William Bishop (William Paxton Bishop)

William Bishop

William Bishop was the son of Edward T. Bishop and Helen MacArthur Bishop. He had a brother, Robert. His elementary and secondary schooling came in New York and New Jersey. He went to West Virginia University where he wanted to study law but left to enter theater. While he was at WVU, Bishop “won laurels as a football player and in other athletics.” His uncle was playwright Charles MacArthur, making him the nephew of screen legend Helen Hayes and the cousin of actor James MacArthur. Bishop served in the South Pacific with the Signal Battalion of the United States Army during World War II. William Bishop’s early experiences in acting came on the stage. After some work in little theaters in New York, he appeared on Broadway in Tobacco Road. He was also a charter member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre. Bishop was best known for his role as Steve Connors on the 1950s NBC comedy series It’s a Great Life He was also seen in other programs, including Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and The Loretta Young Show. He had roles in films including Harriet Craig, The Killer That Stalked New York and in numerous B-Movies and westerns such as The Tougher They Come, Gun Belt, The Basketball Fix, Cripple Creek and Wyoming Renegades. William Bishop died in Malibu, California of cancer on October 3, 1959, at age 41. He was survived by his wife, his parents, and his brother.

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  • July, 16, 1918
  • USA
  • Oak Park, Illinois


  • October, 03, 1959
  • USA
  • Malibu, California

Cause of Death

  • cancer


  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • Santa Monica, California
  • USA

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