Friday, August 16, 2019

RIP Lou Wills Jr.

Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home

Lou Wills, Jr. died on August 7th, 2019, in Highlands County, Florida where he lived full time since 1997. Lou was the loving husband to Beverly Dixon Wills, caring father to Jamie Wills and Doug Wills, stepfather to Tracy Calvan, beloved grandfather to Michael Wills, Kathryn Wills, Cameron Fearey and Kaila Fearey, and great grand father to Oliver Wills and cared deeply for his children's spouses Julie Wills and Gordon Fearey. He leaves behind many friendships with whom he shared great happiness, stories and laughter. Lou Wills, born Sherman Charles Biener in Yonkers, NY in 1927, changed his name in honor of his teacher and mentor, vaudevillian Lou Wills.

Lou Wills had a lifelong and successful career as an acrobat, tap dancer, television actor, stunt choreographer, tap teacher, and film producer. As a young adult, Lou Wills had his own vaudeville act that opened the show for Milton Berle, Lena Horne, and Carol Channing, among others. In 1941, he first appeared on Broadway, in the musical comedy Best Foot Forward, directed by Gene Kelly. Often as a dancer, Lou Wills was a regular on the Broadway stage for decades, performing in the original productions of Cole Porter’s Something for the Boys and Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus, as well as in the musical version of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Television parts included Three's Company, McMillan and Wife, Get Smart, The Dick Van DykeShow, F Troop, Hank, Mister Roberts, Friends, Rosanne and Murphy Brown.

Lou Wills performed from the age of five until his seventies on the stage and television screen and enriched the lives of his family and friends in the communities of New York City; Los Angeles, California; and Lake Placid, Florida. Lou lived a life of humor and kindness, embracing people from all parts of his life. A service will be held at Temple Israel of Highlands County on Sunday, August 25th at 2:00 p.m.Refreshments will be served. A celebration of his life will be held in New York in the fall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to The Temple in honor of his mother and father, Lewis and Ida Biener.

Arrangements entrusted to:

Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home

WILLS Jr., Lou
Born: 12/26/1927, North Braddock, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 8/7/2019, Highlands, Florida, U.S.A

Lou Wills, Jr.’s westerns – actor:
F Troop (TV) – 1965, 1966 (Running Bull, Beware of Dog)
Texas Across the River – 1966 (Indian)

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