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Will Geer ACTOR


Will Geer was born on March 9th, 1902 in Frankfort, Indiana with the birth name William Aughe Ghere.  After completing High School, Geer pursued a college degree in Botany and horticulture and then earned a masters degree from Columbia. 

He had always enjoyed the art of performing and after earning his masters decided to take his career goals a different route.  He began his career working with a touring company and made his way to the Broadway stage, television and the Big screen.  In his early years he worked on a number of documentaries including, "Men and Dust".  His Broadway debut was in 1928 in a production called, "Much Ado About Nothing", followed by roles on, "The Cradle Will Rock" and "Of Mice and Men".  

In 1934, Geer became a member of the communist party and was a dedicated activist.  He would tour government work camps in the 1930's.  In the 1940's he is also credited with organizing the "Grapes of Wrath" for migrant farm workers. 

His acting career continued and film roles were  thriving with such examples as "Winchester '73" (1950) starring James Stewart, Stephen McNally, Dan Duryea, Shelley Winters, Tom Tyler, James Best, John McIntire, Rock Hudson, Jay C. Flippen, Charles Drake, Millard Mitchell, Steve Brodie and Tony Curtis, "Broken Arrow" (1950) starring James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget, John Doucette, Jay Silverheels and Arthur Hunnicutt, "Comanche Territory" (1950) co-starring Maureen O'Hara, Macdonald Carey, James Best, Edmund Cobb, Parley Baer, Charles Drake and Pedro de Cordoba and "Bright Victory" (1951) starring Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams, Peggy Dow, James Edwards, Jim Backus and Rock Hudson.  However, when he and other actors were blacklisted from Hollywood due to their political beliefs, he did not allow that to stop him from doing what he loved best. 

In 1951, Geer began the "Theatricum Botanicum" in Topanga, California which was a repertory theater.  This was a haven built for him and other actors who were blacklisted in Hollywood due to their beliefs in liberal politics.  He would coach acting and combined his love for the art and his interest and knowledge in plant life all into one location.
He did return to working on the stage on Broadway at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut and continued to take occasional Broadway roles.  In 1964 he was cast in the musical, "110 in the Shade" for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. 

John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" (1968) starring Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Lon Chaney Jr., Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen, Bob Steele and Noah Beery Jr. also garnered Geer's attention to be a part of due to it's significance to history.

Will Geer teamed up with Robert Redford in 1972 to partake in an adventure western "Jeremiah Johnson" which is considered a classic for it's depicition of Native Americans.

Geer also appeared on many television series during his lengthy career such as "Racket Squad", "Garrison's Gorillas", "Daniel Boone", "Columbo", "Hawaii Five-O" "I Spy" and "Bewitched".
His most well known role was in 1972 on the television show, "The Waltons" where he played Zebulon Walton for six years alongside Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Ellen Corby, Michael Learned and a plethora of child actors.   
Will Geer married only once to Herta Ware in 1934 and they had three children together, Kate, Thad and Ellen, before divorcing in 1954.  Geer never remarried and on April 22nd, 1978 he passed away in Los Angeles, California from respiratory ailment.  His ashes were scattered in a corner of the Shakespearean garden on the grounds of his Theatricum Botanicum.  


1993 The Poetry Hall of Fame
1978 A Woman Called Moses 
1978 The Mafu Cage 
1972-1978 The Waltons 
1978 Rip Van Winkle 
1977 The Love Boat
1977 Eight Is Enough
1977 The Billion Dollar Hobo 
1977 Bunco
1976 Starsky and Hutch
1976 The Sad and Lonely Sundays
1976 Moving Violation 
1976 Law and Order 
1976 The Blue Bird 
1975 The Night That Panicked America
1975 The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery 
1974 Hurricane 
1974 Memory of Us 
1974 Silence 
1974 Honky Tonk 
1970-1974 Medical Center
1974 The Hanged Man 
1973 Executive Action 
1973 Doc Elliot
1973 Isn't It Shocking? 
1973 Kung Fu
1973 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak 
1973 Savage
1973 Harry O
1973 Brock's Last Case 
1973 Columbo
1973 Rod Serling's Night Gallery
1972 Jeremiah Johnson 
1972 Napoleon and Samantha 
1972 The Rowdyman 
1972 The Sixth Sense
1972 Bewitched
1972 The Scarecrow 
1972 Dear Dead Delilah 
1970-1971 The Bold Ones: The Lawyers
1969-1971 Bonanza
1971 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury
1971 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law
1971 The Jimmy Stewart Show
1971 Alias Smith and Jones 
1971 Cade's County
1971 Brother John 
1971 Love, American Style 
1971 Sam Hill: Who Killed Mr. Foster? 
1970 The Courtship of Eddie's Father 
1970 The Young Rebels
1970 The Bill Cosby Show 
1970 The Bold Ones: The Senator
1970 Pieces of Dreams
1970 The Brotherhood of the Bell 
1970 The Moonshine War
1970 The Name of the Game
1969 The Reivers
1969 Daniel Boone 
1969 Then Came Bronson
1969 Hawaii Five-O
1969 My Friend Tony
1969 Here Come the Brides
1969 Mayberry R.F.D.
1968 Gunsmoke 
1968 Certain Honorable Men 
1968 Bandolero!
1968 The Invaders
1968 Mission: Impossible 
1968 Run for Your Life
1968 Of Mice and Men 
1968 I Spy
1967 The President's Analyst 
1967 In Cold Blood 
1967 Garrison's Gorillas 
1967 The Crucible 
1966 Seconds 
1966 The Trials of O'Brien
1964 Black Like Me
1964 East Side/West Side 
1962 Advise & Consent 
1954 Salt of the Earth 
1951 The Barefoot Mailman 
1951 Racket Squad
1951 The Tall Target 
1951 Bright Victory 
1951 Double Crossbones 
1950 To Please a Lady 
1950 Convicted 
1950 Broken Arrow 
1950 Winchester '73 
1950 It's a Small World 
1950 Comanche Territory  
1950 The Kid from Texas 
1949 Intruder in the Dust 
1949 Anna Lucasta
1949 Lust for Gold 
1949 Johnny Allegro 
1948 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre
1948 Deep Waters 
1940 The Fight for Life 
1939 Union Pacific 
1935 Mystery of Edwin Drood 
1934 Wild Gold 
1934 Spitfire 
1932 Misleading 

Matinee Classics - Salt of the Earth starring Will Geer, David Wolfe, Mervin Williams, David Sarvis, Rosaura Revueltas, E.A. Rockwell, William Rockwell, Juan Chacon and Henrietta Williams
Matinee Classics - Seconds starring Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph, Will Geer, Jeff Corey, Richard Anderson, Murray Hamilton, Karl Swenson, Khigh Dhiegh, Frances Reid, Wesley Addy, John Lawrence, Elisabeth Fraser, Dodie Heath and Robert Brubaker
Matinee Classics - Silence starring Will Geer, Ellen Geer, Richard Kelton, Ian Geer Flanders, Craig Kelly, Sam Robustelli, Ted Geer and Raleigh Geer

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