Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RIP Bill Hart

RIP Bill Hart
Los Angeles Times
January 7, 2015
July 28, 1934 - January 2, 2015 Billy Gene Welch a/k/a Bill Hart Northridge, California, Edinburg/Pipe Creek, Texas. Northridge, Ca. - Billy Gene Welch/Bill Hart was born on July 28, 1934 in Red Oak, Texas to James William Edmond and Lilly McHam Welch. He passed away at home with family on January 2, 2015 after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Because of Bill's faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ as his savior he is rejoicing with the saints gone before him in heaven today. Upon the passing of Bill's parents he moved to Edinburg, Texas and was raised by his adopted parents Henry Othell and Mildred Welch. Bill attended and graduated from Edinburg High School in 1953 lettering in football and basketball and graduating at the top of his class. After graduation he attended Pan American College a short while before joining and serving proudly in the United States Marine Corp for two years in Korea. In 1958 Billy moved to North Hollywood, California and began a career in the movie business, his first being the 1960 classic "The Alamo" starring John Wayne. He worked as a stuntman and actor in more than 150 movies as well as television shows such as "Gunsmoke", "Bonanza", "The Big Valley", "Stoney Burke" and others too numerous to mention. Although Billy never really considered himself from California, it is there he met the girl of his dreams and the love of his life Rina Solowitz or "Rina Mae" as he was fond of calling her. Together they raised four amazing children. He was once asked by a police officer who pulled him over for speeding why he had a Texas driver's license but his car registration was from California, Billy quickly replied he lived in Texas, but his wife was from California. Billy had a quick wit and deep love for family and friends; you might say he never met a stranger and that is acknowledged by the many friends Bill and Rina made over their years together traveling in the movie business and the residences they kept in California and Texas. Billy and Rina went to Texas every chance they had and near his retirement they bought a ranch in Pipe Creek, Texas they named "Coot and Skeet Acres". They loved bringing their children, grandchildren, family and friends there to see the beauty and splendor of the "Great Texas Outdoors". He was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of Bandera Lodge 1123 & North Hollywood Lodge 542. He loved greeting his friends at the lodge, 11th Street, Wild Horse and the OST Restaurant with "Yaateeh", which is hello in Navajo. Bill and Rina's last trip to Edinburg was to celebrate his 61st class reunion with friends this past October at the Echo Hotel in Edinburg, Texas. Bill will be greatly missed by family, friends, and all who ever had the pleasure of meeting him, Bill never liked saying goodbye, it just seemed to permanent, so it was always "Adios" farewell until we meet again. Bill is survived by his wife Rina Welch Hart, natural brother Jack (Fay) Welch, adopted brothers Tillmin Gene (Carrie Beth) Welch, Stanley Othell (Tere) Welch, two daughters Theda Carlene Welch Hart, Kimberly Hart, one son Jimmy (Jessica) Hart, brother in laws, Jeff (Kathy) Solowitz, Ray Solowitz (who Bill called his best friend in California), and grandchildren Allan Michael (shadow) Steiner, Melissa (skeet) Steiner, Danica Hart and Jake Hart and mother-in-law Lea Solowitz. He was preceded in death by a son Charles Hugh Othell Welch/Chuck Hart, by his father James William Edmond Welch, mother Lilly McHam Welch, brothers, Bluitt, MT, Henry Othell, sisters, Arvela, Maggie Lou, Ruth, Robbie Jane. Services will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park 6300 Forest Lawn Dr Los Angeles CA 90068 on Monday January 12th at 12pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make memorial donations to a charity of your choice in his memory.
HART, Bill (Billy Gene Welch)
Born: 7/28/1934, Red Oak, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 1/2/2015, Northridge, California, U.S.A.                
Bill Hart’s westerns – actor, stunt coordinator, stuntman:
The Alamo – 1960 [stunts]
Stagecoach West – 1960 [stunt coordinator, stunts]
The Deputy (TV) – 1960 (townsman)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1960 (townsman)
Wanted Dead or Alive (TV) – 1960, 1961 (buggy driver)
The Comancheros – 1961 [stunts]
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1961, 1962 (barfly, Olney)
Stoney Burke (TV) – 1962, 1963 (Red)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1962-1967 (Wiley’s friend, renegade, cowboy, barfly, hidecutter, brawler)
Savage Sam – 1963 [stunts]
McLintock! – 1963 (brawler) [stunts]
Temple Houston (TV) – 1963
A Distant Trumpet – 1964 [stunts]
Mail Order Bride – 1964 [stunts]
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1964 (Indian)
Rawhide (TV) – 1964 (Bickle drover, brawler)
The Glory Guys – 1965 (trooper)
The Rounders – 1965 (brawler) [stunts]
Laredo (TV) – 1965 (Pug Jones)
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1965 (thug)
Branded (TV) – 1965, 1966 (Chet, gunman, henchman)
Bonanza (TV) – 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970 (Paiute Indian, sheriff, posse member)
Duel at Diablo – 1966 (Corporal Harrington) [stunts]
Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats (TV) – 1966 (Patch Portis)
The Loner (TV) 1966 (Vic)
The Last Challenge – 1967 (cowboy, stunts]
Cimarron Strip (TV) – 1967 (Kid Slaughter)
Hondo (TV) – 1967 (trooper resisting Hondo)
Firecreek – 1968 [stunts]
The Wild Bunch – 1969 (Jess) [stunts]
There Was a Crooked Man… 1970 [stunts]
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid – 1973 [stunts]
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again – 1970 (officer)
Santee – 1973 [stunts]
The Frisco Kid – 1979 [stunts]
The Sacketts (TV) – 1979 (Rodale)
The Wild Wild West Revisited (TV) – 1979 (henchman)
Heaven’s Gate – 1980 [stunts]
Tom Horn – 1980 (slaughter house man)
The Legend of the Lone Ranger – 1981 (Ranger Carner)
Best of the West (TV) – 1981 (Dirty Jack Peckinpaugh)
Kenny Rogers as the Gambler: The Adventure Continues (TV) – 1983 (Daniels)
The Yellow Rose (TV) – 1984 (construction worker)
Sunset – 1988 [stunts]
Young Guns – 1988 [stunts]
Glory – 1989 [stunts]
Border Shootout – 1990 [stunts]
Palo Pinto Gold – 2009 (Grandpa)

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