William Edward Phipps
William Edward Phipps (February 4, 1922 – June 1, 2018) was an American actor and producer, sometimes credited simply as William Phipps, perhaps best known for his roles in dozens of classic sci-fi and westerns, both in films and on television.
Promotional headshot, 1951
William Edward Phipps
February 4, 1922
Vincennes, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||June 1, 2018 96) (aged|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Valley Oaks Memorial Park|
|Alma mater||Eastern Illinois University|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
Phipps grew up in St. Francisville, Illinois. His parents divorced when he was six years old. By the time he was in high school, he was using his stepfather's last name of Couch. He developed a love of acting at a young age and performed in several plays in grade school and high school. One of the plays in which he performed, during his junior year of high school in 1937, was Before Morning, a 1933 play made into a film that same year.
After graduating from high school in 1939, he attended Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois, where he majored in accounting, was elected freshman class president and served as head cheerleader. After two years of college, he moved to Hollywood, to pursue a career in acting and resumed his original last name of Phipps.
World War II
During that same year, the United States entered into World War II, and Phipps enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a radio operator on several ships all across the Pacific. He served three years, then settled in Los Angeles to begin his career. He enrolled in the Actors' Lab in Hollywood, alongside fellow actor Russell Johnson.
Phipps' big break came when he and Johnson were double-cast in a play at the Actors Lab. They drew straws to see which actor would perform in the matinée, and which would take the evening show. Phipps drew the evening show, which was attended that same evening by actor Charles Laughton. Laughton was impressed by Phipps' performance, and came backstage afterwards to ask Phipps to perform in Laughton's own play. Phipps' career took off, and he was soon in his first feature film, Crossfire (1947). In 1949, Phipps auditioned for the speaking voice of Prince Charming in the upcoming Disney film Cinderella. The studio was pleased with his performance and Phipps was offered the part by Walt Disney himself.
After nearly thirty years in the business, performing in film and television in a wide variety of roles, Phipps took a break from Hollywood and moved to Hawaii. While there, he hosted a movie presentation program called "Hollywood Oldies", on Maui's Cable 7. After a little more than five years in Hawaii, he returned to Hollywood to portray President Theodore Roosevelt in the 1976 television movie Eleanor and Franklin.
Retirement and post-career
Phipps' last movie role was in the 2000 independent film Sordid Lives, in which he also served as one of the film's producers. In 2005, several of Phipps' films were the subject of an EIU (Eastern Illinois University) film festival in his honor. He received an honorary doctorate from the university the following year.
William Edward Phipps died on June 1, 2018 in Santa Monica, California, USA, at age 96 years old from lung cancer. He is buried in Valley Oaks Memorial Park. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving cast member of the 1950 animated film Cinderella.
|1948||The Arizona Ranger||Ranger Mac|
|Train to Alcatraz||Tommy Callahan|
|They Live by Night||Young Farmer|
|Desperadoes of Dodge City||Ted Loring|
|Belle Starr's Daughter||Yuma Talbott|
|1949||Scene of the Crime||Young Gun Owner||Uncredited|
|1950||The Man on the Eiffel Tower||Janvier|
|Key to the City||Reporter||Uncredited|
|The Outriders||Young Union Guard|
|Rider from Tucson||Bud Thurber|
|Rider from Tucson||Tug Bailey|
|No Questions Asked||Roger|
|The Red Badge of Courage||Officer||Uncredited|
|1952||Rose of Cimarron||Jeb Dawley|
|Fort Osage||Nathan Goodspeed|
|Loan Shark||Ed Haines||Uncredited|
|Flat Top||Red Kelley|
|1953||The Blue Gardenia||Lt. George Foster||Voice, Uncredited|
|The War of the Worlds||Wash Perry|
|Invaders from Mars||Sgt. Baker|
|Julius Caesar||Servant to Antony|
|Savage Frontier||Johnny Webb|
|Northern Patrol||Frank Stevens|
|Fort Algiers||Lt. Gerrier|
|Cat-Women of the Moon||Douglas 'Doug' Smith|
|Red River Shore||Ned Barlow|
|1954||Riot in Cell Block 11||Mickey|
|Executive Suite||Bill Lundeen|
|Jesse James vs. the Daltons||Bill Dalton|
|Francis Joins the WACS||Jeep driver||Uncredited|
|Two Guns and a Badge||Dick Grant - Rancher|
|The Snow Creature||Lieutenant Dunbar|
|The Violent Men||Bud Hinkleman||Uncredited|
|1955||Rage at Dawn||Bill Peterson Jr.||Uncredited|
|Smoke Signal||Pvt. Porter|
|The Eternal Sea||Legless Sailor||Uncredited|
|The Far Horizons||Oarsman / Camp Sentry||Uncredited|
|Lord of the Jungle||Kenny Balou|
|The Indian Fighter||Lt. Blake|
|1956||The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit||Army Sergeant||Uncredited|
|Great Day in the Morning||Ralston||Uncredited|
|The First Texan||Lt. Jack LeBlanc||Uncredited|
|Away All Boats||Ship Machinist||Uncredited|
|Lust for Life||Emile Bernard|
|The Desperados Are in Town||Bit Man at Cotton Gin||Uncredited|
|The Wild Party||Wino|
|1957||Badlands of Montana||Walt Branton|
|The Brothers Rico||Joe Wesson|
|Kiss Them for Me||Lt. Al Hendricks||Uncredited|
|Escape from Red Rock||Arky Shanks|
|1958||The Day of the Trumpet||Pvt. Steve Haines|
|The Walter Winchell File||Stony Jones||Episode: "David & Goliath"|
|Man on the Run||Jay|
|1959||The FBI Story||Baby Face Nelson||Uncredited|
|1962||The Virginian||Jack Wheeler||Episode: "Impasse"|
|1962||Black Gold||Albert Mailer|
|1964||The Evil of Frankenstein||Rena's Father||additional sequence: US, Uncredited|
|1966||Incident at Phantom Hill||Trader|
|Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round||Kleiner||Uncredited|
|Not with My Wife, You Don't!||Sergeant||Uncredited|
|1967||Gunfight in Abilene||Frank Norton|
|1983||The Dukes of Hazzard||Barney Benson|
|1984||Dune||Narrator||TV version, Uncredited|
|1988||Messenger of Death||Doc Turner|
|1993||Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey||Quentin|
|2000||Sordid Lives||Rev Barnes||(final film role)|
- "Before Morning". William Phipps' Facebook page. May 6, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Area man has led a 'charmed' Hollywood life". Daily News. January 27, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Actor's abode also home of ten Hollywood actresses". The Times-News. April 11, 1951. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- Double Feature Creature Attack. McFarland. February 19, 2003. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Hollywood Oldies". William Phipps' Facebook page. May 29, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "William Phipps". Embarras Valley Film Festival, 2005. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "OBITUARY - William Edward Phipps FEBRUARY 4, 1922 – JUNE 1, 2018". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
- William Edward Phipps