Will Geer Biography

Birthday: 1902-03-09
Place of Birth: Frankfort, Indiana
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Wiki Biography: Will Geer admired his grandfather, a man who said hello to trees by their Latin names and who had used what he brought back to Indiana from the California gold rush to build Frankfort's first opera house. Will pursued a college major in botany, from Chicago through a Master's degree at Columbia, but ultimately gave in to his need to perform. Starting with touring company tent shows and river boats, his six-decade career included Broadway, movies, television; many Shakespeare roles; one-man performances as Walt Whitman and Mark Twain. His best known role was his last, Zebulon Walton, grandpa in the long-running television series "The Waltons" (1971). Less well-known was his life-long role as a political agitator and radical ("Someone who goes to the roots, which is the Latin derivation of radical") and folklorist/folksinger - he toured U.S. government work camps in the 1930s, singing with Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives. He was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Affairs. In 1951, he formed the "Theatricum Botanicum," a repertory theater in Topanga Canyon, California, where he not only coached actors but also encouraged outdoor philosophical discussion and, of course, folksinging. At his deathbed, his family sang "This Land Is Your Land" and recited Robert Frost poems. His ashes lie in a corner of the Shakespearean garden on the grounds of his Theatricum Botanicum.

Will GeerPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
The ABC Afternoon Playbreak 1972 Comedy
The Waltons The Grandfather 1973 - 1974 Drama
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Rip Van Winkle 1896
Misleading Lady 1932 Comedy
Salt of the Earth 1954
Black Like Me Truckdriver 1964
Seconds Boss 1966 0, Game Show
In Cold Blood 1968 Crime, Drama, History
Bandolero! 1968 Action, Crime, Drama
The Reivers Boss McCaslin 1969
The Moonshine War 1970
The Brotherhood of the Bell 1970 Drama, Thriller
Jeremiah Johnson Bear Claw 1972 Fantasy, 0
Napoleon and Samantha 1972 Adventure, Drama
Executive Action 1973 0, 0
The Night That Panicked America 1975 Drama
The Billion Dollar Hobo 1977