An experienced motion picture performer with upward of 300 film credits, Chill Wills played a variety of roles but was most noted for those in westerns.
One of his earliest roles was with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in "Boom Town" in 1940, a film in which he began nine years under contract to MGM.
He played a supporting role in the 1960 western "The Alamo," which starred John Wayne. He later had a dispute with Wayne over publicity surrounding an Academy Award nomination for Wills' portrayal of Beekeeper, one of the Tennessee defenders of the Alamo in the film.
Wills became familiar as the voice of the talking mule in the "Francis" movies.
Wills' television credits include the series "Frontier Circus" and "The Rounders" and the movie "The Over the Hill Gang Rides Again."
At least two versions of his name's origin have circulated. One says he was born on a hot day and given the name "Chill" to cool off; another says he was named after the doctor who delivered him — a Dr. Chillin. Wills used both stories.
|1960||Best Supporting Actor||The Alamo||Nomination|