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Also Known As: Died: August 21, 1991
Born: December 25, 1915 Cause of Death: pancreatic cancer
Birth Place: McKeesport, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: producer, director, actor, associate producer, screenwriter, stage manager, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Longtime associate of Orson Welles who joined Welles and John Houseman at the founding of the Mercury Theater company in 1937. Wilson worked as stage manager and actor in such Mercury productions as "Julius Caesar", "The Cradle Will Rock", "Native Son" and "Heartbreak House" while simultaneously working as an actor and production assistant on the radio program "Mercury Theater of the Air", including its legendary broadcast of "The War of the Worlds". Wilson appeared in "Citizen Kane" (1941) and "The Lady from Shanghai" (1948), for which he served as associate producer).After Welles left for Europe in the early 50s, Wilson joined Universal as a producer working on the Ma and Pa Kettle films and in the mid-50s began directing features, mostly highly realistic Westerns and gangster films including "Al Capone" (1959), "Pay or Die" (1960) and "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (1964).

Longtime associate of Orson Welles who joined Welles and John Houseman at the founding of the Mercury Theater company in 1937. Wilson worked as stage manager and actor in such Mercury productions as "Julius Caesar", "The Cradle Will Rock", "Native Son" and "Heartbreak House" while simultaneously working as an actor and production assistant on the radio program "Mercury Theater of the Air", including its legendary broadcast of "The War of the Worlds". Wilson appeared in "Citizen Kane" (1941) and "The Lady from Shanghai" (1948), for which he served as associate producer).

After Welles left for Europe in the early 50s, Wilson joined Universal as a producer working on the Ma and Pa Kettle films and in the mid-50s began directing features, mostly highly realistic Westerns and gangster films including "Al Capone" (1959), "Pay or Die" (1960) and "Invitation to a Gunfighter" (1964).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Skullduggery (1970) Director
3.
  3 in the Attic (1968) Director
4.
5.
  Wall of Noise (1963) Director
6.
  Pay or Die (1960) Director
7.
  Al Capone (1959) Director
8.
  Raw Wind in Eden (1958) Director
9.
  The Big Boodle (1957) Director
10.
  Man with the Gun (1955) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 All Is Brazil (1998)
3.
 Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (1993) Uncle Sal
4.
 Foreign Body (1986) Colonel Partridge
5.
 Fellow Traveller (1986) Sir Hugo Armstrong
6.
 F for Fake (1973)
7.
 I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) Bill Salter
8.
 Citizen Kane (1941) Reporter at Xanadu
9.
 Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, The (1993) Voice Of Mr Mcgregor
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began professional career as a radio actor and station announcer in Denver
:
First continuing role, as a barking sled dog on the radio series, "Renfrew of the Mounted"
:
Worked in summer stock and on such radio shows as "We the People" and "Gang Busters"
1937:
Joined Mercury Theater and worked as stage manager and actor for "Julius Caesar", "The Cradle Will Rock", "Native Son", "Heartbreak House"
1942:
Was second unit director on the uncompleted semi-documentary, "It's All True"
1942:
Served in the US Air Force as chief of the operations division of the Office of Strategic Services in charge of presenting intelligence films to the staff
1945:
Served as chief photographic officer for the Secretariat of the United Nations at its opening conference in San Francisco
1946:
Co-produced Welles's stage production of the Cole Porter musical, "Around the World in 80 Days"
:
Became a staff producer at Universal working on the Ma and Pa Kettle series
1955:
Film directing and writing debut, "Man With the Gun"
:
Directed TV episodes of "Medic" and "Zane Grey Theater"
:
Appointed vice president of production at Paramount under studio chief Howard Koch
1986:
Returned to Brazil to begin work on a documentary based on his experiences with Welles during the 1942 production of the unfinished semi-documentary "It's All True"
1990:
Directed a radio broadcast of "Dracula" in New York which was filmed as a study in radio directing techniques
1991:
Co-produced a collection of vintage Mercury radio dramas intitled "Theater of the Imagination" for Voyager laserdisk (date approximate)
1991:
Was producing a feature film about the 1942 production of the unfinished film project, "It's All True" at time of his death which his co-producers plan to complete
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Denver: Denver , Colorado -

Notes

Wilson taught directing at USC and was involved with the DGA, Academy and National Repertory Theater and served as a judge in the American College Theater Festival.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elizabeth Wilson. Met while filming the uncompleted "It's All True" in Brazil (1942); co-wrote "A Raw Wind in Eden" (1958) with husband.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
John D Wilson.
sister:
Gail Shay.
son:
Christopher Wilson.

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