Family & Companions
Actor Will Geer originally studied to become a botanist, getting a master's degree at the University of Chicago, where he became heavily involved in left-wing politics. He had a small part in Cecil B. DeMille's epic western "Union Pacific," but worked mainly on the stage in the 1940s before coming back to movies in westerns such as "Lust for Gold" with Ida Lupino, and the superb Anthony Mann movie "Winchester '73," which starred James Stewart. Mann used Geer again in "The Tall Target," but at this point, Geer's left-wing leanings, expressed most fully in the infamous 1954 propaganda movie "Salt of the Earth," got him blacklisted in Hollywood, and so there was a large gap in his work until he returned to act in Otto Preminger's controversial "Advise and Consent" in 1962. In his later years, Geer acted mainly on television, and he won acclaim as the grandfather on the long-running family series "The Waltons" in the 1970s.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Broadway acting debut in "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Participated in the San Francisco General Strike with early gay rights advocate Harry Hay