October 1, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Son Of A Hollywood Maverick Visits Santa Monica:

William Wellman, Jr. has lived a very interesting life.

“I’ve been an actor for almost 60 years,” the 78-year-old California resident said. “I worked in 56 features. I’ve done more leads in bad movies than almost any actor who can still get a job.”

Wellman has currently gone from actor to author. His latest biography is a tribute to his late, great father and famed movie director, William Wellman, Sr.

Earlier this month, Wellman Jr. was the featured speaker at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Santa Monica. He talked about his latest book called “Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel” to a small local audience of film buffs.

“The book is about my father,” Wellman told The Mirror in an exclusive interview. “He was Wild Bill. The book took nine years to write but decades spent in research.”

Wellman related how his famous father went from a fighter pilot in World War I to getting his big break in Hollywood.

“My father ran into Douglas Fairbanks at a local theater and they started a friendship,” he said. “Fairbanks told my father, ‘That if you ever need a job come out to Hollywood and look me up.’”

Following the war, Wellman Sr. flew out to Hollywood and took Fairbanks up on his offer.

“My father had read in the newspaper that Fairbanks was having a big polo party. And my father flew up in his biplane, landed on the polo field in front of Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and all the great Hollywood stars and told Fairbanks: ‘Remember me?’ So Fairbanks gave him a starring role in a western around 1919. And that’s how my father started in Hollywood.”

But Wellman Sr. quickly went from acting to directing. His first big claim to fame was the silent film “Wings,” which won the first Academy Award for Best Picture in 1939. From that point on “Wild Bill” was off and running. He went on to direct 76 movies and his films received 32 Academy Award nominations and won several Oscars.

“Wild Bill” worked on such well-known movies like “Public Enemy” starring James Cagney, “Call of the Wild” with Clark Gable and the original 1937 “A Star is Born” with Frederic March. He also directed famous movie stars of the day such as Barbra Stanwyck, Carol Lombard, Gary Cooper and John Wayne.

“He directed every kind of film,” Wellman Jr. recalled. “He loved the art of making movies.”

Apparently, that love carried over to the son as well. Wellman Jr. has played parts in a number of cult favorite films like “The Born Losers” with Billy Jack (1967), “It’s Alive” (1974), and beach party flicks of the 1960s.

A current resident of Sherman Oaks, Wellman Jr. enjoyed his time in Santa Monica speaking at the local bookstore to a room of other movie enthusiasts.

in News
Related Posts

Cafe Closes Its Doors at Santa Monica Place Location

October 1, 2020

October 1, 2020

Italian cafe in Santa Monica Place appears to have closed, though signage remains By Toi Creel Ugo Café in Santa...

Edify TV: Avoiding a ‘Twindemic’

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Local officials are trying to avoid a double dose of hospitalizations from the flu and coronavirus being coined a ‘Twindemic.’...

Edify TV: Westside Colleges to Remain Remote for Foreseeable Future

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Westside college campuses, closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will likely remain closed for the foreseeable future. Learn more in this...

BREAKING: Santa Monica City Council Approves Miramar Expansion

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Project moves forward by 4-2 vote By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has approved plans that have been in...

Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s

September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020

Alzheimer’s Association encouraging residents to walk in small groups amid COVID-19 The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Santa Monica residents to...

Lawsuit Filed Against Plaza Development

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Slow-growth group says City is violating Surplus Land Act By Sam Catanzaro A slow-growth group has filed a lawsuit to...

City Of Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project: Santa Monica Beat – September, 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project. * LA Street...

Santa Monica Police Make Additional Arrests in Looting of REI

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Marques Miles and Misty Jones arrested by Santa Monica Police Department Santa Monica police recently made additional arrests of two...

OpEd: The Miramar Project Will Be a New Architectural Jewel

September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020

The Miramar Hotel has been a central part of Santa Monica’s history and an integral part of the community for...

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...