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Image of Will Geer

Will Geer

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Will Geer (March 9, 1902 – April 22, 1978) was an American actor and social activist. His original name was William Aughe Ghere. He is remembered for his portrayal of Grandpa Zebulon Tyler Walton in the 1970s TV series, The Waltons.   Geer made his Broadway debut as Pistol in a 1928 production of Much Ado About Nothing, created the role of Mr. Mister in Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, played Candy in John Steinbeck's theatrical adaptation of his novella Of Mice and Men, and appeared in numerous plays and revues throughout the 1940s. From 1948 to 1951, he appeared in more than a dozen movies, including Winchester '73 (as Wyatt Earp), Broken Arrow, Comanche Territory (all 1950) and Bright Victory (1951). Geer became a member of the Communist Party of the United States in 1934. Geer was also influential in introducing Harry Hay to organizing in the Communist Party. In 1934, Geer and Hay gave support to a labor strike of the port of San Francisco; the 1934 West Coast waterfront strike which lasted 83 days. Though marred by violence, it was an organizing triumph, one that became a model for future union strikes Geer became a reader of the West Coast Communist newspaper People's World. Geer became a dedicated activist, touring government work camps in the 1930s with folk singers like Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie (whom he introduced to the People's World and the Daily Worker; Guthrie would go on to write a column for the latter paper). In 1956, the duo released an album together on Folkways Records, titled Bound for Glory: Songs and Stories of Woody Guthrie. In his biography, fellow organizer and homosexual rights pioneer Harry Hay described Geer's activism and outlined their activities while organizing for the strike. Geer is credited with introducing Guthrie to Pete Seeger at the 'Grapes of Wrath' benefit Geer organized in 1940 for migrant farm workers. Geer acted with the Group Theatre (New York) studying under Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg. Geer also acted in radio, appearing as Mephistopheles (the Devil) in the 1938 and 1944 productions of Norman Corwin's The Plot to Overthrow Christmas. He also acted in the radio soap opera Bright Horizon. Geer was blacklisted in the early 1950s for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. As a result, Geer appeared in very few films over the next decade. Among them was Salt of the Earth (1954) which was produced, directed, written, and starring blacklisted Hollywood personnel and told the story of a miners' strike in New Mexico from a pro-union standpoint. The film was denounced as "subversive" and faced difficulties in its production and distribution as a consequence. Description above from the Wikipedia article Will Geer, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.


Read bio at tmdb | Read bio at Wikipedia
Born:
Mar 9, 1902 In Frankfort, Indiana, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
78
First Appeared:
In the movie The Misleading Lady 1932-04-15
Latest Project:
Series A Woman Called Moses 1978-12-11

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    Known For
    Poster of A Woman Called Moses
    Poster of Unknown Powers
    Poster of Memory of Us
    Poster of The Brotherhood of the Bell
    Filmography
    Series A Woman Called Moses Thomas Garrett 1978-12-11
    Movie Unknown Powers Host 1978-01-01
    Movie Rip Van Winkle Narrator (voice) 1978-01-01
    Movie The Mafu Cage Zom 1978-01-01
    Movie Bunco 1977-01-01
    Series Eight Is Enough Unknown 1977-03-15
    Series The Love Boat Unknown 1977-09-24
    Movie The Billion Dollar Hobo Choo-Choo Trayne 1977-11-01
    Movie The Blue Bird Grandfather 1976-04-05
    Movie Moving Violation Rockfield 1976-07-16
    Movie The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery Dr. Simpson 1975-03-07
    Series Starsky & Hutch Unknown 1975-09-10
    Series Tony Orlando and Dawn Unknown 1974-12-04
    Series The Lives of Benjamin Franklin 1974-01-01
    Movie Silence Crazy Jack 1974-04-15
    Movie The Hanged Man Nameless 1974-03-13
    Movie Memory of Us Motel Manager 1974-05-01
    Movie Hurricane Dr. McCutcheon 1974-09-10
    Movie Savage Joel Ryker 1973-03-31
    Movie Isn't It Shocking? Lemuel Lovell 1973-10-02
    Movie Brock's Last Case J. Smiley Krenshaw 1973-03-05
    Movie Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On Len McNeil 1973-11-03
    Series Doc Elliot Unknown 1973-10-10
    Movie Executive Action Ferguson 1973-11-07
    Series The Sixth Sense Unknown 1972-01-15
    Movie Dear Dead Delilah Roy Jurroe 1972-01-01
    Movie The Rowdyman 1972-05-18
    Movie The Scarecrow Justice Gilead Merton 1972-01-10
    Series Kung Fu Unknown 1972-10-14
    Movie Napoleon and Samantha Grandpa 1972-07-05
    Series The Waltons Zebulon Tyler Walton (grandfather) 1972-09-14
    Movie Jeremiah Johnson Bear Claw 1972-09-10
    Series Alias Smith and Jones Unknown 1971-01-05
    Movie Brother John Doc Thomas 1971-08-15
    Series Columbo Dr. Edmund Hidemann 1971-09-15
    Movie The Moonshine War Mr. Baylor 1970-06-30
    Movie The Brotherhood of the Bell Mike Patterson 1970-09-17
    Movie Pieces of Dreams The Bishop 1970-09-23
    Series The Bill Cosby Show Unknown 1969-09-14
    Series Medical Center Unknown 1969-09-24
    Series Then Came Bronson Unknown 1969-09-17
    Movie Bandolero! Pop Chaney 1968-06-01
    Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
    Movie The Crucible Giles 1967-05-04
    Series Garrison's Gorillas Unknown 1967-09-06
    Movie In Cold Blood Prosecutor 1967-12-14
    Series Mission: Impossible Unknown 1966-09-17
    Movie Seconds Old Man 1966-10-05
    Series Run for Your Life Unknown 1965-09-13
    Series The Trials of O'Brien Judge Lindemann 1965-09-18
    Movie Black Like Me Truckdriver 1964-01-01
    Series Bewitched Unknown 1964-09-17
    Series Daniel Boone Unknown 1964-09-24
    Movie Advise & Consent Senate Minority Leader 1962-06-06
    Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
    Movie Salt of the Earth Sheriff 1954-03-14
    Series Racket Squad Unknown 1951-06-07
    Movie Double Crossbones Tom Botts 1951-04-26
    Movie Bright Victory Mr. Lawrence Nevins 1951-07-31
    Movie The Barefoot Mailman Dan Paget - Miami Mayor / Postmaster 1951-12-03
    Movie The Tall Target Homer Crowley, Train Conductor 1951-08-17
    Movie Comanche Territory Dan'l Seeger 1950-05-01
    Movie The Kid from Texas O'Fallon 1950-03-01
    Movie It's a Small World William Musk - Father 1950-06-24
    Movie Winchester '73 Wyatt Earp 1950-07-12
    Movie To Please a Lady Jack Mackay 1950-10-13
    Movie Convicted Convict Mapes 1950-08-01
    Movie Broken Arrow Rancher 1950-08-01
    Movie Johnny Allegro Schultzy 1949-05-26
    Movie Lust for Gold Deputy Ray Covin 1949-06-10
    Movie Intruder in the Dust Sheriff Hampton 1949-11-22
    Movie Anna Lucasta Noah 1949-07-11
    Movie Deep Waters Nick Driver 1948-07-22
    Movie The Fight for Life Ballou 1940-03-07
    Movie Men and Dust Narrator (voice) 1940-11-08
    Movie Union Pacific Foreman (uncredited) 1939-05-05
    Movie Spitfire West Fry 1934-03-08
    Movie The Misleading Lady McMahon - Asylum Guard 1932-04-15