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William Morris (actor)

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William Morris
Morris in 1904
William Henry Morris

(1861-01-01)January 1, 1861
DiedJanuary 11, 1936(1936-01-11) (aged 75)
Years active1875–1935
Spouse(s)Etta Hawkins
Children5, including Chester Morris

William Henry Morris (January 1, 1861 – January 11, 1936) was an American stage and film actor.[1]


He began his career as a teenager in the theater, first appearing at the Boston Museum in 1875. He became a star on the Broadway stage, where he spent most of his career. He appeared in popular plays such as 1909's Is Matrimony a Failure? He was a character actor in silent films, usually playing gruff fathers or bad guys.[2]

His appearance in Alice Guy's 1917 silent film The Ocean Waif, from Kino DVD, is an example of Morris's surviving screen work.

Personal life

He was married to actress Etta Hawkins,[3] with whom he had five children: screenwriter-actor Gordon Morris (1898–1940), actors Chester Morris (1901–1970) and Adrian Morris (1907–1941), and actress Wilhelmina Morris (1902–1971).[4]: 7, 263  Their first child, Lloyd Morris, died young (1892–1902).[4]: 7 

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1916 Romeo and Juliet Abraham
1930 Brothers Dr. Moore
1931 The Woman Between Frederick Weston
The Gang Buster Andrew Martine

Selected stage appearances


  1. ^ "William Morris, 75, Veteran Actor, Dies; Father of Chester of the Movies Well Known on Broadway Stage". The New York Times. January 12, 1936. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  2. ^ The Chester Morris Web the only Chester Morris website on the internet
  3. ^ "Obituary: Etta Hawkins Morris". The New York Times. July 15, 1945. p. 15. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Nollen, Scott Allen; Nollen, Yuyun Yuningsih (2019). Chester Morris : His Life and Career (softcover) (First ed.). Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-4766-7729-3.
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William Morris (actor)
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