Image of Bill Thurman

Bill Thurman

Character actor Bill Thurman was born on November 4, 1920 in Texas. A large, rugged, stocky man with a hard, lined, puffy face, a deep, twangy, amicable voice, a strong, bulky build and a charmingly low-key and down-to-earth unaffected natural screen presence, Thurman often portrayed police officers and assorted scruffy redneck types in a huge number of entertainingly cheap'n'cheesy Southern-fried fright flicks and delightfully down'n'dirty drive-in fare made throughout the 60s and 70s. Bill frequently acted in features for legendary Grade Z low-budget independent filmmaker Larry Buchanan; said movies include "The Eye Creatures," "High Yellow," "Zontar the Thing from Venus," "Mars Needs Women," "Curse of the Swamp Creature," "In the Year 2889," the especially atrocious "It's Alive!," and "A Bullet for Pretty Boy." Moreover, Thurman had bit parts in two Steven Spielberg films: he's a hillbilly hunter in "The Sugerland Express" and an air traffic controller in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Bill's other memorable roles include the abusive Coach Popper in Peter Bogdanovich's magnificent "The Last Picture Show," a doomed hitchhiker in "Keep My Grave Open," a corrupt sheriff in the Claudia Jennings exploitation classic "'Gatorbait," a mean small town deputy in "Ride in A Pink Car," a more amiable sheriff in the fantastic Bigfoot winner "Creature from Black Lake," Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith's father in "Slumber Party '57," a priest in "The Evictors," and the boozy, dissolute Reverend Bill McWiley in the enjoyably crummy "Mountaintop Motel Massacre." Bill Thurman died in Dallas, Texas on April 13, 1995. - IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

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Nov 4, 1920 In Texas, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald 1964-04-22
Latest Project:
Movie Painted Hero 1997-09-16
Known For
Poster of Silverado
Poster of Dallas
Poster of The Sugarland Express
Poster of Spiked Heels and Black Nylons
Movie Painted Hero Old Man Bolen 1997-09-16
Movie In Broad Daylight Virgil Teague 1991-02-03
Movie Innocent Prey Jim Gardner 1989-06-14
Movie Hawken's Breed Jeb Kline 1987-01-01
Movie Alamo Bay Sheriff 1985-04-03
Movie Silverado Carter 1985-07-10
Movie Mountaintop Motel Massacre Reverend Bill McWiley 1983-07-15
Movie The Long Summer of George Adams Floyd 1982-01-18
Movie Raggedy Man Sheriff 1981-09-18
Movie Tom Horn Ora Haley 1980-03-28
Movie The Evictors Preacher Higgins 1979-04-17
Movie The Beasts Are on the Streets Carl Evans 1978-05-18
Series Dallas Phil Bradley 1978-04-02
Movie The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald 1977-09-30
Movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind Air Traffic 1977-11-18
Movie Keep My Grave Open Hitchhiker 1976-01-01
Movie The Florida Connection Deke 1976-02-06
Movie Slumber Party '57 Mr. Willis 1976-08-31
Movie Creature from Black Lake Sheriff Billy Carter 1976-03-01
Movie Ride in a Pink Car Barlow 1974-06-21
Movie The Sugarland Express Hunter 1974-04-05
Movie Where the Red Fern Grows Sam Bellington 1974-06-21
Movie 'Gator Bait Sheriff Joe Bob Thomas 1974-10-12
Movie Fair Play Jed Bartrum 1972-01-01
Movie Encounter with the Unknown Second Man 1972-11-15
Movie The Last Picture Show Coach Popper 1971-10-03
Movie A Bullet for Pretty Boy Huddy 1970-07-15
Movie It's Alive! Greely / Monster 1969-01-01
Movie Mars Needs Women Drunk on Pier 1968-08-24
Movie Hell Raiders Tex 1968-01-01
Movie Curse of the Swamp Creature Driscoll West / The Swamp Creature 1968-02-01
Movie In the Year 2889 Tim Henderson 1967-01-01
Movie Sam Unknown 1967-01-01
Movie Spiked Heels and Black Nylons Abel 1967-01-01
Movie Zontar: The Thing from Venus Sheriff Brad Crenshaw 1967-12-01
Movie Hip Hot and 21 Lt. Lang 1967-03-01
Movie Night Fright Deputy Ben Whitfield 1967-11-01
Movie The Black Cat Bartender 1966-05-01
Movie High Yellow Major Bates 1965-08-04
Movie The Eye Creatures Sergeant 1965-10-29
Movie Hot-Blooded Woman Railroad Tough 1965-10-01
Movie The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald Witness 1964-04-22