Trey Wilson

Last updated
Trey Wilson
Donald Yearnsley Wilson III

(1948-01-21)January 21, 1948
Houston, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 16, 1989(1989-01-16) (aged 40)
Resting placeForest Park Cemetery, Houston, Texas
Alma mater University of Houston
Years active1976–1989
Cynthia June Brinson
(m. 1969;div. 1974)
(m. 1975)

Donald Yearnsley "Trey" Wilson III (January 21, 1948 – January 16, 1989) was an American character actor known for playing rural, authoritarian-type characters, most notably in comedies such as Raising Arizona and Bull Durham . [1] [2] [3]



During his career, Wilson appeared in numerous stage productions and 30 films or television shows, including guest roles on Spenser: For Hire and The Equalizer . On stage, he co-starred in the ragtime-era musical Tintypes on Broadway, appeared in The Front Page at Lincoln Center and on Broadway, and appeared with Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan . He also appeared in Pat Benatar's music video "Love Is a Battlefield", as the father who throws her out of the house.

His most memorable roles on film were in Raising Arizona, as unpainted furniture store owner Nathan Arizona, and Bull Durham, as Joe Riggins, manager of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team. [2] [1] The end credits of The Silence of the Lambs and Miss Firecracker dedicate the films to him.

Personal life and death

Born in Houston, Texas, to Donald Yearnsley Wilson and Irene Louise Wilson, he attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire and then majored in English and theater at the University of Houston. [1] It was there that Wilson met Judy Blye, a well-known New York soap opera casting agent, and they were married on August 25, 1975. He was a cousin of former Texas Republican State Senator Kim Brimer. [2]

Wilson died at age forty from a cerebral hemorrhage in New York City on January 16, 1989, [3] [4] and was buried at Forest Park Cemetery in Houston five days later, on what would have been his 41st birthday. [2]

Released after his death, Wilson's final film was Great Balls of Fire! , the biopic of Jerry Lee Lewis, where he played American record producer Sam Phillips. [1] [4] He had been cast in the Coen brothers' film Miller's Crossing at the time of his death, [3] and was replaced by Albert Finney. [2]


1976 Drive-In Gifford [5]
1977 Three Warriors Chuck
1978 Vampire Hookers Terry Wayne [6]
1978 The Lord of the Rings Voice [5]
1979Three-Way WeekendHoward Creep
1984 Places in the Heart Texas Voice #3Voice
1984 A Soldier's Story Colonel Nivens
1985 The Protector Truck Driver
1985 Marie FBI Agent
1986 F/X Lt. Murdoch
1987 Raising Arizona Nathan Arizona, Sr. [5] [7]
1987 End of the Line Sheriff Maxie Howell
1987 The House on Carroll Street Lieutenant Sloan [8]
1988 Bull Durham Jim "Skip" Riggins [9] [10]
1988 Married to the Mob Regional Director Franklin
1988 Twins Beetroot McKinley
1989 Miss Firecracker Benjamin Drapper
1989 Great Balls of Fire! Sam Phillips
1989 Welcome Home Colonel Barnes

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coen brothers</span> American filmmakers

Joel Daniel Coen and Ethan Jesse Coen, collectively known as the Coen brothers, are American filmmakers. Their films span many genres and styles, which they frequently subvert or parody. Their most acclaimed works include Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), A Serious Man (2009), True Grit (2010) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). Many of their films are distinctly American, often examining the culture of the American South and American West in both modern and historical contexts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Albertson</span> American actor (1907-1981)

Harold "Jack" Albertson was an American actor, comedian, dancer and singer who also performed in vaudeville. Albertson was a Tony, Oscar, and Emmy winning actor. For his performance as John Cleary in the 1964 play The Subject Was Roses and its 1968 film adaptation, he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His other roles include Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Manny Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), and Ed Brown in the television sitcom Chico and the Man (1974–1978), for which he won an Emmy. For his contributions to the television industry, Albertson was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1977 at 6253 Hollywood Boulevard.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brent Spiner</span> American actor

Brent Jay Spiner is an American actor. He is best known for his role as the android Data on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994), four subsequent films (1994–2002), and Star Trek: Picard (2020–2023). In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, a role he reprised in Independence Day: Resurgence. Spiner has also enjoyed a career in the theater and as a musician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chester Morris</span> American actor (1901–1970)

John Chester Brooks Morris was an American stage, film, television, and radio actor. He had some prestigious film roles early in his career, and received an Academy Award nomination for Alibi (1929). Chester Morris is remembered for portraying Boston Blackie, a criminal-turned-detective, in the Boston Blackie film series of the 1940s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Franchot Tone</span> American actor, director (1905–1968)

Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone was an American actor, producer, and director of stage, film and television. He was a leading man in the 1930s and early 1940s, and at the height of his career was known for his gentlemanly sophisticate roles, with supporting roles by the 1950s. His acting crossed many genres including pre-Code romantic leads to noir layered roles and World War I films. He appeared as a guest star in episodes of several golden age television series, including The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour while continuing to act and produce in the theater and movies throughout the 1960s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nell Carter</span> American singer and actress (1948–2003)

Nell Carter was an American singer and actress.

<i>Raising Arizona</i> 1987 film

Raising Arizona is a 1987 American crime comedy film directed by Joel Coen, produced by Ethan Coen, and written by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Nicolas Cage as H.I. "Hi" McDunnough, an ex-convict, and Holly Hunter as Edwina "Ed" McDunnough, a former police officer and his wife. Other members of the cast include Trey Wilson, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, Sam McMurray, and Randall "Tex" Cobb.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Turturro</span> American actor (born 1957)

John Michael Turturro is an American actor and filmmaker. He is known for his varied complex roles in independent films. He has appeared in over sixty feature films and has worked frequently with the Coen brothers, Adam Sandler, and Spike Lee. He has received a Primetime Emmy Award and nominations for four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walter Abel</span> American actor (1898–1987)

Walter Abel was an American film, stage and radio actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Larry Blyden</span> American game show host (1925–1975)

Ivan Lawrence Blieden, known professionally as Larry Blyden, was an American actor, stage producer and director, and game show host. He made his Broadway stage debut in 1948 and went on to appear in numerous productions on and off Broadway. In 1972, he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in the revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum which he also produced. That same year, he became the host of the syndicated revival version of What's My Line?

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Howard da Silva</span> American actor (1909–1986)

Howard da Silva was an American actor, director and musical performer on stage, film, television and radio. He was cast in dozens of productions on the New York stage, appeared in more than two dozen television programs, and acted in more than fifty feature films. Adept at both drama and musicals on the stage, he originated the role of Jud Fry in the original 1943 run of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, and also portrayed the prosecuting attorney in the 1957 stage production of Compulsion. Da Silva was nominated for a 1960 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his work in Fiorello!, a musical about New York City mayor LaGuardia. In 1961, da Silva directed Purlie Victorious, by Ossie Davis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lois Moran</span> American actress (1909–1990)

Lois Moran was an American film and stage actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Berry Kroeger</span> American film, television and stage actor (1912-1991)

Berry Kroeger was an American film, television and stage actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hiram Sherman</span> American actor

Hiram Sherman was an American actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Anders</span> American actor (1889–1981)

Glenn Anders was an American actor, most notable for his work on the stage.

Scott Nicolai Sowers was an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Detective Parker in the late 1990s ABC series Cracker and for his role as Stanley Kowalski on stage in A Streetcar Named Desire. He established the Signature Theatre Company in 1991, and the following year he won the Drama-Logue Award for Performance for his role as the colonel in A Few Good Men at the Shubert Theatre.

J. Kenneth Campbell is an American film, stage, and television actor who has been cast in over 80 roles. He was born in Flushing, New York. Campbell studied acting under theatrical fight director Patrick Crean, and was an acting instructor himself at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harry Harvey Sr.</span> American actor (1901-1985)

Harry William Harvey Sr. was an American actor of theatre, film, and television. He was the father of actor, script supervisor, and director Harry William Harvey Jr. He is best known for his performances on The Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957), and The Lone Ranger (1949).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cyril Scott (actor)</span> Irish-American actor

Cyril Scott was an Irish-born stage and film actor who spent most of his career in the United States. Long on the stage, Scott first appeared on stage in the U.S. at Paterson, New Jersey and later appeared in the companies of Mrs. Fiske, Lotta Crabtree and Richard Mansfield. In 1900 he appeared in The Casino Girl and was in musicals with De Wolf Hopper. He entered silent films in 1913, appearing in Augustus Thomas's film adaptation of his play Arizona. He appeared in only a handful of movies before his last in 1932. He was a member of both the Lambs and Players Clubs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Johnstone (actor)</span> American radio and screen actor (1908–1996)

William S. Johnstone was an American radio and screen actor. He is best known for his voice work as the title character on The Shadow for five seasons from 1938–1943.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Trey Wilson, 40, dies; a stage and film actor". New York Times. (obituary). January 17, 1989. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Dansby, Andrew (January 21, 2007). "Houston's Trey Wilson: Best actor you've never heard of". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "Actor Trey Wilson, 40". Bangor Daily News. Maine. Associated Press. January 18, 1989. p. 4.
  4. 1 2 "Deaths elsewhere". Milwaukee Journal. January 18, 1989. p. 2A.
  5. 1 2 3 King, Lynnea Chapman (2014). The Coen Brothers Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 196. ISBN   978-0810885769.
  6. Smith, Gary A. (2017). Vampire Films of the 1970s: Dracula to Blacula and Every Fang Between. McFarland & Company. p. 80. ISBN   978-0786497799.
  7. Orr, Christopher (September 9, 2014). "30 Years of Coens: Raising Arizona". The Atlantic . Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  8. Sherman, Fraser A. (2010). Screen Enemies of the American Way: Political Paranoia About Nazis, Communists, Saboteurs, Terrorists and Body Snatching Aliens in Film and Television. McFarland & Company. p.  189. ISBN   978-0786446483.
  9. Nichols, Peter M., ed. (2004). The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made: An Indispensable Collection of Original Reviews of Box-Office Hits and Misses. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 150. ISBN   978-0312326111.
  10. DeMichael, Tom (2016). Baseball FAQ: All That's Left to Know About America's Pastime (FAQ Pop Culture). Backbeat. ISBN   978-1617136061.