|Uranium + Peaches © 2008 by Peter Cook & William Lanouette|
Jimmy, January 2005 Hollywood Reading
Wilson made his motion picture debut in a supporting role of director Norman Jewison's In the Heat of the Night (1967) starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. His second break-through film was In Cold Blood (1967) in which he played his first leading role, as real life murderer Dick Hickok. This movie was based on Truman Capote's famous book of two wandering gunmen (Robert Blake played the other real life murderer Perry Smith) who slaughter an entire, innocent mid-western family after robbing their house.
One of Wilson's memorable roles was as the garage owner in The Great Gatsby (1974) who shoots Gatsby (Robert Redford) dead in his swimming pool at the end of the movie. He also starred in The Grissom Gang (1971), directed by Robert Aldrich in which he plays lecherous psychopath Slim Grissom. One of Wilson's more intriguing roles was the first US-Polish film, Year of the Quiet Sun (1984) in which he played the romantic lead of an American GI who doesn't speak Polish and falls in love with a Polish woman who doesn't speak English. This film won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival and received great reviews in the United States.
A film that Wilson is most proud of is Our God's Brother (1997) in which he portrayed Adam Chmielowski (Saint Brother Albert), based on a play written by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) before he became the Pontiff. The filming of this movie took Wilson and his Wife, Heavenly, an attorney and also a professional painter and sculptor, to Rome, Italy, where they personally met the Pontiff.
His other feature film roles include Sydney Pollack's Castle Keep (1969), with Burt Lancaster; Richard Fleisher's The New Centurions (1972), with George C. Scott; and On the Line (1984), a US-Spanish co-production for which he was Best Actor co-winner at the Cartagena Film Festival. Some of Wilson's more recent and dramatic movies have included Johnny Handsome (1989), Young Guns II (1990), Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), Flesh and Bone (1993), Dead Man Walking (1995), Judge Dredd (1995), and G.I. Jane (1997).
Also in 1997, Wilson was remembered by Rod Steiger for his considerable talent in In the Heat of the Night and felt that he would be perfect to play Judd Travers in the family film Shiloh (1998). Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season followed in 1999.
|By Peter Cook & William Lanouette|