William “Wild Bill” Elliott

William “Wild Bill” Elliott

Original Name Gordon Nance
Pattonsburg, Daviess County, Missouri, USA
Death 26 Nov 1965 (aged 61)
Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, USA
Burial Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, USA
Plot Eternity Mausoleum, Row E, Niche 2011
Memorial ID 5888277 · View Source
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Actor. The most prolific Western performer in Hollywood history, his acting career that lasted over 30 years, and he appeared in over 170 films as a supporting or a lead actor. He made numerous Western-themed motion pictures which landed him a top money earner in the period 1940 to 1954. He was born Gordon Nance on a ranch in Pattonsburg, Missouri to a father who was commissioner at the Kansas City, Missouri stockyards. Gordon grew up as a riding, roping, cattle busting youngster idolizing William Hart. He appeared in many horse and livestock shows. His cowboy skills would prove to be beneficial in his later Hollywood career. While attending Rockingham College for a time, the lure of Hollywood was simply to great. He moved to California enrolling in the Pasadena Community Playhouse for stage performances. Gordon was signed for movies by a talent scout and for thirteen years, he performed under the name William Elliott, specializing in society dramas but appeared in some westerns, a total of 90 movies in all. A few of the many: 'The Plastic Age' (Clara Bow) The Story of Louis Pasteur, The Singing Kid (Al Jolson) G-Men (James Cagney) and Tarzan's Revenge (Glen Morris). His defining moment came in 1938 when Columbia cast him as the lead in a 15-chapter serial, "The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" assuming as his own, the nickname, "Wild Bill." Over the next 14 years he appeared in dozens of westerns utilizing a distinctive manner in his gun performances. He wore and drew his pistols with the grips facing forward and would always "cross draw" the guns. He went on to appear in serials as Kit Carson and in Republic films as the fictional "Red Ryder." He portrayed a character with his own name in a eight film series that began with "Calling Wild Bill Elliott." His aging and with the era of the western movies fading, he simi-retired and moved to Los Vegas hosting a local television show where he interviewed guests and showed his old movies. He died here from cancer at age 61 and was cremated.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Scott G
  • Added: 24 Oct 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5888277
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William “Wild Bill” Elliott (16 Oct 1904–26 Nov 1965), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5888277, citing Palm Downtown Cemetery, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .