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Alexander Austin Willis, CM (September 30, 1917 – April 3, 2004) was a Canadian actor and television host.[2]

Austin Willis
Canadian Actor Austin Willis and Dick Fry Perform from the CHNS Studio, Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1928.jpg
Austin Willis and Dick Fry Perform from the CHNS Studio, Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
BornSeptember 30, 1917
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
DiedApril 3, 2004 (age 87)
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Occupationactor, television host
Years active1947-1986
Spouse(s)Kate Reid (1953-1962) (divorced) (2 children)
Gwen LaForty (1984-2004) (his death)[1]
Children
  • Robin
  • Reid
Parent(s)
  • Alexander Samuel Willis
  • Emma Graham Pushie

Austin was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia to parents Alexander Samuel and Emma Graham (Pushie) Willis. His older brother, J. Frank Willis, was a radio broadcaster with the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (later the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

In 2002, Austin was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He is best known internationally for his appearance as Simmons, the man whom Auric Goldfinger beats at cards in the opening scenes of the James Bond film, Goldfinger. Originally he was to have played Felix Leiter but, at the last minute, fellow Canadian Cec Linder switched roles with him.[3]

In Canada, he had a varied film and TV career, ranging from the early science-fiction series Space Command, to hosting Cross-Canada Hit Parade for several years in the 1950s. In the 1970s he found new fans as the host of the humorous game show This Is the Law.

FilmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'This Is the Law' host Austin Willis dead at 86".
  2. ^ League, The Broadway. "Austin Willis – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
  3. ^ p.49 Dunbar, Brian Goldfinger: Director, Guy Hamilton 2001 Longman
  4. ^ "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.

External linksEdit