William Wellman, Jr., son of Hollywood’s legendary director, “Wild Bill” Wellman, spent most of his childhood around the film world’s celebrities. His neighborhood was filled with them: Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Carole Lombard, Frank Capra, Lana Turner, John Payne, Jennifer Jones, Red Skelton, Peter Lawford, William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd to name just a few. If they weren’t coming to his family home, he met them at theirs, or on the sets and locations of 23 of his father’s films. His first girlfriend was Jane Fonda.
While still in his teens, he left Duke University for a career in the movies. He is credited with over 180 movies and television shows, 17 stage productions and some 200 commercial and industrial films. In 1981, he was awarded the Best Actor of The Year by the Christian Film Distributors for Heartland’s Brother Enemy (1981). He was nominated again in 1982 for Mark IV Pictures’ The Prodigal Planet (1983).