Our thoughts are with the Wilson family during this difficult time.
Robert A. “Bob” Wilson — the father of actors Owen, Luke, and Andrew Wilson — has passed away at 75 years old. Owen confirmed the sad news to local paper Dallas Morning News, and he revealed Bob died on Friday, May 5 after spending nearly seven years battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Although Bob was not as famous as his sons, he also worked in show business. The Massachusetts native moved to Dallas, Texas with his photographer wife Laura Wilson in the 1960s. He has said it was “the best thing that ever happened” to the couple — because that’s where he found success in 1967 after he was put in charge of the Dallas PBS affiliate KERA TV Channel 13, the Dallas News reported.
Robert Wilson during his days at KERA-TV.
Owen attributed his father’s show business friends with helping shape his comedic chops in a 2011 interview with Variety. He said that they inspired him and his brothers — fellow actors Andrew and Luke Wilson — to pursue his acting career.
“He worked with these great creative people with great senses of humor and I remember being at dinner and just hearing dad’s friends talk and I think that was for me and my brothers a big influence on what was funny,” the 48-year-old said.
Owen’s brothers Luke and Andrew Wilson.
Bob was also a big influence on journalist and news anchor Jim Lehrer. In the early 1970s, he helped create the show Newsroom, which would later go on to be known as Newshour With Jim Lehrer.
He was always praised for his contributions to KERA, but when the station celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, Bob was too sick to attend. Four years later, Luke opened up to Closer about what it was like dealing with his father’s disease.
“When someone has advanced Alzheimer’s, it’s hard to have much of a relationship,” Owen exclusively revealed at a screening of his 2015 thriller, No Escape. “You just try to be supportive, although you never know how much is getting through.”