Gil Hill

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Gil Hill
Gilbert Roland Hill

(1931-11-05)November 5, 1931
DiedFebruary 29, 2016(2016-02-29) (aged 84)
Occupation(s)Politician, police officer, actor
Years active1984–1994
Political partyDemocratic
Delores Hooks
(m. 1955; died 2015)

Gilbert Roland Hill (November 5, 1931 – February 29, 2016) was an American politician, police officer, and actor, who was the President of the Detroit City Council. He gained recognition for his role as Inspector Todd in the Beverly Hills Cop film series. He was the runner-up in the 2001 Detroit mayoral election, losing to Kwame Kilpatrick.


Early life[edit]

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Hill was the son of Mary Lee Hill, who raised him and his sister Toni, alone. In the 1940s, Hill moved with his mother and sister to Washington, D.C. Hill attended Cardozo High School, graduating in 1949. Hill had wished to attend Howard University, but was not able due to strained financial resources.

Instead, Hill joined the United States Air Force in 1950 and was stationed at Selfridge Air Force Base near Detroit. After leaving the Air Force in 1953, he returned to the Detroit area, where he worked a number of jobs for the next four years.

Law enforcement career[edit]

Hill joined the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in 1957, but quickly became disillusioned with the slow pace, so he joined the Detroit Police Department in 1959. In 1969 he was promoted to detective and was assigned to the homicide division the following year. Over the next decade, Hill rose to national attention for his ability to obtain confessions out of the most notorious killers. He was involved in the investigation surrounding the Atlanta Child Murders in 1979 that ultimately resulted in the trial and conviction of Wayne Williams.

Hill was promoted to the rank of Inspector in charge of the Homicide Division by 1982, and in 1989, retired from the Detroit Police Department at the rank of Commander.[1]

In 2016, former hit man Nate "Boone" Craft alleged that Hill had once offered to pay him $125,000 to kill Richard Wershe Jr., to keep Wershe from revealing alleged corruption in the Detroit police department.[2]

Political career[edit]

Following his retirement from police work he became a councilman for Detroit, becoming its president in 1997, and running unsuccessfully for mayor against Kwame Kilpatrick in 2001. He was initially considered to be the leading candidate, and had support from many people connected with incumbent mayor Dennis Archer.[3][better source needed]. In 2019, a portrait of Hill was unveiled at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in downtown Detroit, a tradition carried out for all former City Council Presidents.[4]

Acting career[edit]

Already a prominent figure in law enforcement, Hill appeared in the Beverly Hills Cop films, playing the role of Inspector Todd, the boss of Eddie Murphy's character, Axel Foley.[5][6] Offered other acting work after the film's release, Hill declined to pursue acting as a career, but did appear in the two subsequent sequels of the movie, saying that the only difference between his famous character's life and his own was that he did not curse as much in real life.

Personal life and death[edit]

Hill married Dolores Hooks, who sang in a local church choir, in 1955. They remained married until her death in 2015. They had two sons and a daughter.

Hill died from pneumonia at the age of 84 on February 29, 2016, at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.[7]


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Beverly Hills Cop Inspector Douglas Todd
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II
1994 Beverly Hills Cop III (final film role)

Gill Hill also appeared as himself in the documentary, White Boy Rick, in which the details of his corruption during his time as a Detroit Law Enforcement Officer, were revealed.


  1. ^ Gil Hill Dies Gil Hill, movie star and ex-Detroit councilman, dies, Detroit Free Press, February 29, 2016.
  2. ^ Past Detroit Hit Man Claims Gil Hill Wanted Him To Kill Richard Wershe Jr., Deadline Detroit, September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Did Freman and His Supporters Sabotage Gil Hill". October 17, 2005. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  4. ^ "Gil Hill Portrait unveiled". 19 November 2019.
  5. ^ Gruson, Lindsey (December 16, 1984). "Exit Stallone, enter Eddie Murphy". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Maslin, Janet (May 20, 1987). "Film: Murphy in 'Cop II'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Former Detroit City Council President Gil Hill dies at 84". Fox 2 Detroit. WJBK. February 29, 2016. Archived from the original on August 7, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2017.


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