William Bishop (actor)

William Paxton Bishop (July 16, 1918 October 3, 1959) was an American television and movie actor from Oak Park, Illinois.

William Bishop
Bishop as Rudolph Strobel in the 1949 film Anna Lucasta.
Born(1918-07-16)July 16, 1918
DiedOctober 3, 1959(1959-10-03) (aged 41)
Resting placeWoodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica
Alma materWest Virginia University
Years active19431959
Spouse(s)Shirley Mohr Bishop

Early life

Bishop was the son of Edward T. Bishop and Helen MacArthur Bishop. He had a brother, Robert.[1] His elementary and secondary schooling came in New York and New Jersey. He went to West Virginia University where he wanted to study law[2] but left to enter theater. While he was at WVU, Bishop "won laurels as a football player and in other athletics."[3]

His uncle was playwright Charles MacArthur,[1] making him the nephew of stage and screen legend Helen Hayes and the cousin of actor James MacArthur.

Military service

Bishop served in the South Pacific with a Signal Battalion of the United States Army during World War II.[2]


Bishop's early experiences in acting came on the stage. After some work in little theaters in New York,[1] he appeared on Broadway in Tobacco Road.[4] He was also a charter member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre.[1]

Television and film

Bishop was best known for his role as Steve Connors on the 1950s NBC comedy series It's a Great Life[5] He was also seen in other programs, including Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and The Loretta Young Show.[2]

He had roles in films including Harriet Craig, The Killer That Stalked New York and The Basketball Fix, plus numerous westerns such as Top Gun, The Tougher They Come, Gun Belt, Cripple Creek and Wyoming Renegades.

Personal life

In 1956, Bishop married Shirley Mohr "in a small Nevada town after being marooned ... by blizzard."[6]


Bishop died in Malibu, California of cancer on October 3, 1959, at age 41.[1]


  1. "TV and Film Actor William Bishop Dies". California, Long Beach. Independent Press-Telegram. October 4, 1959. p. 148. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  2. "Great Life". TV Radio Mirror. 43 (2): 15. January 1955. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  3. "Theater Gossip". Florida, St. Petersburg. The Evening Independent. July 6, 1942. p. 6. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  4. "William Bishop". Playbill. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  5. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  6. "Wed While Marooned in Storm". The Dispatch. North Carolina, Lexington. February 17, 1956. p. 8. Retrieved 22 March 2016.

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