Wilson was born in Atlanta on March 29, 1942. He graduated high school in 1960. He left college and hitchhiked to Los Angeles to become an actor and after five years broke out in a pair of 1967 movies — first as murder suspect Harvey Oberst in Best Picture Academy Award winner in “In the Heat of the Night,” and then as murderer Richard Hickock opposite Robert Blake in the film adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
Wilson played a key role in 1974’s “The Great Gatsby” in which his character killed Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford) while at his mansion swimming pool, then turned the gun on himself. He received a Golden Globe nomination in 1980 in the supporting actor category as Captain Billy Cutshaw in the thriller “The Ninth Configuration.”
He played pilot Scott Crossfield in “The Right Stuff,” a prison chaplain in “Dead Man Walking” and a victim of Charlize Theron’s serial killer in Patty Jenkins’ “Monster.” His credits included “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Hostiles,” “The Gypsy Moths,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Junebug,” “Judge Dredd,” the Shiloh film series and “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.” He had a recurring role in several episodes of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” as Sam Braun.
Wilson was also active in the Screen Actors Guild and strongly opposed the attempts to merge SAG with AFTRA.
“I loved him,” said longtime friend and activist Arlin Miller. “Scott was a great actor and a wonderful man who was always looking out for the best interests of the union and his fellow actors.”
Wilson is survived by his wife, Heavenly, an artist and attorney. No memorial plans have been announced.
Rest in Peace Dear Friend! My deepest condolences to his lovely wife Heavenly.
The Ol ‘ SAD Watchdog
*Headline photo from Mr. McNary’s article