Given his later suave image, it is a surprise that in ‘The Great Gatsby’ in 1926, he played the gas station owner rather than one of the upper class leads.
William Powell Jr was the only child of William Powell and his first wife Eileen. They had originally married back in 1915.. They would finally divorce in 1930. His mother died at the young age of 48 in 1942. As a boy William Jr was apparently plagued by emotional problems. He went on to become a successful television writer whose work was seen on such series as ‘Bonanza,’ ‘Death Valley,’ ‘Rawhide,’ and ’77 Sunset Strip.’ He served as an associate producer at Warner Brothers Studios and at Universal Studios as well as holding a position at NBC. After ill health precipitated his resignation, William Jr. was diagnosed with hepatitis and kidney ailments. His lifelong struggle with depression deepened, and at the age of 43, he wrote his father a four page farewell stating that he was “… going where it’s better,” stepped into a shower, and stabbed himself to death on March 13, 1968. His father never revealed anything else about the letter except the end of it. He was laid to rest next to his father Desert Memorial Park.
His movie successes continued until 1955 when he starred in ‘Mister Roberts’ with James Cagney and Henry Fonda. He then settled down to a long and happy 25 year retirement, refusing all requests for a comeback. His home is located at 383 West Vereda Norte, Palm Springs , CA 92262.
Final Resting Place:
Desert Memorial Park
31-705 Da Vall Drive
Cathedral City, California, 92262
Grave Location:Section B-10, Grave 20
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery through the entrance on Ramon Drive, drive ahead 150 and look for the B-10 marker at the base of the tree. Walk two rows to the right of the marker and 20 spaces into the grassy area (and about 4 spaces from the walled garden area) and you will find the final resting places of William Powell and his wife Diane “Mousie” Lewis Powell.