William Steele (William Anton Gittinger)
BiographySan Antonio, Texas, USA
American actor of small roles in Westerns, particularly those of John Ford. Although his screen credits and many records indicate a wide variety of names and spellings, Steele's own signatures on his military documents indicate that he was born William Anton Gittinger on March 28, 1888 (not 1889) in San Antonio, Texas. Little is known of his life prior to his arrival in Los Angeles around 1910. As the film industry in Hollywood was just blossoming, and as he apparently had great experience with horses, Steele easily obtained work in quickie Westerns. Read more... to Hollywood. While he was extremely inconsistent in the names he used, he worked consistently in Westerns throughout the silent era and up until the 1950s. His final appearance was as the wounded posse member Nesby in Ford's The Searchers (1956), his tenth film for Ford. He died ten years later, not quite 78 years old. He was survived by his wife Josephine, an actress. He is buried under his birth name at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.