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William Wellman Jr. William Wellman Jr.

William Wellman Jr.

Los Angeles, California, USA

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As the son of legendary Hollywood director William Wellman, Sr. -- the man responsible for the first Best Picture winner, Wings (1927) -- and actress Dorothy Coonan, actor William Wellman Jr. followed in the footsteps of his show-business family and maintained a nearly constant presence in films and television over the decades. He began his career by focusing largely on action-oriented genre fare, such as the Western Darby's Rangers (1958) and the war drama Lafayette Escadrille (1958, both directed by his father), the Lewis Milestone-helmed combat film Pork Chop Hill (1959), and the premier Billy Jack installment, Born Losers (1967). The Trial of Billy Jack marked his reunion with director-star Tom Laughlin. In the late '70s and early '80s, Wellman became involved with Mark IV Pictures, an evangelical Christian production outfit best known for its Thief in the Night film series (on the book of Revelation); he acted in the 1981 series installment Image of the Beast, and appeared in and scripted the 1983 installment Prodigal Planet. Wellman also became active in television; his small-screen assignments include work in the miniseries The Blue and the Gray (1982) and James A. Michener's Space (1985) as well as the 1994 telemovie Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg.