William Bakewell, 1938
May 2, 1908|
Los Angeles, California
|Died||April 15, 1993
Los Angeles, California
|Cause of death||Leukemia|
|Other names||Billy Bakewell|
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Holt (1946-1948)
Diane Griffith (1954-1993)
Mary Bakewell WIlliams
William Bakewell (May 2, 1908 – April 15, 1993), also known as Billy Bakewell, was an American actor, who achieved his greatest fame as one of the premiere juvenile performers of the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Life and career
Bakewell, educated at Los Angeles Harvard Military School, began his film career as an extra in the movie Fighting Blood (1924), and went on to appear in some 170 films and TV shows. He is most remembered for playing Albert in the All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), and Roddy, Joan Crawford's brother in Dance, Fools, Dance (1931). He also co-starred in Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929) with Winnie Lightner and Lilyan Tashman. In 1933, he contributed to the founding of the Screen Actors Guild and was member 44 of the original 50.
He never achieved significant status past the Depression years, although he became familiar in dozens of films, from Gone with the Wind (1939) to the phenomenally popular Disney series, Davy Crockett (1954-1955), in which he played Maj. Tobias Norton and a Keelboat Race Master of Ceremonies. Bakewell starred in the Columbia Pictures serial Hop Harrigan (1946), where he played a top Air Corps pilot.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army with the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was stationed at the 73rd Evacuation Hospital and at the The Radio Section of the Special Service Division as the Post Intelligence Officer and, also worked under the department that handled distribution of recorded programs to overseas station circuits.
In the 1960s, he guest starred in numerous situation comedy television series, including Guestward, Ho!, Pete and Gladys, Bringing Up Buddy, The Tab Hunter Show, Mister Ed, Leave It to Beaver, The Jack Benny Program, and Hazel. He also was cast in episodes of Peter Gunn, Sea Hunt, Wagon Train, The Roaring 20s, The Virginian, Arrest and Trial, and 87th Precinct He played the Virginia statesman George Wythe in the episode "George Mason" in the 1965 NBC documentary series, Profiles in Courage.
For four decades, Bakewell served on the board of Motion Picture and Television Fund.
- William Bakewell (1991), Hollywood Be Thy Name: Random Recollections of a Movie Veteran From Silents to Talkies to TV (ISBN 0-8108-2388-8)
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