Austin Willis and Dick Fry Perform from the CHNS Studio, Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Died||4 April 2004 (aged 86)|
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Occupation||actor, television host|
|Years active||1947 – 1986|
|Spouse(s)||Kate Reid (1953–62) (divorced; 2 children)|
Gwen LaForgy (1984–2004) (his death)
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.
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.
- Guests of Honour (1945)
- Bush Pilot (1947) – Red North
- Sins of the Fathers (1948) – Dr. Ben Edwards
- Space Command (1953) – Dr. Fleming
- Cross-Canada Hit Parade (1955–1958) – Host
- The Cage (1956)
- A Dangerous Age (1958) – Police officer
- Wolf Dog (1958) – Clem Krivak
- The Mouse That Roared (1959) – United States Secretary of Defense
- Upstairs and Downstairs (1959) – McGuffey
- Too Young to Love (1959) – Mr. Collins
- Q.E.D. (1960) – Host
- Crack in the Mirror (1960) – Hurtelaut
- I Aim at the Stars (1960) – John B. Medaris
- The Barbarians (1960) – Varro
- The Night They Killed Joe Howe (1960) (TV drama), starring Douglas Rain, Austin Willis (as William Annand) and James Doohan, was located in Maitland, Nova Scotia
- Arch Oboler's 1+1: Exploring the Kinsey Reports (1961) – Sam Tooray, 'The Divorcee'
- Goldfinger (1964) – Mr. Simmons
- Seaway (1964) (TV) – Admiral Henry Fox
- Don't Forget to Wipe the Blood Off (1966)
- One Hundred Years Young (1967) (TV) – Host
- Eight on the Lam (1967) – Mr. Pomeroy
- Hour of the Gun (1967) – Anson Safford
- The Rat Patrol – Season 1, Episode 26 (1967) – Dr. Anderson
- The Boston Strangler (1968) – Dr. Nagy
- Frankenstein on Campus (1970) – Cantwell
- The Silent Force (1970) – episode "The Octopus"
- Face-Off (1971) – Graydon Hunter
- This Is the Law (1972–76) – Host
- C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979) - Head Engineer
- The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) – Slabotsky
- Firefox (1982) – Walters
- Kane & Abel (1985) – Senator Willis
- The Boy in Blue (1986) – Bainbridge
- "'This Is the Law' host Austin Willis dead at 86".
- "Willis, Austin, 1917-2004". memoryns.ca. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- League, The Broadway. "Austin Willis – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
- p.49 Dunbar, Brian Goldfinger: Director, Guy Hamilton 2001 Longman
- "The Montreal Gazette - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.