Sky Murder Sheriff Beckwith 1940-09-27
Movie The Westerner Southeast 1940-09-18
Movie Tugboat Annie Sails Again Shiftless 1940-10-26
Movie Sorority House Mr. Johnson 1939-05-05
Movie Arizona Legion Whopper Hatch 1939-01-20
Movie Trouble in Sundown Whopper 1939-03-23
Movie Allegheny Uprising M'Cammon 1939-11-10
Movie The Day the Bookies Wept Man on Bus 1939-09-15
Movie Timber Stampede Whopper Hatch 1939-06-29
Movie Lawless Valley Deputy Speedy McGow 1938-11-03
Movie Way Out West Lead Singer of the Avalon Boys / Stan's Bass Singing (uncredited) 1937-04-16
Movie Call of the Prairie Singing Cowhand 1936-03-06
Movie At Sea Ashore Leader of The Avalon Four (uncredited) 1936-04-04
Movie Bar 20 Rides Again Henchman 1935-12-06