William Fawcett

William "Bill" Fawcett (September 8, 1894 – January 25, 1974) was a character actor in Hollywood B-films and in television. His career extended from 1946 until the early 1970s. He is probably best remembered for his role as the cantankerous, rusty-voiced Pete Wilkey of the Broken Wheel Ranch on the NBC series Fury, co-starring Peter Graves, Bobby Diamond, and Roger Mobley. He was one of the few actors to have earned a Ph.D. degree. Fawcett was born as William Fawcett Thompson in High Forest in Olmsted County near Rochester in southeastern Minnesota. The name "Fawcett" came from the physician who delivered him. His father, William Eaton Lawrence Thompson, was a Methodist pastor who encouraged young Bill to enter the ministry. On September 5, 1916, three days before his twenty-second birthday, Fawcett was licensed to preach by the Hamline Quarterly Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Minnesota. During World War I, Fawcett served as an ambulance driver. He graduated from Methodist-affiliated Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fawcett was decorated by the French government with the Légion d'honneur for his care of the wounded.


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