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Austin Willis

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B: 1917 in Halifax, Nova ScotiaD: April 4, 2004 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Austin Alexander Willis began his career in radio, landing a job with CHNS in Halifax. He left Halifax in 1939 and joined the announce staff of CBC Radio in Toronto. In 1942 he joined the navy and remained in it until after the war, when he became an actor. After the war, back with CBC, Willis starred in Johnny Home, a radio program designed to explain rehabilitation credits to returning veterans. In the 1950s, he hosted Cross Canada Hit Parade, a variety show that featured most of the country`s biggest names in popular music at the time. He went on to perform on stage in Canada as well as on London`s West End and on Broadway. He made his film debut in 1947 with Bush Pilot. In 1958 he moved to England with his wife Kate Reid. Both acted on stage in London and Austin appeared in six movies including small roles in The Mouse That Roared with Peter Sellers (1959) and the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Willis and Reid had two children before divorcing. He was best known for his work as host of the television series This Is the Law which ran from 1972 to 1976. The program presented short vignettes and challenged viewers to guess which Canadian law was being broken by the hapless main character, played by actor Paul Soles. In 2002, Austin Willis was honoured as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Bush Pilot (1947)
Sins of the Fathers (1948)

A Dangerous Age (1958)
Wolf Dog (1958)
I Aim at the Stars (1959)
Upstairs and Downstairs (1959)
The Mouse That Roared (1959)

Too Young to Love (1960)
The Barbarians (1960)
Crack in the Mirror (1960)
One Plus One (1961)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Looking Glass World (TV-1963)
Don’t Forget to Wipe the Blood Off (1966)
Hour of the Gun (1967)
Eight on the Lam (1967)
The Boston Strangler (1968)

Flick (1970)
The Sheriff (TV-1971)
Death Takes a Holiday (TV-1971)
Face-Off (1972)

The Last Flight of Noah`s Ark (1980)
Firefox (1982)
The Boy in Blue (1986)

TV Series -Cast:
Cross Canada Hit Parade (1955-1958)
Space Command (1953-1954)

QED (1960)
Seaway (1965-1966)

This is the Law (1972-1976)

Kane & Abel (mini-series, 1985)

Bush Pilot, movie poster reproduction
This 1997 reproduction of the original Bush Pilot Poster was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.