William Elliott (actor, born 1934)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William Elliott
Born William David Elliott
(1934-06-04)June 4, 1934
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died September 30, 1983(1983-09-30) (aged 49)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Nationality American
Other names Bill Elliott
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1968–1980
Spouse(s) Dionne Warwick (m. 1966; div. 1967); (m. 1967; div. 1975)
Children 2; including Damon Elliott

William David Elliott (June 4, 1934 – September 30, 1983) was an African American actor and musician. He had a recurring role in Bridget Loves Bernie as Otis Foster and a recurring role as Officer Gus Grant in The New Adam-12. He also appeared in Elvis Presley's 1969 film Change of Habit.


Elliott was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent four years in the United States Navy as an electrician. He later worked for US Steel and left the job.[1] He also turned down an opportunity to study at Massasuchetts Institute of Technology to be a drummer.[2] He later formed his own music group and ended up marrying the background vocalist, Dionne Warwick.[3] Prior to becoming husband and wife, Elliott was at the home of Warwick's parents to ask for their daughter's hand. He was invited by her father to have a talk in the living room. Her father knew of Elliott's reputation of being a ladies man and happened to be cleaning his gun in preparation for a hunting trip. The talk to the future son in law may have had an effect on Elliott.[4] They were married in the mid-1960s, and would have two sons, David and Damon.[5] He would divorce, then remarry Warwick.[6] They then divorced for the second time in 1975,[7] ending ten plus years of marriage.[8][9]

Television work

An early appearance on television was in the television series, Dragnet. The episode Community Relations: DR-10 aired in 1968 and also featured Don Marshall, Rafer Johnson and O.J. Simpson in a minor role.[10] In the early 1970s, he had a reoccurring role as Otis Foster in the Bernard Slade created show Bridget Loves Bernie which starred David Birney and Meredith Baxter.[11][12]

Film work

He had an early uncredited role as a revolutionary in the Jules Dassin directed Uptight which was released in 1968.[13] He then played the part of Robbie in the Elvis Presley film, Change of Habit which was released in 1969.[14] Then he appeared as Leon in The Old Man Who Cried Wolf which starred Edward G. Robinson. The film which was released in 1970, also starred Percy Rodrigues and Martin Balsam. It was about an old man who witnessed a murder but nobody believed him.[15] The next film he appeared in was a made-for-television movie. In They Call It Murder which starred Jim Hutton, Robert J. Wilke and Ed Asner, he played the part of Deputy Bob Terry.[16] He played the lead role in the Henry Hathaway film Hangup that was released in 1974.[17] In the film he played an honest police officer who comes to grief as he is in love with a drug addict played by Marki Bey. Because Warner Brothers wouldn't distribute the film, Elliott took charge of it and it was subsequently distributed by a lesser known distributor and pushed as a Blaxploitation film. It failed in the box offices and attracted a fair amount of criticism.[18]


Elliott appears on the Together Again! album by Willis Jackson with organist Jack McDuff. His drumming can be heard on the track "Tu'gether" which was released in 1964.[19][20] In the same year, he collaborated with saxophonist Joe Thomas and they released the Speak Your Piece album.[21] In 1974, it was announced in the August 3 issue of Billboard that Elliott was opening a studio at the location of the old Brooks Randall Motor Club site at Bronson Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. The studio that featured recording facilities, a sound stage, rehearsal and dressing rooms was to cater for the motion picture and recording industry.[22]

Filmography (selective)

Television list
Title Episode # Role Director Year Notes #
Dragnet 1967 Community Relations: DR-10 Alec Harper Jack Webb 1968 Season 3, Episode 3
Love, American Style Love and the Only Child, Love and the Wig Driver #2 Terry Becker, Bruce Bilson 1971 Only in Love and the Wig segment
Night Gallery Death in the Family, The Merciful, Class of '99, Witches' Feast 3rd Trooper 1971 Only in Death in the Family segment
O'Hara, U.S. Treasury Operation: Hijack Les Williams Sam Freedle 1971
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Moment of Crisis Admissions clerk Michael Caffey 1972
The Rookies Concrete Valley, Neon Sky Truck Michael Caffey 1972
Bridget Loves Bernie Bridget Loves Bernie Otis Foster Richard Kinon 1972 Season 1, Episode 1
Bridget Loves Bernie A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Vatican Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 2
Bridget Loves Bernie Wake Up We're Getting Married Today Otis Foster Season 1, Episode 3
Bridget Loves Bernie The Last of the Red Hot Playwrights Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 4
Bridget Loves Bernie Who's Watching the Store? Otis Foster Le Philips 1972 Season 1, Episode 5
Bridget Loves Bernie The Newlybeds Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 6
Bridget Loves Bernie Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Moe Otis Foster Season 1, Episode 7 1972
Bridget Loves Bernie Bernie's Last Stand Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 8
Bridget Loves Bernie How to Be a Jewish Mother Otis Foster Season 1, Episode 9 1972
Bridget Loves Bernie The Little White Lie That Grew and Grew Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 2
Bridget Loves Bernie The In-Laws Who Came to Dinner Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 11
Bridget Loves Bernie The Homecoming Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 12
Bridget Loves Bernie You Are Cordially Not Invited Otis Foster 1972 Season 1, Episode 13



  1. ^ The Afro-American October 14, 1972 Page 11 - What's Happening by Ida Peters
  2. ^ Jet 6 Jan 1972 Page 59
  3. ^ The Afro-American October 14, 1972 Page 11 - What's Happening by Ida Peters
  4. ^ My Life, as I See It: An Autobiography By Dionne Warwick, David Freeman Wooley Page 58
  5. ^ Jet 18 Dec, 1975 Page 56 - Warwick Divorce OK'd; May Have To Pay alimony
  6. ^ Sarasota Journal Monday, April 9, 1973 6-B - William Elliott Gets Big Chance By Dick Kleiner
  7. ^ African Americans in the Performing Arts By Steven Otfinoski - Page 214
  8. ^ Jet 18 Dec 1975 Page 56 - Warwick Divorce OK'd; May Have To Pay alimony
  9. ^ My Life, as I See It: An Autobiography By Dionne Warwick, David Freeman Wooley Page 58
  10. ^ Sms.cz SERIÁL: Dragnet 1967 díl: Community Relations: DR-10 - (3. série / 3. díl)
  11. ^ Short-Lived Television Series, 1948-1978: Thirty Years of More Than 1,000 Flops By Wesley Hyatt Page 215 - 1972-1973, Bridget loves Bernie
  12. ^ TV Guide Bridget Loves Bernie, 1972 TV Show
  13. ^ Celebritywc.com Uptaight
  14. ^ Elvis De A A Z By George Batista Da Silva Change of Habit - Page 20 - 21
  15. ^ The Edward G. Robinson Encyclopedia By Robert Beck Page 236 The Old Man Who Cried Wolf
  16. ^ Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d edition - By Vincent Terrace Page 281 - 2513, Doug Selby
  17. ^ The Daily Item Tuesday, April 3, 1973 Page 4B - William Elliott Out To Prove Himself By Dick Kleiner
  18. ^ Henry Hathaway: The Lives of a Hollywood Director By Harold N. Pomainville Page 261 - 263 A Swift Decline and a Legacy to Preserve
  19. ^ Discogs Willis Jackson With Jack McDuff* – Together Again!
  20. ^ The Afro-American October 14, 1972 Page 11 - What's Happening by Ida Peters
  21. ^ 'Discogs Joe Thomas (3) And Bill Elliott* – Speak Your Piece
  22. ^ Billboard August 3, 1974 Page 18 - Studio Track By Bob Kirsch
  23. ^ Imdb William Elliott (II), Filmography

External links

  • William Elliott at Aveleyman.com
  • William Elliott on IMDb
  • Discogs: Bill Elliott
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Elliott_(actor,_born_1934)&oldid=842782528"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Elliott_(African_American_actor)
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "William Elliott (actor, born 1934)"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA