Bill Williams (actor)

Last updated

Bill Williams
Bill Williams in The Pace That Thrills trailer.jpg
Williams in The Pace That Thrills (1952)
Born
Herman August Wilhelm Katt

(1915-05-15)May 15, 1915
DiedSeptember 21, 1992(1992-09-21) (aged 77)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Other namesBill MacWilliams
OccupationActor
Years active1933–1981
Spouse
(m. 1946)
Children3, including William Katt

William Herman Katt (born Herman August Wilhelm Katt; [1] May 15, 1915 – September 21, 1992), known as Bill Williams, was an American television and film actor. He is best known for his starring role in the early television series The Adventures of Kit Carson , which aired in syndication from 1951 to 1955.

Contents

Life and career

Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York [1] to German immigrant parents. He attended the Pratt Institute, and became a professional swimmer, performing in underwater shows. He landed a walk-on role as a theater usher in King Kong (1933). He enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, but was discharged before the end and became an actor. His credited debut was in Murder in the Blue Room in 1944, using the professional name Bill Williams. His first starring role was opposite Susan Hayward in Deadline at Dawn (1946).

Williams appeared in ten films before he landed the lead role in television's The Adventures of Kit Carson, which ran for 105 episodes. When the series ended, Williams' star power faded. It was revived in 1957 when he co-starred with Betty White on television in Date with the Angels . Williams portrayed Federal agent Martin Flaherty in The Scarface Mob (1959), the pilot for ABC's The Untouchables . However, when the series was accepted, the role went to Jerry Paris. Williams turned down the lead in Sea Hunt in 1958, believing that an underwater show would not work on television. Lloyd Bridges accepted the part and turned it into a hit. Williams did star as a former Navy frogman in Assignment: Underwater , which ran for just one season. He played a variety of roles on Perry Mason , in which his wife Barbara Hale co-starred as Raymond Burr's secretary Della Street. In a 1962 episode, "The Case of the Crippled Cougar," he played defendant Mike Preston. In 1963, he was murder victim Floyd Grant in "The Case of the Bluffing Blast." In 1965 Williams played murderer Charles Shaw in "The Case of the Murderous Mermaid," and was murderer Burt Payne in "The Case of the 12th Wildcat". Williams appeared with his son in a final season episode of Ironside , bringing him together again with Raymond Burr. He also made numerous guest appearances on television and worked in low-budget science fiction films until his retirement.

Personal life

Williams married actress Barbara Hale on June 22, 1946. [2] They met during the filming of West of the Pecos and had two daughters, Jodi and Juanita, and a son, actor William Katt.

Bill Williams died of a brain tumor at age 77 in 1992 [3] and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills). [4]

For his contributions to television, Bill Williams has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is at 6161 Hollywood Blvd.

Acting roles

Star of his own television series

Multiple appearances on a television series

Well of Anger (1955)
Angels in the Sky (1956)
The Hastings Secret (1955) as Bill Twining
Project 44 (1956) as Dr. Arnold Bryan
The Mind Machine (1956) as Dr. Alan Cathcart
Jupitron (1956) as Dr. John Barlow
Killer Tree (1957) as Paul Cameron
Texas John Slaughter :
The Man From Bitter Creek (1959) as Paul
The Slaughter Trail (1959) as Paul
Gallagher Goes West
Tragedy on the Trail (1967) as Joe Carlson
Trial by Terror (1967) as Joe Carlson
Chester, Yesterday's Horse (1973) as Ben Kincaid
The Flight of the Grey Wolf, Parts 1 and 2 (1976) as The Sheriff
The Kathy Munson Story (1956) as Donald Abbott
Millionaire Martha Halloran (1959) as Clint Halloran
The Untouchables, Parts 1 and 2 (1959) as Martin Flaherty
The Case of the Crippled Cougar (1962) as Mike Preston
The Case of the Bluffing Blast (1963) as Floyd Grant
The Case of the Murderous Mermaid (1965) as Charles Shaw
The Case of the 12th Wildcat (1965) as Burt Payne
Fine Finny Fiends (1966) as Multimillionaire
Multimillionaire-Batman Makes the Scenes (1966) as Multimillionaire
Climb the Mountain Slowly (1964) as Vince
Lassie and the Buffalo (1966) as Jed Bingham
The Runaways (1968) as David Warren
The Lost Man (1974) as Crawford
Nightmare Trip (1972) as Lt. Dacker
The Rolling Y (1975) as Sheriff Callahan
Pick-Up (1971) as William Taylor (his wife, Barbara Hale, also appeared in the episode)
Routine Patrol: The Drugstore Cowboys (1974) as Fred Wheeler
Three Hours to Kill (1973) as Captain Fin Whitfield
Get Ryker (1973) as Captain Fin Whitfield
Something Less Than a Man (1974) as Captain Johnson
The End Game (1974) as Lt. Graumann
Sarah Who? (1976) as Captain
"Guns" (1977) Captain Williams
"Blind Terror" (1978) as Captain Miller

Miscellaneous television appearances

Theatrical films

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References

  1. 1 2 Wright, Gilson (April 15, 1973). "Barbara Hale is "my kind of people" says writer". The Journal News. p. 12. Retrieved September 4, 2015 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. York, Cal (September 1962). "Raymond Burr Saved My Marriage". TV Radio Mirror. 58 (4): 62–64. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  3. "Bill Williams, 77, Actor Who Played Kit Carson on TV". The New York Times. September 25, 1992. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  4. Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 50988-50995). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.