Chill Theodore Wills,American film actorsinger in the Avalon Boys Quartet.
Wills was born in Seagoville in Dallas County, Texas. He was a performer from early childhood, formingleading the Avalon Boys singing group in the 1930s. After appearing with them in a few westerns, he disbed the group in 1938struck out on a solo acting career.
One of his more memorable roles was that of the distinctive voice of Francis the Mule in a series of popular films. Wills deep, rough voiceWestern twang were perfectly matched to the personality of the cynical, sardonic mule. As was customary at the time, Wills was given no billing for his vocal work, though he was featured prominently on-screen as blustery General Ben Kaye in the fourth entry, Francis Joins the WACS.
Wills also appeared in numerous serious roles, including that of Uncle Bawley in Giant, a 1956 film starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor,James Dean.Wills was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1960 for his role as Davy Crocketts companion "Beekeeper" in the film The Alamo. However, his aggressive campaign for the award was considered tasteless by many, including the films producer, John Wayne, who publicly apologized for Wills. Wills publicity agent, W.S. "Bow-Wow" Wojciechowicz, accepted blame for the ill-advised effort, claiming that his employer had known nothing about it. Wills was defeated for the Oscar by Peter Ustinov, who won for his role in Spartacus.
Wills was a poker playera close, personal friend of Benny Binion, the father of the World Series of Pokerformer owner of the Binions Horshoe Casino in Las Vegas. Wills participated in the first world series of pokeris seated in the center of the now famous picture with the other legends of the game.
In 1966, Wills was cast in the role of a shady Texas rancher, Jim Ed Love, in the short-lived ABC comedy/western series The Rounders, with co-stars Ron Hayes (1929-2005), Patrick Wayne (born 1939),Walker Edmiston (1926-2007).
Wills served asof ceremonies for George C. Wallace, Jr., former governor of Alabama, for the California campaign stops in Wallaces 1968 Presidential campaign.HeWalter Brennan of The Real McCoys, The Tycoon,The Guns of Will Sonnett, were among the few Hollywood celebrities to endorse Wallaces campaign against Hubert H. HumphreyRid M. Nixon.
Wills last role was in 1978 as a janitor in Stubby Pringles Christmas.
On his death in Encino, California, Chill Wills was interred in the Gr View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale.