Big Boys do cry…sometimes.

16 Oct

big velez

Dear fellow Flynn fans,

in reference to Gentman`s “Big Hallo from Texas” and as a roundup to… here is a petite portrait of “Big Boy” Guinn Williams.

The 6 foot 2 Texan was an avid and able polo player on “Team Hollywood” together with Walter Wanger and Carl Crawford. With his athletic frame he tried to break into the Big Leagues, but had to settle for semi pro Baseball. His father, a rancher turned congressman, wanted him to go to West Point or at least become a lawyer.

But his love for acting prevailed. He is known for his hunky `n` hearty appearances in B- Westerns (for example as Lullaby Joslin in “Powdersmoke Range”) as well as serving as Flynn wingman to sidekick Alan Hale Sr. in the A+ Western “Dodge City”.

A little known fact is that initially he was cast by Michael Curtiz for his film “Noah`s Ark”. (Thanks for the info Ilona!) in 1928.

He became a regular on the Flynntourage and one night challenged Orson Welles, who widely was viewed as conceited diva back then, to a 12 round square-barehand dance.

But Williams instead of going head to head with the Wunderkind, went toe to toe with another Flynntima- Lupe Velez.

After her torrid marriage with Tarzan Johnny Weissmüller had come to an end, the Mexican Spitfire announced her engagement to Mesquiteer Williams in November of 1940. Here`s the nitty gritty:

“Lupe was a foot and a half shorter and 150 Pounds lighter than “Big Boy”, but that didn`t stop her from physically assaulting him. Despite his reputation as a mauler, if his feelings were hurt, “Big Boy” would cry like a baby. With Lupe he would fight hard and cry harder.”

In comes Flynn into play:

“Errol Flynn once commentated  that they were the oddest couple he had ever seen. Ironically, it was at Flynn`s house where their rocky relationship ended. In a fit of rage, Lupe picked up a large framed photograph of “Big Boy” and smashed him over the head with it, repeatedly, until she broke the frame. She then took out the photo, and tore it into pieces.”

Guinn Williams would go on if not unharmed but rather relieved to raise cattle and polo ponies at his huge ranch and star with John Wayne in “The Comancheros”.

Lupe would not see her 37th birthday.


— shangheinz


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  1. David DeWitt

    October 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for this great mini-bio! Guinn Big Boy” Williams was an imortant part of the comical chemistry between he, Allan Hale, and Flynn.

    • shangheinz

      October 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      Yep. They were like three pistols in one holster…

  2. rswilltell

    October 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams had a very long career that began in silent movies. He was always at home in the cinema saddle and alternated between playing likable good guys or cruel bad guys. One of his best is the superb 20th Century Fox film ‘Swamp Water’ (1941) directed by jean Renoir, which starred Dana Andrews, Anne Baxter, Walter Brennan, and Walter Huston. Guinn William and Ward Bond played murderous bad guys behind the secret of the vast swamp. Guinn Williams also co-starred in his own television series ‘Circus Boy’ for two years and 49 episodes. Future Monkees singer Mickey Dolenz played the title role. Lupe Velez committed suicide over a bad romance with a gangster although her career was going great guns with her ‘Mexican Spitfire’ series at RKO with movie comic Leon Errol! Ralph Schiller

    • shangheinz

      October 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Velez at the time of her untimely death again was engaged to another exiled Austrian actor named Harald Maresch. But he was not in the league of a Johnny Weissmüller and no match for Lupe. Tinseltown tabloids speculated if the unborn child of Velez truely was the lovechild of her longtime lover Gary Cooper. When Maresch aka Ramond refused to front for Coop, Lupe is said to have lost it…

      • rswilltell

        October 19, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        Another fascinating tidbit from Heinz. Maybe! I always wondered why Lupe Velez who went around the block many times with so many men, would commit suicide? Ralph Schiller

        • shangheinz

          October 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm


          Besting Lupe was a Herculanean task, which Big Boy soon surrendered.