William Wellman, Jr., son of Hollywood's legendary director, "Wild Bill" Wellman, spent most of his childhood around filmdom's celebrities. His neighborhood was filled with them: Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Carole Lombard, Frank Capra, Lana Turner, John Payne, Jennifer Jones, Red Skelton, Peter Lawford, William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd, to name just a few. If they weren't coming to his family home, he met them at theirs, or on the sets and locations of 23 of his father's films. His first girlfriend was Jane Fonda.
While still in his teens, he left Duke University for a career in the movies. He is credited with over 180 movies and television shows, 17 stage productions and some 200 commercial and industrial films. In 1981, he was awarded the Best Actor of the Year by the Christian Film Distributors for Heartland's Brother Enemy (1983). He was nominated again in 1982 for Mark IV Pictures' The Prodigal Planet (1983).
Some of his feature roles include Star Trek: Of Gods and Men (2007), Image of the Beast (1980), The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977), MacArthur (1977), The Trial of Billy Jack (1974), It's Alive (1974), Black Caesar (1973), The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968), The Happiest Millionaire (1967), Born Losers (1967), Winter A-Go-Go (1965), A Swingin' Summer (1965), Rebel in the Ring (1963), The Errand Boy (1961), The Young Sinner (1965), Macumba Love (1960), The Horse Soldiers (1959), Darby's Rangers (1958), Lafayette Escadrille (1958) and Sayonara (1957).
His television work includes recurring roles in the daytime dramas Days of Our Lives and Young Lives and guest roles in episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Watching Ellie, Alias, JAG, The Practice, The Pretender, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Burning Zone, Marcus Welby, M.D.; The Brady Bunch, 12 O'Clock High, The F.B.I. and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
He has also appeared in TV movies and mini-series such as Space, The Blue and the Gray, A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story (1978) and Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg (1994).