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William (Bill) Walker, 1896-1992

William Walker Side OneWilliam Walker Side Two

Location: Near 221 Falls Park Dr., Pendleton (Madison County), Indiana 46064

Installed 2022 Indiana Historical Bureau, Pendleton Historical Museum, and Friends of William Walker

ID#: 48.2022.1


Side One

African American actor and activist William Walker was born in Madison County and graduated from Pendleton High School in 1915. He served in the all-Black 92nd division in WWI. Walker performed on Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s and became a character actor in film and television for over forty years, with roles in movies such as The Killers (1946) and Big Jake (1971).

Side Two

Walker's most notable role was as Rev. Sykes in the Academy Award-winning 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, which shed light on national issues of race, class, and gender. As a Screen Actors Guild board member (1952-1971), he advocated for better representation and increased opportunities for African Americans in all roles and forms of entertainment.


African American, Arts & Culture