William Bailey

Active - 1912 - 1957  |   Born - Sep 26, 1886   |   Died - Nov 8, 1962   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Action, Romance, Crime

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

Handsome, dark-haired William Norton Bailey was as easily cast in drawing rooms as in action melodramas. In films from 1912, Bailey directed Universal comedies prior to securing himself a place in action film history opposite the fragile Juanita Hansen in the serials The Phantom Foe (1920) and The Yellow Arm (1921). Despite the success of the chapterplays, Bailey spent most of the 1920s playing the "Other Man" or the hero's best friend. In 1926, independent producer Goodwill changed his name to the friendlier Bill Bailey and starred him in a series of Westerns. Defeated by low budgets and poor writing, the actor abandoned all hopes of stardom, embarking on a long career as a supporting player in talkie B-Westerns, which lasted well into the 1950s. Often playing a lawman, Bailey later portrayed the title role in the second and final season of the syndicated television series Cactus Jim (1951).

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