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Terry W. Wilson
Terry Wilson Wagon Train 1962.JPG
Wilson as Bill Hawks, 1962.
Born (1923-09-03)September 3, 1923
Huntington Park, Los Angeles County, California. U.S.
Died March 30, 1999(1999-03-30) (aged 75)
Canoga Park, San Fernando Valley, California, U.S.
Resting place
Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, California
Occupation Actor: "Bill Hawks" on Wagon Train
Stunt performer
Years active 1948-1981
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Wilson (1924-2002)
Children Monica Wilson
Timothy T. Wilson

Terry W. Wilson (September 3, 1923 in Huntington Park, California – March 30, 1999 in Canoga Park, California) was an American actor most noted for his role as "Bill Hawks", the assistant trailmaster, in 267 episodes of the NBC and ABC television Western series, Wagon Train, which aired from 1957 to 1965.

Life and career[edit]

Wilson appeared in more than thirty-five films and television programs between 1948 and 1981. In 1953 he appeared in episode 121 of The Lone Ranger. In 1956, he had an uncredited role as a robber in Warner Brothers' Cheyenne starring Clint Walker, the first television Western in an hour-long format.

Wilson was with Wagon Train for the entire eight seasons and worked with all the other stars on the program, including Ward Bond, Robert Horton, John McIntire, Robert Fuller, Frank McGrath, Denny Scott Miller, and Michael Burns.

After Wagon Train, Wilson appeared in several other westerns, including ABC's Custer and Hondo in 1967, in Don Knotts' The Shakiest Gun in the West in 1968, the film Dirty Dingus Magee in 1970, in four episodes of NBC's The Virginian in 1970 and 1971, in the James Garner picture Support Your Local Gunfighter in 1971, once on CBS's Gunsmoke in 1972, and twice in Richard Boone's Hec Ramsey in 1973 and 1974.

Wilson's portrayed Biff Jenkins in the 1975 Walt Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain. His last acting role was as Norman Scroggs in a 1981 episode of CBS's The Dukes of Hazzard.

In his early years, Wilson was a stunt performer for John Wayne in such films as Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949 and Rio Grande in 1950, (see below for more). He was part of the John Ford stock troupe and appeared as an uncredited extra in numerous dance scenes. He often appeared with his friend and fellow stunt performer Frank McGrath. In 1957, Ward Bond specifically requested Wilson and McGrath to be regulars on Wagon Train. When Bond died, it was Wilson who broke the news to Bond's best friend, John Wayne. He said, "Hold on ... Ward just dropped dead". It has been said that they both cried together on the phone. Wilson, along with John Wayne, McGrath, Harry Carey, Jr. (Dobe),and Ken Curtis, later Festus Haggen on Gunsmoke, were Bond's pallbearers.

Along with McGrath, Wilson appears in a dance scene as a Texas Ranger and both are in the "wedding party" in the film The Searchers. In Hondo, Frank McGrath has a speaking part, and Terry Wilson doubles for John Wayne in the knife fight with the Indian Silva. Wilson and his wife, Mary Ann (1924–2002), are interred at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village in Los Angeles County.[1] They had three children, Monica (born c. 1950); Timothy T. Wilson (born c. 1952); & Kathryn (born c. 1953) and 2 grandchildren, Kristin (born c. 1973) and Timothy.


  1. ^ "Terry W. Wilson". findagrave.com. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 

External links[edit]

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