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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 21 June 1921Dayton, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 15 November 2010Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameWilliam Edwin Self
Nickname Bill

Mini Bio (1)

William Self was born June 21, 1921, in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Political Science in 1943. He worked a year in advertising before beginning a career in acting in 1944. From 1944 to 1952 he acted in over 30 films, one of his largest roles being that of Cpl. Barnes in Howard Hawks' The Thing from Another World (1951).

In 1952 Self began his producing career as an Assistant Producer on the TV series China Smith (1952). Later that same year he was named Associate Producer of the Schlitz Playhouse (1951), which aired on CBS. In 1953 his title was elevated to Producer, reflecting the fact that there had never been any other producer during his time on the series. During his tenure he produced 208 episodes. He also directed four episodes: Schlitz Playhouse: The Last Out (1955), Schlitz Playhouse: The Careless Cadet (1955), Schlitz Playhouse: The Night They Won the Oscar (1956) and Schlitz Playhouse: The Letter (1956). In 1957 Self produced The Frank Sinatra Show (1957) on ABC. Upon completion of that project, he was employed by CBS as a program executive. His first job was to produce the pilot for The Twilight Zone (1959).

In 1958 he moved to 20th Century-Fox Television as an Executive Producer. Over a period of 15 years with Fox, Self was promoted to Vice President in Charge of Production for Television, to Executive Vice President for Television, to President 20th Century-Fox Television,and finally to Vice President 20th Century-Fox Corp. During this period Fox supplied 44 series to the networks, including M*A*S*H (1972), Batman (1966), Peyton Place (1964), Lost in Space (1965) and 12 O'Clock High (1964).

In 1975 Self joined Mike Frankovich in forming Frankovich/Self Productions. The partnership resulted in two feature films: The Shootist (1976) starring John Wayne, Lauren Bacall and James Stewart, and From Noon Till Three (1976) starring Charles Bronson. Self returned to CBS in 1975 as Vice President Head of the West Coast. Later he was named Vice President in Charge of Movies and Miniseries. While in this position, he produced over 250 movies and many miniseries. In 1982 he was offered the position of President of CBS Theatrical Film Division. Ten films were produced under his supervision.

He left CBS in 1985 to form Self Productions, Inc. Hallmark Hall of Fame sponsored his first production, The Tenth Man (1988) starring Anthony Hopkins. Later Self partnered with Glenn Close to form a new production company, Sarah Productions. This company provided Hallmark Hall of Fame with three television movies: Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), Skylark (1993) and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (1999).

Bill married Margaret Flynn in 1941. They remained together until her death in 2007. He has two children, Edwin and Barbara. Self is a Trustee of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the John Tracy Clinic for Deaf Children, and The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Barbara Self Malone (daughter) (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (1)

Margaret Flynn (1941 - 23 March 2007) (her death) (2 children)

Trivia (3)

Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book "Eye on Science Fiction" (McFarland & Co., 2003).
He is survived by his daughter, Barbara Malone of Los Angeles, California and son, Edwin Self of Los Angeles, California. He is survived by his sister, Jean Self Bright of Clarksdale, Arizona; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Founder/owner of Self Productions, a film production company.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on developing M*A*S*H (1972)] None of us wanted to make McHale's Navy (1962) over again. We wanted it to have some substance. We wanted there to be people that died--this was a war zone.

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