Austin Willis fonds

Zone du titre et de la mention de responsabilité

Titre propre

Austin Willis fonds

Dénomination générale des documents

  • Document textuel
  • Document iconographique
  • Images en mouvement

Titre parallèle

Compléments du titre

Mentions de responsabilité du titre

Notes du titre

Niveau de description




Zone de l'édition

Mention d'édition

Mentions de responsabilité relatives à l'édition

Zone des précisions relatives à la catégorie de documents

Mention d'échelle (cartographique)

Mention de projection (cartographique)

Mention des coordonnées (cartographiques)

Mention d'échelle (architecturale)

Juridiction responsable et dénomination (philatélique)

Zone des dates de production


  • 1862-2005, predominant 1916-2005 (Production)
    Willis, Austin, 1917-2004

Zone de description matérielle

Description matérielle

1.85 m of textual records and graphic material
20 videocassettes
6 audio cassettes
6 compact discs
3 U-Matic videocassttes
2 audio discs
2 audio reels
2 DAT audio tapes
1 USB key
Various objects and aretfacts

Zone de la collection

Titre propre de la collection

Titres parallèles de la collection

Compléments du titre de la collection

Mention de responsabilité relative à la collection

Numérotation à l'intérieur de la collection

Note sur la collection

Zone de la description archivistique

Nom du producteur


Notice biographique

Austin Willis (born Alexander Austin Willis) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 30 September 1917 to Alexander and Emma Willis, and was the younger brother of J. Frank Willis. He was educated at King's College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia.

After graduating, Willis worked as a newspaper reporter for the Halifax Herald, as well as a freelance actor in radio and local stock companies. In 1939, he started working with the CBC in Toronto as a radio announcer. He continued this work during the war years, hosting programs such as the "Victory Loan Hour", and "Music by Percy Faith". He also joined the Royal Canadian Navy, where he served as a Lieutenant in Naval Information, and worked as a war correspondent.

After the war he continued his work as an actor and broadcaster. During this time he starred in several Canadian films including: "Bush Pilot" (1947), "The Sins of the Fathers" (1949), "Hudson's Bay' (1952), "One Plus One" (1961), and "Ten Girls Ago" (1962). As well, Austin and his prematurely grey hair became a well-known presence on Canadian television, and during this period he starred in hundreds of comedies, dramas, variety shows, and adventure programmes during the 1950s and 1960s. Among them were "Space Command" (a CBC science-fiction show which also starred William Shatner and James Doohan), and "Seaway" (1965-1966).

During the 1960s, Austin was also featured in various theatrical productions, including "Man and Boy" (which ran on Broadway), various American television shows, and International films (including a memorable appearance in "Goldfinger" as the card player who, with help from James Bond, beats Goldfinger). In the 1970s, Austin returned to Canada and the CBC where he hosted a panel show, "This is the Law", which ran between 1971 and 1976.

In later years Austin was honoured as a Member of the Order of Canada (2002), and received an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Mary's University (2002). He also pursued a project of immense personal importance interviewing Canadian veterans as part of the "Comrades in Arms" project.

Austin was married twice, first to actress Kate Reid (between 1953 and 1962), with whom he had two children (Reid and Robin), and again in 1984 until his death to Gwen Laforty. He died on 4 April 2004.

Historique de la conservation

Portée et contenu

Fonds consists of material relating to the personal and professional life of Austin Willis. The fonds covers his early life in Toronto, his time working for the CBC (radio and television), and various film projects (for instance "Bush Pilot" and "Goldfinger"). The fonds consists of various material, including correspondence, scripts, news clippings, sound recordings (either of performances or interviews with Willis), promotional material relating to productions involving Willis, and other documents. The fonds also contains a sousfonds relating to the personal and professional life of Willis's older brother, James Frank Willis.

Zone des notes

État de conservation

Source immédiate d'acquisition

Material donated to the Saint Mary's University Archives by archivist Ern Dick.


Arrangement largely follows organization imposed by Ern Dick.

Langue des documents

    Écriture des documents

      Localisation des originaux

      Disponibilité d'autres formats

      Restrictions d'accès

      Délais d'utilisation, de reproduction et de publication

      Instruments de recherche

      Instrument de recherche

      Éléments associés

      Éléments associés


      Identifiant(s) alternatif(s)

      Numéro normalisé

      Numéro normalisé


      Mots-clés - Sujets

      Mots-clés - Lieux

      Mots-clés - Noms

      Mots-clés - Genre

      Zone du contrôle


      Zone des entrées