Wilhelm Von Hohenzollern About
Wilhelm was born into a film family. His father was silent film child actor and second unit man Otto Wilhelm Von Hohenzollern whom was called Willie Hon because it was easier to say it then his name.
His grandmother Mary L Shriver came west in the early days of the industry and became a script supervisor and not a actress like she wanted because she was a stickler for making certain things being done right and not a very good actress. The only time she ever acted was in the 10 Commandments.
Both were responsible for him becoming what he became and getting lots of float in float out work over the years proving nepotism does work. To many he was simply known as JR or Willie's kid or Mary's grand kid.
Shortly after he was born in 1932 he was used as a stand-in in a stunt that required a child be thrown from a wagon in a land rush western. Thus a career that has lasted in the industry for over 80 years was born. He is highly recognizable because of his blond hair and big ears. People are always coming up to him asking to take pictures with him
Do to it not being a good idea to have German Names during WW2 and work the family became more Americanized in their name like other German families of the time. Yes PC has been around for a very long time.
During career he floated in and out of more then 1,000 credited and unaccredited acting ,singing or dancing roles. Add to this he had a second career as a writer of editorials back in the days that TV stations had to do editorials to keep their broadcasting licenses
During Vietnam he was severely injured and took sometime to recovery from burns to his feet, hands and face beside other injures suffered at the same time. The burns still show up badly when he sweats allot.
At one time he retired form being in front of the camera for 20 years to raise his family after his wife and son were killed in a auto accident. Then 12 plus years ago he returned to being in front of the camera to assist his daughter run her business after she was severely hurt in a auto accident.
Because she was no longer capable of doing the work she did behind the camera he helped her turn into a in front of the camera performer.
In the last decade besides working as a actor or producer in his daughters projects he has also created a character called Oldecam that calls upon his acting ability and journalistic training to do a series shows of over 1,000 satirical looks at the Headlines of today. Then shows were done in 2D, then 3D and now new shows are being done in VR
He has also did the scores for all the projects his daughter has did "Why Don't You Know" with his daughter and him both playing saxes.
His daughter has more then a dozen projects in various stages and six of which will be taken to Cannes this year. Last few years they have taken more then a dozen films with them to the market side.
He has started what he calls a living documentary called, "Memories of a Dinosaur." It deals with people both in front of the camera and behind it that worked before credit was given in films and early TV work to as many as are today for their screen work. While he is quite noticeable in many older productions because of his looks getting a credit for them is a near impossibility.
Films and TV shows were and often still are made by hundreds of people that are often seen and very recognizable or behind the camera but never got screen credit for what they did because credits have always been too long and to include all that worked on them is impossible.
He has 332 stories ready to do an looking for more from of those that helped to make the industry what it is in the 30's,40's,50.s and 60's. With "Memories of a Dinosaur" he hopes to give these neglected their day.
They did the work and deserve mention.
He lived on a truck farm behind the studio when Atalanta was burnt for "Gone With The Wind.".
He spoke German and Gallic before he spoke English as a child.Today he still has to be careful not to slip into either the German or Irish accents when he is speaking.
Because of his white hair,German looks, name and the fact he spoke fluent German although he did other things in his career he was type cast as a German forever in all speaking parts.
Because of his looks and accent never appeared in any war movie that took place in Asia.
From age 6 till his early 20's did voices in cartoons that required accents.
While other kids wanted to be cowboys he grew up listening to the Lone Ranger on the radio and wanted to be Tonto on the screen one day because his mother and grandparents were Osage Indians.
He only ever worked with his grandmother once in-front of the camera. This was the film "The 10 Commandments. She played a old Hebrew woman whom he was pulling the cart for. What made the scene unique other then being a grandmother and grandson scene was that both were blond haired and had to wear heavy head covering to hid the fact.
He actually played his grandfather and father in two different WW-2 films. In "The Longest Day" he portrayed his grandfather a German staff officer. In "To Hell and Back" he played his father a American Tank Officer. And in "Battleground" which took place during the battle of the Bulge which was the only time in the war the two men were on the same battlefield he played a German Soldier.
Attended Cannes Film Festival May 2014,May 2015,and May 2016.
After he got older he started to get roles in WW-2 projects playing his grandfather German Staff Officer Otto Von Hohenzollern in historical films and TV work because of the close family resemblance.
When he was younger he was constantly worried about losing work because of his German Accent so he studied the works of Shakespeare and his use of Iambic Pentameter and would recite verses from plays before he would go on camera to control his nervousness which had a side benefit in the early days of TV because he got many parts in many televised Shakespeare plays because he knew many of the plays by heart.
In the past 12 years he and his daughter have produced more then 14,000 shows from shorts to full length films.
His biggest wish is that if you see him in things he has done since 1932 then Pease let the people on IMDB know so it can be added by someone other then a family member. They keep getting removed because of that.
© MBE 2016