Burton Gilliam

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Burton Gilliam
Burton Gilliam Photo Op GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019.jpg
Gilliam at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2019
Born (1938-08-09) August 9, 1938 (age 83)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Years active1973–present

Burton Gilliam (born August 9, 1938) is an American actor. He is best known for memorable roles in several popular 1970's movies, such as Blazing Saddles[1] and Paper Moon.



Before acting, Gilliam was a member of the Coast Guard's boxing team where he won 201 out of 217 fights.[2] He remained in the boxing world for decades, working as a referee in California.

While working as a fireman for the city of Dallas,[2] Gilliam appeared in the role of "Floyd", the desk clerk in the film Paper Moon. He then went on to appear in such popular movies as Blazing Saddles and Back to the Future Part III. Performing in Blazing Saddles was difficult for him since he played a despicable racist who repeatedly racially insults the African-American characters as "niggers," especially the hero, played by Cleavon Little. Gilliam was so uncomfortable that he apologized to Little who had to remind him that the slur was simply in the script and was treated unambiguously negatively since he was playing a villain.[3]

Gilliam has had roles in movies such as Honeymoon in Vegas, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Farewell, My Lovely, Fletch, Gator, Telefon, and The Terror Within II. His television appearances include Alice, Charlie's Angels, The A-Team, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Fall Guy, and he appeared as a regular on Evening Shade.

Personal life[edit]

Gilliam was born in Dallas, Texas. He lives with his wife Susan in Allen, Texas, just north of Dallas. He has two children and four grandchildren. His granddaughter Hollie Vise is a world champion gymnast.

Gilliam graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1956 and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2004. In 2018, he was the grand marshal of the Dallas St. Patrick's Day parade.




TV guest appearances[edit]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Lindsey, Craig (26 August 2019). "How 'Blazing Saddles' turned a Texan into a star". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b The man who will be remembered as a part of the first fart joke in movie history comes to New Hope. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  3. ^ "'Blazing Saddles': What the Producers Didn't Want You to Know". HIstory by Day. Retrieved 8 January 2021.

External links[edit]