January 21, 2004 by

Noble Willingham


Categories: Actors, Education, Hollywood, Politicians

nwillingham.jpgNoble Willingham may not have been a matinee idol, but he was a hardworking actor who appeared in dozens of feature films.

The Texas-native used his “distinctive voice and warmly gruff manner” to land supporting roles in movies like “Paper Moon,” “Chinatown,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “City Slickers” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” During his four decades in Hollywood, he also made guest appearances on a variety of TV shows, from “The Rockford Files” and “Alice,” to “Highway to Heaven” and “Home Improvement.”

In 1999, Willingham left a steady gig as C.D. Parker, the saloon owner in the show “Walker, Texas Ranger,” to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the Republican nominee for the congressional seat in eastern Texas, but lost to Democrat Max Sandlin in 2000.

Willingham earned a bachelor’s degree from North Texas State College and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Baylor University. He taught high school economics and government in Houston before auditioning for a part in the Peter Bogdanovich movie, “The Last Picture Show.”
Willingham died on Jan. 17 from natural causes at the age of 72. His final film, “Blind Horizon,” starring Val Kilmer, will be released later this year.

Filmography From IMDb

14 Responses to Noble Willingham

  1. wtr27513

    Good Bye Dear Friend!!!!! I will miss your happy smile but I can still have happy thoughts watching Walker, Texas Ranger reruns. Next time I walk into CD’s Bar & Grill (aka: The White Elephant) I’ll sadly but happily think of you as I sit on a stool at the bar……while wishing you were standing behind that bar! Your fantastic smile could light up not only a room but a whole country!
    Luv ya,

  2. rick andrews

    He was my home room teacher and friend at Sam Houston High School in 1972 in Houston Texas. He gave me the confidence to be a musician, which, against my parents wishes, was all I ever wanted to be. I’ll always be grateful. As he reflected in his acting, he was a beautiful soul. See ya later bud!

  3. Mudji Versteeg

    Aloha Cast OF Walker Texas Ranger,
    from all of us here on the BigIsland sent you all our deepest sarrow in your lost of your friend Noble willingham. he was our favorite actor on the tv serious walker texas Ranger. i know that he will be rememeberd from many many friends and family’s that new and known Noble.
    may the love of his life bring many many memories to share and to hold forever.with our deepest aloha goes out to Chuck Norris and the cast and crew memebers from the versteeg/ salzmann family.

  4. Larissa

    I had been watching Walker Texas Ranger since I was five years old. Now I am sixteen years old. When I saw the show he died in it wasn’t the greatest news. But the last show when he was killed cause of a drug. I thought a guy like him and Walker would never died. But those things happens. I still love watching the show and reruns with CD Parker is always the best.

  5. C.L

    does any one know the song they played on C.D.’s grave when they dug him up and all i know is tears from heaven from it if if you know what it is can you tell me

  6. Nancy Dees Solomon

    Mr. Willingham was my teacher i 1972, my senior year at Sam Houston Sr. High School. He was the coolest teacher at Sam Houston. He made an impression on everyone. When he was chosen to do an audition for “The Last Picture Show” everyday he would practice his part to myself, Gary Howard, and two other students. Everyday we looked forward to spending that special time with him.We loved him very much and I personally have watched every show he has been in. My favorite is
    Walker, Texas Ranger, as C.D.. He fit the part so perfect. I did not know of his death until today, but I kn ow he will be missed by anyone who had ever met him. Goodbye and hope to see you in heaven one day. With awesome memories and love,Nancy Dees Solomon-September,2008.

  7. Bernice

    i am very sorry 2 hear that C D had passed away he was so cool on texas ranger my prayers go out 2 the cast and his family he was so funny RIP CD:-/

  8. Franklin Ayers

    I didn’t know that he passed away until now. but now i can say something. when he was in walker texas ranger (that i watch all the time) he should’ve got a award becaused he is one of the main people who done anything good in his movies.
    I’ll miss you Noble:(

  9. stori willingham

    Not a day goes by that I do not think of my daddy.There are no words to describe the empty void because he was my rock. Dad alway had an answer , and that smile, the smile everyone knew. I too am an educator . I teach children with special needs. Like my father , I also received my Master`s degree – Special Education. Therefore, I can tell my dad`s fans , that he did truly influence my life. His only grandchild, Noble III, is a young man with Autism. My dad was very gracious to him, and loved him very much. I am so moved by the postings of my dad`s fans. He would have been so honored by your comments , an allowing him to come into your homes on a daily basis. My dad was an American icon. I am honored to have both he and my mother, Doris, as my parents. Stori

    • Clay Bingham

      Noble Willingham was and is a great influence in my life as well as my 87 year old dad. I can just imagine how kind of a person he was by the way the spoke and by really listening to him, not just hearing the words. Stori, you truly had and have a great man to look up to. I thank you for letting me share this. Thanks.

  10. Lynn Swift

    Still love to watch Walker Texas Ranger. I also was saddened by the news of his death. In a Christian’s life there is no such thing as death. We go from this life to Our Father’s Kingdom. The loved ones of this incredible man is truly a Blessing. I love all of the actors in Walker Texas Ranger and what they stand for. God’s Blessings to all!

  11. Carrole

    I was just watching an episode of Walker Texts Ranger an it brought back memories of seeing CD at his best. Noble was a lovely man an I still love to watch him.God rest in peace you are missed xx

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