Henry Willson

Talent Agent
Born Jul 31, 1911

Henry Willson was an American Hollywood talent agent who played a large role in popularizing the beefcake craze of the 1950s. He was known for his stable of young, attractive clients, including Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Robert Wagner, Nick Adams, Guy Madison, Troy Donahue, Rory Calhoun, Clint Walker, Doug McClure, Ty Hardin, and Chad Everett. He discovered Rhonda Fleming walking to Beverly Hills High School, brought her to David O.… Read More

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    Google News - Jun 22, 2011
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    Google News - May 09, 2011
  • New $4.6 Million Plan Will Support New Grad Center, Summer Research Cu Columbia Spectator
    Google News - Apr 22, 2011
  • The Week Ahead: Dec.11 Dec. 17; Theater
    NYTimes - Dec 11, 2005


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Henry Willson.


1911 Birth Born in 1911.


1922 11 Years Old Willson was born into a prominent show business family in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. His father Horace was the vice-president of the Columbia Phonograph Company and advanced to the presidency in 1922. … Read More


1933 22 Years Old In 1933, Willson migrated to Hollywood via a cruise ship through the Panama Canal. … Read More
1935 24 Years Old One of his first clients (and lovers) was Junior Durkin, whose career was cut short by an automobile accident on May 4, 1935, in which Durkin was killed.
1937 26 Years Old Willson joined the Zeppo Marx Agency, where he represented newcomers Marjorie Bell, Jon Hall, and William T. Orr. He was introduced to Hollywood High School student Judy Turner in 1937, whom he renamed "Lana Turner" and got cast in small roles, finally introducing her to Mervyn LeRoy at Warner Brothers.


1943 32 Years Old In 1943, David O. Selznick hired Willson to head the talent division of his newly formed Vanguard Pictures. … Read More


1955 44 Years Old …  In 1955, Confidential magazine threatened to publish an expose about Hudson's secret homosexual life, and Willson disclosed information about Rory Calhoun's years in prison and Tab Hunter's arrest at a gay party in 1950 in exchange for the tabloid not printing the Hudson story. … Read More


1978 67 Years Old Died in 1978.
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