Born: 9 December 1931 in Los Angeles, California, USA as William Regnolds
William Reynolds was already a 16-year veteran in film and television when he was cast as Inspector Lewis Erskine’s sidekick in The FBI.
Mr, Reynolds was the son of a film actor and band drummer father and an aviatrix mother; she died when her son was 4. He was inspired to act by listening to the radio show Jack Armstrong, and attended Pasadena City College when he was 18.
Mr. Reynolds began his film career in 1951 with roles in Dear Brat, No Questions Asked and The Desert Fox, in which he played the son of Erwin Rommel. He was soon drafted in the Army, and served as a radio operator in Japan.
Once he was discharged, Mr. Reynolds continued his film career, and began making television appearances. Among those appearances was a memorable one as Fitzgerald in The Twilight Zone. That episode’s 12 February 1960 broadcast was delayed for one week, because Mr. Reynolds’ plane crashed off the Jamaican coast. Because the episode dealt with death, the episode was held back out of respect for his family, which now included a toddler girl and a newborn son
Already a TV series star (Pete Kelly’s Blues, 1959), Mr. Reynolds would star in ABC’s The Gallant Men in the 1962-63 season. Mr. Reynolds may have been cast in his role as Capt. Jim Benedict, as a result of his Twilight Zone performance. The show only lasted one season, in part because the network already had its own World War II series, Combat!
Mr. Reynolds’ first FBI-based role was in 1963’s FBI Code 98, as Special Agent Edward P. Fox. That movie, along with 1959’s The FBI Story, would serve as the bases for the 1965-74 crime drama. Mr. Reynolds worked little in acting during 1964 and 1965; indeed, he worked three years in real estate. However, in 1966 made guest appearances on The FBI. He appeared as Agent Franklin Benton in “The Tormentors” (10 April 1966) and as SAC Kendall Lisbon in “Anatomy of a Prison Break” (27 November 1966). Finally, in Season Three, Mr. Reynolds became a cast regular.
William Reynolds remained as a regular cast member with The FBI until the end of the eighth season in 1973. But he was not through yet with the series. He reappeared as SAC Tom Colby in two appearances: “The Killing Truth,” which aired on his 42nd birthday, 9 December 1973; and “The Animal,” which aired on 17 February 1974. The latter episode was the final episode to air on ABC, since it was repeated on 8 September 1974.
Aside of one guest role on Jack Webb’s Project UFO series in 1978, he has not performed.
In 2004, he made a public appearance at the Twilight Zone Convention held in Los Angeles. Mr. Reynolds was married to actress/model Molly Sinclair from 1950 to 1992, when she passed away. He is the father of daughter Carrie (b. 1958) and son Eric (b. 1959). According to the periodical The TV Collector, Mr. Reynolds plays golf and is a horse handicapper.
This page updated 3 May 2008.