Terry Wilson (actor)

Terry W. Wilson (September 3, 1923 in Huntington Park, California March 30, 1999 in Canoga Park, California)[1] was an American actor most noted for his role as "Bill Hawks", the assistant trail master, in all 267 episodes of the NBC and ABC western television series, Wagon Train, which aired from 1957 to 1965.

Terry W. Wilson
Wilson as Bill Hawks, 1962
Born(1923-09-03)September 3, 1923
DiedMarch 30, 1999(1999-03-30) (aged 75)
Resting placePierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, California
OccupationActor and stunt performer
Years active19481981
Spouse(s)Mary Ann Wilson
Children3

Life and career

Wilson appeared in more than thirty-five films and television programs between 1948 and 1981. Many of his early roles were uncredited. On July 2, 1953, he was cast as a stagecoach guard in episode 121, "Woman from Omaha," of The Lone Ranger. In 1956, he had another uncredited role as a robber in the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Cheyenne, the first television western in an hour-long format, starring Clint Walker.

Wilson was with Wagon Train for the entire run and worked with all the other stars on the program, including Ward Bond, Robert Horton, John McIntire, Robert Fuller, Frank McGrath, Denny Scott Miller, and Michael Burns.

After Wagon Train, Wilson appeared in several other westerns, including ABC's short-lived Custer and Hondo in 1967, in Don Knotts' The Shakiest Gun in the West in 1968, the film Dirty Dingus Magee in 1970, in four episodes of NBC's The Virginian and "The Men From Shiloh" (rebranded name of The Virginian) starring James Drury in 1970 and 1971, in the James Garner picture Support Your Local Gunfighter in 1971, once on CBS's Gunsmoke in 1972, twice in Richard Boone's Hec Ramsey in 1973 and 1974, and as Judge Lennon in the episode "Counterall" of Buddy Ebsen's CBS detective series, Barnaby Jones.

Wilson portrayed Biff Jenkins in the 1975 Walt Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain. His last acting role was as Norman Scroggs in a 1981 episode of CBS's The Dukes of Hazzard.

In his early years, Wilson was a stunt performer for John Wayne in such films as Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949 and Rio Grande in 1950, (see below for more). He was part of the John Ford stock troupe and appeared as an uncredited extra in numerous dance scenes. He often appeared with his friend and fellow stunt performer Frank McGrath. In 1957, Ward Bond specifically requested Wilson and McGrath to be regulars on Wagon Train. When Bond died, it was Wilson who broke the news to Bond's best friend, John Wayne. He said, "Hold on ... Ward just dropped dead". It has been said that they both cried together on the phone. Wilson, along with John Wayne, McGrath, Harry Carey, Jr. (Dobe), and Ken Curtis, later Festus Haggen on Gunsmoke, were Bond's pallbearers.

Along with McGrath, Wilson appears in a dance scene as a Texas Ranger and both are in the "wedding party" in the John Wayne/John Ford film The Searchers. In Hondo, Frank McGrath has a speaking part, and Wilson doubles for John Wayne in the knife fight with the Indian Silva.

Wilson and his wife are interred at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village in Los Angeles County. They had three children.

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1948Belle Starr's DaughterCowboyUncredited
1948My Hands Are ClayFather O'Brien
1949A Dangerous ProfessionManUncredited
1950The Flame and the ArrowGuardUncredited
1951Westward the WomenLonUncredited
1952Sailor BewareShore PatrolUncredited
1952Bugles in the AfternoonBarflyUncredited
1952Blackbeard the PiratePirateUncredited
1953The Last PosseTownsmanUncredited
1954Seven Brides for Seven BrothersTown SuitorUncredited
1955It's Always Fair WeatherCharlie's HenchmanUncredited
1955The Last FrontierSentryUncredited
1956The Last HuntSecond Buffalo HunterUncredited
1956The SearchersTexas RangerUncredited
1956Tension at Table RockSaloon BrawlerUncredited
1956Pillars of the SkyCapt. Fanning
1957The Wings of EaglesNaval OfficerUncredited
1966The PlainsmanSgt. Womack
1967The War WagonSheriff Strike
1968A Man Called GannonCoss
1968The Shakiest Gun in the WestWelsh
1970Dirty Dingus MageeSergeant
1971Support Your Local GunfighterThug
1972RageKaufman Trucking Co. driver
1973One Little IndianStage Driver
1973WestworldSheriff
1975Escape to Witch MountainBiff Jenkins
1977Charge of the Model T'sStonewall Adams
1979The Treasure SeekersGerman seaman

References

  1. "Terry Wilson Obit LA Times". newspapers.com. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
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