Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams

Guinn Terrell Williams Jr. (1899–1962). American Actor, Performer and Writer. The son of a rancher-turned-politician, Guinn Williams was given the nickname "Big Boy" (and he was, too - 6' 2" of mostly solid muscle from years of working on ranches and playing semi-pro and pro baseball) by Will Rogers, with whom he made one of his first films, in 1919. Although his father wanted him to attend West Point (he had been an officer in the Army during World War I), Williams had always wanted to act and made his way to Hollywood in 1919. His experience as a cowboy and rodeo rider got him work as a stuntman, and he gradually worked his way up to acting. He became friends with Rogers and together they made around 15 films. Additionally,in a film that has recently received critical acclaim, he appeared alongside Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor in the silent film "Lucky Star"(1927), playing a brute vieing for the affections of Janet Gaynor in competition with a returning war veteran, played by Charles Farrell. He then easily made the transition from silents to talkies. Although he also starred in a series of low-budget westerns in the early and mid-1930s, he really came into his own as a supporting  player in the late 1930s and early 1940s, especially at Warner Bros., where he appeared in such resoundingly successful westerns as Dodge City (1939) and Santa Fe Trail (1940) with his friends Errol Flynn and Alan Hale. Williams specialized in the somewhat dim and quick-tempered but basically decent sidekick, a role he would play for the next 20 years or so. He also made sound films other than westerns, and was in, for example, A Star Is Born (1937) and played strongly against type as a vicious, sadistic killer in The Glass Key (1935). Late in his career, he won the hearts of TV viewers in a regular role as Pete, the comedic roadie in "Circus Boy"(1957). In the early 1960s Williams' health began to deteriorate, which was noticeable in his last film, The Comancheros (1961), in which he had a small part and, sadly, did not look well at all. He died of uremic poisoning shortly afterwards. 


Father. Guinn Williams Sr. represented the 13th Texas Congressional District in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1922 to 1932.  Played some professional baseball before his acting career.  Father of William Tyler.  His father, Guinn Terrell Williams (1871-1948) was a member of the Texas Senate and a US Representative to Congress circa 1920s-early 1930s.  Was an expert polo player (dubbed the "Babe Ruth" of polo) and once owned 125 polo ponies.  Learned how to ride and punch cattle on his father's ranch.  Many people believe that former President George W. Bush bears a strong resemblance to Mr. Williams.  Was a pallbearer at the funeral of his best friend, Errol Flynn, along with Raoul Walsh, Mickey Rooney, Jack Oakie, Mike Romanoff, and Otto Reichow October 19, 1959 at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA. 

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