William Morris (actor)

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William Morris
William Morris, stage actor (SAYRE 7426).jpg
Morris in 1904
William Henry Morris

(1861-01-01)January 1, 1861
DiedJanuary 11, 1936(1936-01-11) (aged 75)
Years active1875–1935
Spouse(s)Etta Hawkins
Children5, including Chester Morris

William Henry Morris (January 1, 1861 – January 11, 1936) was an American stage and film actor.[1]


He began his career as a teenager in the theater, first appearing at the Boston Museum in 1875. He became a star on the Broadway stage, where he spent most of his career. He appeared in popular plays such as 1909's Is Matrimony a Failure? He was a character actor in silent films, usually playing gruff fathers or bad guys.[2]

His appearance in Alice Guy's 1917 silent film The Ocean Waif, from Kino DVD, is an example of Morris's surviving screen work.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to actress Etta Hawkins,[3] with whom he had five children: screenwriter-actor Gordon Morris (1898–1940), actors Chester Morris (1901–1970) and Adrian Morris (1907–1941), and actress Wilhelmina Morris (1902–1971).[4]: 7, 263  Their first child, Lloyd Morris, died young (1892–1902).[4]: 7 

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1916 Romeo and Juliet Abraham
1930 Brothers Dr. Moore
1931 The Woman Between Frederick Weston
The Gang Buster Andrew Martine

Selected stage appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "William Morris, 75, Veteran Actor, Dies; Father of Chester of the Movies Well Known on Broadway Stage". The New York Times. January 12, 1936. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  2. ^ The Chester Morris Web the only Chester Morris website on the internet
  3. ^ "Obituary: Etta Hawkins Morris". The New York Times. July 15, 1945. p. 15. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Nollen, Scott Allen; Nollen, Yuyun Yuningsih (2019). Chester Morris : His Life and Career (softcover) (First ed.). Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-7729-3.

External links[edit]