Chill Wills

Description   [from Freebase]

Chill Theodore Wills (July 18, 1902 – December 15, 1978) was an American film actor, and a singer in the Avalon Boys Quartet. Wills was born in Seagoville, Texas in 1902. He was a performer from early childhood, forming and leading the Avalon Boys singing group in the 1930s. After appearing with them in a few westerns, he disbanded the group in 1938 and struck out on a solo acting career. One of his more memorable roles was that of the distinctive voice of Francis the Mule in a series of popular films. Wills' deep, rough voice and Western twang were perfectly matched to the personality of the cynical, sardonic mule. As was customary at the time, Wills was given no billing for his vocal work, though he was featured prominently on-screen as blustery General Ben Kaye in the fourth entry, Francis Joins the WACS. He provided the deep voice for Stan Laurel's performance of "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" in the 1937 movie Way Out West. Wills also appeared in numerous serious roles, including that of Uncle Bawley in Giant, a 1956 film starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.
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