Full name, Edward Henry Willis; born January 13, 1918, in Tottenham, Middlesex, England; died of a heart attack, December 22, 1992, in Chislehurst, Kent,England. Playwright, novelist, and screenwriter.
Hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most prolific television scriptwriter, Willis created Dixon of Dock Green, an immensely popular television series about a friendly, ordinary London police officer. The series aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1955 to1976. Willis began his television career as a documentary filmmaker, eventually changing his vocation to writing. He went on to write and create forty-onetelevision serials, including Patterns of Marriage, Flower of Evil, and Black Beauty. He also wrote thirty-nine film scripts, including The Blue Lamp with Jan Read, which first introduced the character of Dixon of Dock Green in 1950. In 1960, Willis used the pseudonym George Dixon in publishing the book, Dixon of Dock Green: My Life, which was written with Charles Hatton. Among Willis's numerous plays for television and the stageare Buster, Dead on Saturday and Woman in a Dressing Gown, and Other Television Plays, which was the winner of both the Berlin Festival Award and the London Picture-Goer Award. Willis published other works of fiction, including the suspense thrillers Death May Surprise Us and The Buckingham Palace Connection, and a juvenile novel, A Problem for Mother Christmas. He also wrote two autobiographies, Whatever Happened to Tom Mix?: The Story of One of My Lives and Evening All: Fifty Years over a Hot Typewriter. In 1963, Willis was accepted to the House of Lords and dubbed Lord Willis of Chislehurst.