Rhys Williams (Welsh-American actor)

Rhys Williams (31 December 1897 – 28 May 1969) was a Welsh character actor in films and television, whose career spanned several decades.

Rhys Williams
in Bonanza (1960)
Born(1897-12-31)31 December 1897
Died28 May 1969(1969-05-28) (aged 71)
Santa Monica, California, USA
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles
Years active1941–69
Spouse(s)Elsie Dvorak
(m. 19??; his death 1969)

He made his film debut in How Green Was My Valley (1941). This film takes place in rural Wales with him being the only Welsh actor. The film was actually filmed in Hollywood with mainly English and Irish actors. Williams, the only genuine Welshman in the cast, was originally hired solely to coach the actors in their Welsh accents; ultimately director John Ford gave Williams a role in the film. In 1945, Williams played the role of Dr. McKay in the acclaimed The Bells of St. Mary's, starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.

He is recognisable to fans of the television series, Adventures of Superman as a sadistic character in an early episode called "The Evil Three" (1952). He made a guest appearance in 1958 as art collector Rufus Varner in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Purple Woman." His other television appearances were on such programmes as the religion anthology series, Crossroads, The Rifleman, CBS's The DuPont Show with June Allyson, Peter Gunn, with Steve Allen in the 1960 episode "Play Acting", Riverboat and The Lloyd Bridges Show.

His later appearances were on Temple Houston, 77 Sunset Strip, The Wild Wild West, Twelve O'Clock High, The F.B.I., Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Donna Reed Show, Here Come the Brides and The Andy Griffith Show.


On 28 May 1969, Williams died in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 71; his remains are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles.[1]

Partial filmography


  1. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 101. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
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