Actor/Performer



SAG-AFTRA
Member for over 40 years


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Bill Hillman is the name I started using as an actor. My friends call me Bill, so my performer name stuck and separates me from that other guy (William Byron Hillman) - the name my mother screamed when angry. The full name stuck as an author and filmmaker.

Like most actors, I started early. I was a stage hog in school and neighborhood musicals and theatre dramas. I did the usual traveling part and eventually landed in Hollywood along with a million or so other guys looking to become a star. Instead I fell in love behind the camera and had the confidence to step out every once in a while to have fun with my fellow actors. Becoming a star never happened, but I've sure had a ball along the way. Getting called to do a part never stops being a thrill. The excitement continues to match the very first day I arrived in Hollywood.

Here I am in QUIGLEY with Gary Busey- and at the table


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Doing an Infomercial as Santa - and at Halloween looking rather "white and scary" or kissing a co-star in The Adventures of Ragtime




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Or being a client with Perry King

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Learning lines and searching for coffee.


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FILM WORK

QUIGLEY
THE ADVENTURES OF RAGTIME
ICE STATION ZEBRA
LONER
DOUBLE EXPOSURE
THE PHOTOGRAPHER
THE MAN FROM CLOVER GROVE

TV

DAYS OF OUR LIVES
BEWITCHED

COMMERCIALS/INFOMERCIALS

QUIGLEY
CLEAN BRITE
MONEY
NO TOUCH
KLIN BRITE
PRAC-TI-BAT

This was Doctor Lewis on DAYS OF OUR LIVES

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In the beginning I had fun working on and off a new soap opera DAYS OF OUR LIVES. First I played Doctor Lewis, and a few months later in the second year I played Doctor Dunbar. I wore surgical masks so when called back for a third stint I landed Doctor Richards and the audience got a good look at my entire face.

ON BEWITCHED

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A casting director saw me on the soap and cast me as an Army Corporal sent to arrest Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery). While on the set, the stuntman got sick and I was asked if I could drive a jeep and replace him. They forgot to mention the gag was to race up a hill and fly over the top. Coming from a drag-racing background where we performed insane youthful crazy car performances I said, "no problem" and drove the jeep swiftly up a steep hill. We flew over the top and went airborne. All four wheels spun above the ground and then we landed heavily with a cloud of dust following us down a very long hill. I thought Elizabeth Montgomery was going to have a heart attack. Instead she laughed and giggled for hours. Said she hadn't that much fun in years.

ICE STATION ZEBRA

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The film was great fun to work on. I spent hours with Rock Hudson, Ernie Borgnine, Lawrence Harvey, Jim Brown, Tony Bill, Lloyd Noland and Patrick Mcgoohan. I got to work for 19 weeks as an actor, and actually work for the Producer John Calley behind the scenes. I spent time with screenwriters Douglas Heyes, W.R. Burnett, and Harry Julian Fink. I met the author of the book, Alistair MacLean, and drove director John Sturges crazy with questions. When Rock Hudson introduced me to the editor, Ferris Webster, my career took a detour. While working on Zebra I had the pleasure of befriending actors Rock Hudson, Ernie Borgnine, Ron Masak, Jed Allan, Gerald S. O'Loughlin, Ted Hartley and Lee Stanley.