One of Thomasville’s best-known – or at least most visible – former residents will be back in his hometown this week to help raise money and awareness for the Thomasville Community Resource Center.
Many folks must leave the place they were raised in order to seek their fortune elsewhere. That was certainly the case for veteran movie and TV actor Scott Wilson. But over the years, Wilson has returned to the Rose City as much as his relentless professional schedule has allowed.
“I was real fortunate a few years ago when I got ‘The Walking Dead’ that was shot in Georgia and it gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my mom. When I was down, I would be able to drive to Thomasville,” he said.
Sadly, Wilson’s mother recently died at the age of 103. But her passing hasn’t diminished his desire to get back and give back to the town that nurtured him long ago. Even if the name Scott Wilson doesn’t ring an immediate bell, you’ll almost certainly recognize some of his work.
“The first two films I did were 50 years ago this year,” he said. “(They were) ‘In the Heat of the Night’ with Sidney Poitier and Rod Stieger and that led to ‘In Cold Blood’ and they both came out the same year.”
Certainly Wilson’s career did not end with those celebrated films. He went on to appear in a multitude of other movies, including “The Right Stuff”, “The Great Gatsby” and “Pearl Harbor”. Also a bunch of television series, such as “Law and Order”, “CSI” and “The Twilight Zone.” He also did some international film work and, as he puts it, got to see a lot of the world far beyond Thomasville. But he’ll be back home this Thursday (5/25) at the behest of that town’s Covey Film Festival. He’ll first be appearing from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 on South Stevens Street.
“At the new Amphitheater I’ll be signing autographs for people there and the proceeds will be going to the Community Resource Center, which will help the daycare center and that’s a good deal. I like that,” he explained.
Thursday evening at 7:30, Wilson will be at the South Eden Plantation Showboat Theater on Showboat Lane. The featured movie is “In Cold Blood”, the film that gave him his first lead role and launched his career half-a-century ago and something Wilson recalls as though it all happened last week.
“It came about as a direct result of Sidney Poitier and Quincy Jones and Norman Jewison the director of ‘In the Heat of the Night’ talking to Richard Brooks and telling him that he should meet with me…that I was his guy,” he recalled with obvious fondness.
For more information and tickets: www.coveyfilmfestival.com