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Will Wright (Actor)

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The Resume

    (March 26, 1894-June 19, 1962)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    William Henry Wright
    Popular character actor
    Acted in over 200 roles on film and television
    Regular presence on radio programs such as 'Al Pearce and His Gang,' 'The Amazing Mr. Tutt,' 'My Little Margie,' 'The Charlotte Greenwood Show,' and 'The Jack benny Program'
    Provided the voice work for the old Friend Owl in Disney's 'Bambi' (1942)
    Acted in 'So Proudly We Hail!' 'Whispering Smith,' 'No Way Out,' 'Little Women,' 'Johnny Guitar,' 'Johnny Tremain,' 'Jeanne Eagels,' 'Adam's Rib,' 'The Man With the Golden Arm,' 'Cape Fear,' 'Niagara,' 'All the King's Men,' 'O. Henry's Full House,' 'Along the Oregon Trail,' and 'The Blue Dahlia'
    Played recurring roles on NBC's 'Bat Masterson' and CBS's 'Dennis the Menace' (1959 to 1961)
    Best known for his semi-recurring role as Ben Weaver on The Andy Griffith Show, from 1960 to 1962
    Also guest-starred on episodes of 'I Love Lucy,' 'The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, 'Lassie,' 'The Lone Ranger,' 'Sugarfoot,' 'December Bride,' 'Perry Mason,' 'Our Miss Brooks,' 'The Donna Reed Show,' The Amos 'n Andy Show, and 'Maverick'

Why he might be annoying:

    He acted in the religious series 'The Living Christ.'
    He shares a name with a Maxis game designer.
    He was typecast as grouchy/curmudgeonly old men, usually in Westerns.
    He is sometimes mistaken for fellow character actor, Harry Davenport, when making film appearances.
    At forty, he looked twice his actual age, which worked to his advantage when it came to playing grandfathers, miserly skinflints, or small-town bureaucrats.
    He had an extensive career that spanned over thirty years, but only got attention as the crotchety old man who continually makes failed attempts to get locked in the county jail, where festivities are being held, in the Andy Griffith 'Christmas' episode.
    He was actually the first of three actors to play the ornery landlord Ben Weaver on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' the other two being Tol Avery and Jason Johnson (that the three bore no virtual resemblance physically just ended up confusing viewers though).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He made for the perfect comedic foil.
    His final TV appearance before his death was an episode of Bonanza.
    He started out as a newspaperman before pursuing a career in show business.
    He was known for playing grouchy old men but was usually found to be just the opposite by castmates, who considered him easy to work with.
    He was passed over for a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Dolph Pillsbury in 'All the King's Men' (1949).
    He acted in the pilot episode for The Andy Griffith Show, which aired on The Danny Thomas Show, entitled 'Danny Meets Andy Griffith.'
    He was the first actor to portray Rob's father, Sam Petrie, on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
    He acted in films with Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Marilyn Monroe, Kirk Douglas, Hope & Crosby, Alan Ladd, Joan Crawford, and Katharine Hepburn (talk about running the gamut!)
    He had a memorable guest spot on a Tennessee Ernie episode of 'I Love Lucy' as the corrupt sheriff who incarcerates Lucy for defiantly muttering 'boo' while exiting his jail ('you tourists have to learn not to speed through town like the Devil with a police escort!')
    He came to renewed attention by the mainstream after the Andy Griffith Show's only known Christmas episode, which revolved around his 'Ben Weaver' character, was colorized by CBS, along with 'The Pickle Story,' in December 2015.
    Unlike Charles Lane, another 'professional grouch' of television, he was very skilled at adding depth beneath the surface to indicate the loneliness of his characters (see 'The Christmas Story').

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2022, Out of 7 Votes: 14.29% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 15 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
    In 2020, Out of 91 Votes: 43.96% Annoying
    In 2019, Out of 4 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 3 Votes: 33.33% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 3 Votes: 0% Annoying