Chill Wills

Actor, Vaudevillian
No classic Western fan could mistake character actor Chill Wills for anyone else. First there was the name, then his unforgettable foghorn bellow of a voice. Starting out as a leader of the singing cowboy group the ... Read more »
Born: 07/18/1902 in Seagonville, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (72)

Stubby Pringle's Christmas 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Meet Me in St. Louis 1977 (Movie)

Mr. Neely (Actor)

Mr. Billion 1977 (Movie)

Colonel Clayton T Winkle (Actor)

Guns of a Stranger 1972 (Movie)

(Actor)

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 1972 (Movie)

Lemeul (Actor)

The Stars and Stripes Show 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

The Stars and Stripes Show 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Liberation of L.B. Jones 1970 (Movie)

Mr Ike (Actor)

The Steagle 1970 (Movie)

Tall-Guy McCoy (Actor)

Big Daddy 1969 (Movie)

(Actor)

Fireball 500 1966 (Movie)

Big Jaw (Actor)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1955 - 1965 (TV Show)

Actor

The Rounders 1964 (Movie)

Jim Ed Love (Actor)

The Cardinal 1963 (Movie)

Monsignor Whittle (Actor)

Frontier Circus 1961 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

McLintock! 1962 (Movie)

Drago (Actor)

The Wheeler Dealers 1962 (Movie)

Jay Ray (Actor)

The Deadly Companions 1961 (Movie)

Turk (Actor)

Gold of the Seven Saints 1960 (Movie)

Doc Gates (Actor)

The Alamo 1960 (Movie)

Beekeeper (Actor)

Where the Boys Are 1959 (Movie)

Police Captain (Actor)

From Hell to Texas 1958 (Movie)

Amos Bradley (Actor)

The Betty White Show 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

A Gun For a Coward 1957 (Movie)

Loving (Actor)

Gun Glory 1957 (Movie)

Preacher (Actor)

Giant 1956 (Movie)

Uncle Bawley Benedict (Actor)

Santiago 1956 (Movie)

Sidewheel (Actor)

City That Never Sleeps 1953 (Movie)

Sergeant Joe--The (Actor)

Small Town Girl 1953 (Movie)

Mrs. Gordon Kimbell (Actor)

The Man From the Alamo 1953 (Movie)

John Gage (Actor)

Bronco Buster 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Francis 1950 (Movie)

of Francis (Voice)

Rio Grande 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Harvey Girls 1945 (Movie)

H.H. Hartsey (Actor)

What Next, Corporal Hargrove? 1945 (Movie)

Sgt. Cramp (Actor)

Tarzan's New York Adventure 1941 (Movie)

Manchester Montford (Actor)

The Bad Man 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tugboat Annie Sails Again 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

Boom Town 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Allegheny Uprising 1938 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bar 20 Rides Again (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Belle Starr (Movie)

Blue Duck (Actor)

Best Foot Forward (Movie)

Chester Shoat (Actor)

Call of the Prairie (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Cattle Drive (Movie)

Dallas (Actor)

Family Honeymoon (Movie)

Fred (Actor)

Francis Goes to West Point (Movie)

Francis the Talking Mule (Voice)

Francis Goes to the Races (Movie)

Francis the Talking Mule (Voice)

Gallant Bess (Movie)

C.P.O. (Actor)

Honky Tonk (Movie)

The Sniper (Actor)

Lawless Valley (Movie)

Speedy McGow (Actor)

Leave Her to Heaven (Movie)

Leick Thome (Actor)

Loaded Pistols (Movie)

Sheriff Cramer (Actor)

Rationing (Movie)

Bus Driver (Actor)

Ride the Man Down (Movie)

Ike Adams (Actor)

See Here, Private Hargrove (Movie)

Sgt. Cramp (Actor)

Sky Murder (Movie)

Sheriff Beckwith (Actor)

Stand By for Action (Movie)

CBM Jenks (Actor)

Stranger in Town (Movie)

Charles Craig (Actor)

Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (Movie)

Mr. York (Actor)

That Wonderful Urge (Movie)

Justice of the Peace, Homer Beggs (Actor)

The Bugle Sounds (Movie)

Dillon (Actor)

The Cardboard Lover (Movie)

Judge (Actor)

The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (Movie)

Maj. Buford (Actor)

The Over-the-Hill Gang (TV Show)

Actor

The Sainted Sisters (Movie)

Will Twitchell (Actor)

The Saxon Charm (Movie)

Capt. Chatham (Actor)

The Westerner (Movie)

Southeast (Actor)

Tulsa (Movie)

Pinky Jimpson (Actor)

Western Union (Movie)

Homer (Actor)

Wyoming (Movie)

Lafe (Actor)

Biography

No classic Western fan could mistake character actor Chill Wills for anyone else. First there was the name, then his unforgettable foghorn bellow of a voice. Starting out as a leader of the singing cowboy group the Avalon Boys Quartet, he appeared with the quartet in a number of oaters in the 1930s, most memorably the Laurel and Hardy Western comedy "Way Out West." When he left the group, he focused solely on working in film, landing bit parts in the shadow of bigger stars like John Wayne in "Allegheny Uprising" and Gary Cooper in "The Westerner." His most notable part was voicing the sardonic Francis the mule in six movies from 1950 to 1955. When not playing the mule, Wills frequently worked with one of the true greats of classic Hollywood, John Wayne, and when Wayne finally saddled into the director's chair to make the 1960 epic "The Alamo," Wills was cast in a juicy role. When award season swung around, Wills mounted a notoriously gauche Oscar campaign after he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, much to the horror of Wayne and almost everyone else in Hollywood. He didn't win, though several comedians (including Groucho Marx) made sure to use Wills as their comedic punching bag. Some of his other memorable parts are in the star-studded "Giant"; the roaring Western comedy "McLintock!," with Wayne and Maureen O'Hara; and as a drunken, sweaty saloon keeper in Sam Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid."

Milestones

1975

Released his first album

1935

Debuted with his band "Chill Wills and the Avalon Boys"

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