• 27 September 1917
  •  New York City, New York, USA

William T. Orr


William Orr is known to fans of 1950s and 1960s TV shows by the abbreviated but imposing credit of Wm. T. Orr seen at the end of every Warner Bros. show including Maverick (1957), Cheyenne (1955), 77 Sunset Strip (1958) and F Troop (1965). As the head of WB Television for nine years, he was executive producer of the studio's early forays into the medium, helping to put ABC on the prime-time map with a steady staple of westerns and detective shows. Orr began his career in 1936 as an actor, moving from his native New York to Los Angeles, where the good-looking young actor found work as a second lead opposite such stars as Lucille Ball, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Edward G. Robinson. Orr had one advantage over the other handsome young actors of his era--he could imitate his betters and became known as a deft comic impersonator in the musical stage review "Meet The People", a Saturday Night Live (1975) of its day that mixed political satire and song, hosted by gossip columnist Louella Parsons. During World War II Orr served as an officer in the Army Air Force's First Motion Picture Unit, making training films at the former Hal Roach Studios in Culver City, California, alongside fellow actors Ronald Reagan, William Holden and Alan Ladd. In 1945 Orr married Warner Bros. studio chief Jack L. Warner's stepdaughter Joy Page, assuring him a good seat at the Hollywood table. A year later be became one of Warner's assistants, giving rise to the dig, "the son-in-law also rises." Orr had a nose for new talent, though, and, with a Warner Bros. contract in hand, pursued such unknown actors as James Dean, Paul Newman and Marlon Brando. In 1958 he was put in charge of Warners' fledgling TV division, and this is where he made his mark, having nine shows on the air in the early 1960s. In 1965 he left Warner Bros. in favor of independent production. He retired in the mid-'70s, walking away from the business.


Movie Name Release Date
The Mortal Storm (1940) June 14, 1940