Scott Wilson (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Wilson in March 2016
William Delano Wilson[1]

(1942 -03-29)March 29, 1942
DiedOctober 6, 2018(2018-10-06) (aged 76)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Years active1967–2018
Heavenly Wilson
(m. 1977)

Scott Wilson (born William Delano Wilson; March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018) was an American actor. He had more than 50 film credits, including In the Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood, The Great Gatsby, Dead Man Walking, Pearl Harbor, and Junebug.[2] In 1980, Wilson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his role in William Peter Blatty's The Ninth Configuration.[3][4] He played veterinarian Hershel Greene on the AMC television series The Walking Dead (2011–2014; 2018).[5] He also had a recurring role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as casino mogul Sam Braun, as well as a lead role on the Netflix series The OA as Abel Johnson.[6]

Life and career[edit]

Scott Wilson at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, July 2013

Wilson was born in the small Southern town of Thomasville, Georgia.[7] He made his screen debut portraying characters suspected of murder in his first three films. In his debut film, Wilson played a murder suspect in In the Heat of the Night (1967).[3] Wilson appeared in Sparta, Mississippi where (In the Heat of the Night) takes place, on March 15, 2014, to celebrate the city's 175th anniversary in reference to his debut appearance in the film.

His follow-up role, in the same year, was in the film version of In Cold Blood, based on the book of the same name by Truman Capote.[4] Wilson portrayed real-life murderer Richard Hickock, while Robert Blake played his partner, Perry Smith.

Director Richard Brooks cast Wilson and Blake in the starring roles specifically because they were unknown at the time.[4] The director passed over better-known actors, including Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, for the parts.[4] Wilson later explained Brooks' casting motivations: "Brooks hired two 'unknowns' and he wanted to keep it that way. We were treated like two killers he had somehow run across."[4]

The film earned Wilson an appearance on the cover of Life magazine, published on May 12, 1967.[4] Wilson was just 25 years old at the time.[4] The cover features Truman Capote standing between Wilson and Blake on an empty highway in Kansas.[4] The caption, Nightmare Revisited, appears with them on the cover.[4] Wilson appeared in The Great Gatsby in 1974 opposite Robert Redford.[3] He received a 1980 Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Ninth Configuration by director and friend William Peter Blatty.[3][4] He lost the Golden Globe to Timothy Hutton. In 1995 Wilson got attention for his role as a prison chaplain in Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean.[3][4]

Wilson's long filmography also includes The Gypsy Moths, The Right Stuff, A Year of the Quiet Sun, Malone, The Grass Harp, Junebug, The Host, Monster, Young Guns II, Pearl Harbor, Big Stan, Judge Dredd, the Shiloh film series and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Wilson has filmed on location in South Korea, Japan and Spain.[3] Wilson had a recurring role in several episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Sam Braun, father of crime-scene investigator Catherine Willows (portrayed by Marg Helgenberger).[8] Braun was killed off in the episode "Built to Kill, Part 2". In the fall of 2011 he also made an appearance opposite Laura Dern in the HBO series, Enlightened.

Wilson was cast as veterinarian, Hershel Greene in the second season of The Walking Dead in June 2011.[5] The role has earned him positive reviews, including a "cheer" from TV Guide, which wrote that he had contributed "subtle shades of humanity to the character of Hershel Greene."[8] Wilson was offered the opportunity to join the show while visiting his 97-year-old mother in Georgia.[3] He has described his mother as "a fan of the show."[3] Wilson left the show in December 2013 after his character was killed off in the season 4 mid-season finale "Too Far Gone".[9] However, he made two guest appearances since his character's death, and made his last[10] onscreen appearance in the fifth episode of the ninth season of The Walking Dead.

Wilson reflected on his career in a 2011 interview with Access Atlanta's Rodney Ho: "It's been up and down. It's always been. You have dry spells. At different times, you are starting over. If you love it, you stay with it. That's what I'm doing. I've accomplished more than I would have hoped to have accomplished. I don't want to be a big movie star. I can be someone who walks the streets and not get mobbed. I want to be as fine an actor as I can be. I am still striving to be as good as I can be."[3] Wilson was filming scenes for The Walking Dead in Senoia, Georgia, at the time the interview took place.[3] In 2014, Wilson was cast in a recurring role as Dr. Guyot in the Amazon original series Bosch. In 2016, he appeared in the Netflix series The OA.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He married Heavenly Koh Wilson in 1977.[11][12][13]


On October 6, 2018, it was reported that Wilson had died from leukemia at his home in Los Angeles, aged 76.[14] He died just a few hours after NYCC (New York Comic Con).[15][12][13] The premiere episode of The Walking Dead's ninth season, "A New Beginning", which aired the next day, was dedicated to Wilson's memory which is shown in the final credits of the episode.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 In the Heat of the Night Harvey Oberst
In Cold Blood Richard Hickock
1969 Castle Keep Corporal Clearboy
The Gypsy Moths Malcolm Webson
1971 The Grissom Gang Slim Grissom
1972 The New Centurions Gus
1973 Lolly-Madonna XXX Thrush
1974 The Great Gatsby George Wilson
1976 The Passover Plot Judah
1979 La Ilegal Police Officer
1980 The Ninth Configuration Captain Billy Cutshaw Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1983 The Right Stuff Scott Crossfield
1984 A Year of the Quiet Sun Norman
Río Abajo (On the Line) Mitch
1985 The Aviator Jerry Stiller
1986 Blue City Percy Kerch
1987 Malone Paul Barlow
1989 Johnny Handsome Mikey Chalmette
1990 Young Guns II Governor Lew Wallace
The Exorcist III Dr. Temple
La Cruz de Iberia Johnson
1991 Femme Fatale Dr. Beaumont
Pure Luck Frank Grimes
1993 Flesh and Bone Elliot
Geronimo: An American Legend Redondo
1995 Tall Tale Zeb
Judge Dredd Pa Angel Uncredited
The Grass Harp Eugene Fenwick
Dead Man Walking Chaplain Farley
Mother Dr. Chase Direct-to-video
1996 Shiloh Judd Travers
1997 Our God's Brother Albert Chmielowski
G.I. Jane Captain Salem
1998 Puraido: Unmei no Toki Joseph B. Keenan
Clay Pigeons Sheriff Dan Mooney
1999 Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season Judd Travers
The Debtors
2000 South of Heaven, West of Hell Clete Monroe
The Way of the Gun Hale Chidduck
2001 The Animal Mayor
Pearl Harbor General George Marshall
2002 Bark! Harold
Coastlines Pa Mann
Don't Let Go Hershel Ray Stevens
2003 Monster Horton / Last "John"
The Last Samurai Ambassador Swanbeck
2005 Junebug Eugene Johnsten
2006 Open Window Eddie Delaney
Come Early Morning Lowell Fowler
Saving Shiloh Judd Travers
The Host US Doctor in Morgue
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Eugene
The Sensation of Sight Tucker
2007 The Heartbreak Kid Boo
Big Stan Warden Gasque
2009 Saving Grace B. Jones Reverend Potter
Bottleworld Murray
For Sale by Owner Dr. Banks
2010 Radio Free Albemuth President Fremont
2011 Dorfman Winston Cooke Sr.
2017 Hostiles Cyrus Lounde


Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Twilight Zone Matthew Foreman Episode: "Quarantine"
1988 Jesse Sam Maloney Television film
The Tracker John 'Red Jack' Stillwell Television film
1993 Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story Vernon Presley Television film
1995 Soul Survivors Bradley Facemeyer Television film
1999 The Jack Bull Governor Television film
2000 The X-Files Rev. Orison Episode: "Orison"
2001–2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sam Braun 9 episodes
2003 Karen Sisco Homer Episode: "Dumb Bunnies"
2005 Law & Order Ben Chaney Episode: "Sport of Kings"
2011 Justified Frank Reasoner Episode: "Blaze of Glory"
Enlightened Marv Episode: "Someone Else's Life"
The Walking Dead Hershel Greene 33 episodes
2011 Five Old Bill Television film
2014–2015 Bosch Paul Guyot 3 episodes
2016 Damien John Lyons 5 episodes
2016–2019 The OA Abel Johnson 7 episodes
2017 Robot Chicken Hershel Greene Voice, Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking"

Other awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result
2007 Ralph Morgan Award[17] Won


  1. ^ Barnes, Mike (October 6, 2018). "Scott Wilson, Actor in 'The Walking Dead' and 'In Cold Blood,' Dies at 76". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Scott Wilson". The New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ho, Rodney (October 25, 2011). "A talk with Atlanta native Scott Wilson, who plays Hershel on 'The Walking Dead'". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lovell, Glenn (March 17, 1996). "Actor Anonymous: Scott Wilson hopes 'Dead Man Walking' will lead to the visibility that has long eluded him in films". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Ayres, Tom (June 26, 2011). "'The Walking Dead' cast expands by two". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Pedersen, Erik (December 12, 2016). "'The OA' Trailer: Netflix Releases First Look & Sets Premiere Date For Drama". Deadline. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  7. ^ EndPlay (October 7, 2018). "Georgia-born 'The Walking Dead' actor dead at 76". WSBTV. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Fretts, Bruce (November 28, 2011). "Cheers & Jeers: The Walking Dead's Great Scott Wilson". TV Guide. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  9. ^ "Off With Their Heads". Syfy. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  10. ^ Davis, Brandon (October 6, 2018). "'The Walking Dead' Star Scott Wilson Has Died". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Walking Dead actor dies aged 76". BBC News. October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Full Biography for Heavenly Wilson". March 6, 2007.
  13. ^ a b "Scott Wilson Cause of Death: How Did 'The Walking Dead' Hershel Actor Die?". October 6, 2018.
  14. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (October 8, 2018). "Scott Wilson, 76, 'Walking Dead' and 'In Cold Blood' Actor, Dies". NY Times. The New York Times Company. p. B12. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Walking Dead actor dies aged 76 In Loving Memory of Scott Wilson". BBC News. October 7, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  16. ^ Patten, Dominic; Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 7, 2018). "'The Walking Dead' Airs Scott Wilson Tribute After Tonight's Season Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (April 2, 2007). "SAG honors Wilson". Variety. Retrieved October 7, 2018.

External links[edit]