Guinn “Big Boy” Williams

15 Mar

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams 

Date of Birth

26 April 1899, Decatur, Texas, USA

Date of Death

6 June 1962, Burbank, California, USA (uremic poisoning)

Birth Name

Guinn Terrell Williams Jr.


6' 2″ (1.88 m)

Mini Biography

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 together. Williams starred in his own series of silent westerns and 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 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). 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.

— Kathleen


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  1. Anonymous

    March 16, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Great work Kathleen!