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Chill Wills
Birth: Jul. 18, 1902
Seagoville
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: Dec. 15, 1978
Encino
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actor. He is best remembered for his numerous western character roles in film and on television. His distinct, gravelly voice made him stand out in virtually every appearance. Born in Seagoville, Texas, he was named Chill as a comment of his birthday being the hottest day of 1903. A musician in his youth, he performed in tent shows, in vaudeville, and with stock companies at age 12, before forming his own musical band, the "Avalon Boys". During a performance at the Trocadero Club in Hollywood, an RKO executive spotted them, and soon they were appearing in low budget western films. After appearing as himself with the "Avalon Boys" and as the bass-singing voice of Stan Laurel in the Laurel and Hardy comedy, "Way Out West" (1937), Wills disbanded his group and went out on his own, usually playing a character actor in westerns. A slender, homey looking man in his youth, during the 1940s and 1950s, he steadily gained weight as his roles became more obnoxious or vicious. He was effective in the role of 'Uncle Benedict' in the James Dean film, "Giant" (1956), and played the voice of 'Francis the Talking Mule' in all of the "Francis" series of movies. In 1960, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as 'Beekeeper' in "The Alamo" (1960), but his open and blatant campaigning for the award cost him the Oscar and probably several good movie roles. Despite this self-inflicted setback, he continued to make movies and work in television shows up until his death in 1978. He costarred in two television series, "Frontier Circus" (1961) and "The Rounders" (1967). He died of cancer in December 1978 in Encino, California. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Bettie E Chapelle Wills (1907 - 1971)*
  Novadeen Googe Wills (1928 - 2002)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Cancer 
Inscription:
WILLIS

HUSBAND
CHILL T.
1902-1978

WIFE
BETTIE E.
1907-1971
 
Burial:
Grand View Memorial Park
Glendale
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Devotion, Tier C, Grave 27
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Aug 11, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6090
Chill Wills
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Chill Wills
Added by: Lisa Burks
 
Chill Wills
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lisa Burks
 
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 Added: Jan. 22, 2015

- LawBaby
 Added: Dec. 16, 2014
RIP
- Sanshl
 Added: Dec. 15, 2014
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