71 (passed away May. 28th, 1969)
Dec. 31st, 1897
Rhys Williams' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Moviegoers can be forgiven if they thought that stocky, jaunty Rhys Williams was a jovial Irishman, as he often played that type of character, but his role as a Welsh miner in John Ford (I)'s classic How Green Was My Valley (1941) (his film debut) was much closer to home for him, as he was born and raised in Wales. In fact, he served as a technical advisor and Welsh language consultant on the film. He began his career on the British stage, and traveled the country as a member of various Shakespearean stock companies, even joining the famed Globe Theater company for a spell. Once he began his career in Hollywood, though, he became one of the busiest supporting actors in the business. He appeared in everything from action pictures to mysteries to westerns to musicals. One of his few villainous roles was as a weaselly American reporter in Tokyo on the payroll of the Japanese government just prior to World War II in Blood on the Sun (1945). In addition to his prolific film work, he did much television over the years, appearing in everything from "Maverick" (1957) to "Mission: Impossible" (1966). He died in Santa Monica, California, in 1969, shortly before his last film, Skullduggery (1970), was released.
- He made his film debut in _How Green Was My Valley (1941)_ (qv), which takes place in rural Wales. The movie was actually filmed in Hollywood with a cast of English, Irish, Scottish and American actors. Originally hired solely to coach the actors in their Welsh accents, Williams, who was the only genuine Welshman on the set, was given the role of the prizefighter by director 'John Ford (I)' (qv).
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