Scott Wilson (actor)
Wilson in March 2016
|Born||William Delano Wilson
(1942-03-29)March 29, 1942
Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||October 6, 2018(2018-10-06) (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Heavenly Wilson (m. 1977)
Scott Wilson (born William Delano Wilson; March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018) was an American actor. He had more than 50 film credits, including In the Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood, The Great Gatsby, Dead Man Walking, Pearl Harbor, and Junebug. In 1980, Wilson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his role in The Ninth Configuration. He played veterinarian Hershel Greene on the AMC television series The Walking Dead from 2011 to 2014. In addition, he also had a recurring role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as casino mogul Sam Braun, as well as a lead role on the Netflix series The OA as Abel Johnson.
Life and career
Wilson was born in the small Southern town of Thomasville, Georgia. He made his screen debut portraying characters suspected of murder in his first three films. In his debut film, Wilson played a murder suspect in In the Heat of the Night (1967). His follow-up role, in the same year, was In Cold Blood, based on the book of the same name by Truman Capote. Wilson portrayed real-life murderer Richard Hickock, while Robert Blake played his partner, Perry Smith.
Director Richard Brooks cast Wilson and Blake in the starring roles specifically because they were unknown at the time. The director passed over better-known actors, including Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, for the parts. Wilson later explained Brooks’ casting motivations: “Brooks hired two ‘unknowns’ and he wanted to keep it that way. We were treated like two killers he had somehow run across.” Wilson appeared in Sparta on March 15, 2014 to celebrate the city’s 175th anniversary in reference to his debut appearance in the film.
The film earned Wilson an appearance on the cover of Life Magazine, published on May 12, 1967. Wilson was just 25 years old at the time. The cover features Truman Capote standing between Wilson and Blake on an empty highway in Kansas. The caption, Nightmare Revisited, appears with them on the cover. Wilson appeared in The Great Gatsby in 1974 opposite Robert Redford. He received a 1980 Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Ninth Configuration by director and friend William Peter Blatty. He lost the Golden Globe to Timothy Hutton. In 1995 Wilson got attention for his role as a prison chaplain in Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean.
Wilson’s long filmography also includes The Gypsy Moths, The Right Stuff, A Year of the Quiet Sun, Malone, The Grass Harp, Junebug, The Host, Monster, Young Guns II, Pearl Harbor, Big Stan, Judge Dredd, the Shiloh film series and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Wilson has filmed on location in South Korea, Japan and Spain. Wilson had a recurring role in several episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Sam Braun, father of crime-scene investigator Catherine Willows (portrayed by Marg Helgenberger). Braun was killed off in the episode “Built to Kill, Part 2”. In the fall of 2011 he also made an appearance opposite Laura Dern in the HBO series, Enlightened.
Wilson was cast as veterinarian, Hershel Greene in the second season of The Walking Dead in June 2011. The role has earned him positive reviews, including a “cheer” from TV Guide, which wrote that he had contributed “subtle shades of humanity to the character of Hershel Greene.” Wilson was offered the opportunity to join the show while visiting his 97-year-old mother in Georgia. He has described his mother as “a fan of the show.” Wilson left the show in December 2013 after his character was killed off in the Season 4 mid-season finale “Too Far Gone“. However, he has made two appearances since his character’s death and was slated to appear in the ninth season.
Wilson reflected on his career in a 2011 interview with Access Atlanta‘s Rodney Ho: “It’s been up and down. It’s always been. You have dry spells. At different times, you are starting over. If you love it, you stay with it. That’s what I’m doing. I’ve accomplished more than I would have hoped to have accomplished. I don’t want to be a big movie star. I can be someone who walks the streets and not get mobbed. I want to be as fine an actor as I can be. I am still striving to be as good as I can be.” Wilson was filming scenes for The Walking Dead in Senoia, Georgia, at the time the interview took place. In 2014, Wilson was cast in a recurring role as Dr. Guyot in the Amazon original series Bosch. In 2016, he appeared in the Netflix series The OA.
On October 6, 2018, it was reported that Wilson had died due to leukemia at the age of 76. He had been married to Heavenly Koh Wilson since 1977. The premier episode of The Walking Dead‘s ninth season, “A New Beginning” which aired the next day was dedicated in Wilson’s memory.
|1967||In the Heat of the Night||Harvey Oberst|
|1967||In Cold Blood||Richard Hickock|
|1969||Castle Keep||Corporal Clearboy|
|1969||The Gypsy Moths||Malcolm Webson|
|1971||The Grissom Gang||Slim Grissom|
|1972||The New Centurions||Gus|
|1974||The Great Gatsby||George Wilson|
|1976||The Passover Plot||Judah|
|1979||La Ilegal||Police Officer|
|1980||The Ninth Configuration||Captain Billy Cutshaw||Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture|
|1983||The Right Stuff||Scott Crossfield|
|1984||A Year of the Quiet Sun||Norman|
|1985||The Aviator||Jerry Stiller|
|1986||Blue City||Percy Kerch|
|1989||Johnny Handsome||Mikey Chalmette|
|1990||The Exorcist III||Dr. Temple|
|1990||Young Guns II||Governor Lew Wallace|
|1990||La Cruz de Iberia||Johnson|
|1991||Femme Fatale||Dr. Beaumont|
|1991||Pure Luck||Frank Grimes|
|1993||Geronimo: An American Legend||Redondo|
|1993||Flesh and Bone||Elliot|
|1995||Judge Dredd||Pa Angel||Uncredited|
|1995||Dead Man Walking||Chaplain Farley|
|1995||The Grass Harp||Eugene Fenwick|
|1997||G.I. Jane||Captain Salem|
|1997||Our God’s Brother||Albert Chmielowski|
|1998||Clay Pigeons||Sheriff Dan Mooney|
|1998||Puraido: Unmei no Toki||Joseph B. Keenan|
|1999||Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season||Judd Travers|
|2000||South of Heaven, West of Hell||Clete Monroe|
|2000||The Way of the Gun||Hale Chidduck|
|2001||Pearl Harbor||General George Marshall|
|2002||Don’t Let Go||Hershel Ray Stevens|
|2003||The Last Samurai||Ambassador Swanbeck|
|2006||Come Early Morning||Lowell Fowler|
|2006||Saving Shiloh||Judd Travers|
|2006||The Host||US Doctor in Morgue|
|2006||Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon||Eugene|
|2006||The Sensation of Sight||Tucker|
|2007||The Heartbreak Kid||Boo|
|2007||Big Stan||Warden Gasque|
|2009||Saving Grace B. Jones||Reverend Potter|
|2009||For Sale by Owner||Dr. Banks|
|2010||Radio Free Albemuth||President Fremont|
|2011||Dorfman||Winston Cooke Sr.|
|1986||The Twilight Zone||Matthew Foreman||Episode: “Quarantine“|
|1988||Jesse||Sam Maloney||Television film|
|1988||The Tracker||John ‘Red Jack’ Stillwell||Television film|
|1993||Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story||Vernon Presley||Television film|
|1995||Soul Survivors||Bradley Facemeyer||Television film|
|1999||The Jack Bull||Governor||Television film|
|2000||The X-Files||Rev. Orison||Episode: “Orison“|
|2001–2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Sam Braun||9 episodes|
|2003||Karen Sisco||Homer||Episode: “Dumb Bunnies”|
|2005||Law & Order||Ben Chaney||Episode: “Sport of Kings”|
|2011||Justified||Frank Reasoner||Episode: “Blaze of Glory”|
|2011||Enlightened||Marv||Episode: “Someone Else’s Life”|
|The Walking Dead||Hershel Greene||32 episodes|
|2011||Five||Old Bill||Television film|
|2014–2015||Bosch||Paul Guyot||3 episodes|
|2016||Damien||John Lyons||5 episodes|
|2016–2018||The OA||Abel Johnson||6 episodes|
|2017||Robot Chicken||Hershel Greene (voice)||Episode: “The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking”|
Other awards and nominations
|2007||Ralph Morgan Award||Won|