July 2, 2016
Adam Hill Gilbert, born William Dudley Gilbert, passed away peacefully at home on June 29, 2016, after a long battle with lung cancer. Born in Culpeper, Virginia, on August 28, 1935, he was the son of Henry Dudley Gilbert and Dorothy Fant Gilbert, both deceased. He is survived by his loving sister, Dorothy Gilbert Jordan, brother-in-law Thomas Ferrell Jordan, nephew David Adam Jordan, aunt Doris Lee Fant and several cousins in Culpeper, Roanoke, and North Carolina. He was a member of Williamsburg Baptist Church. After graduating from Culpeper High School in 1953, William attended Duke University with a major in English.
At the end of his sophomore year, he left Duke to enroll with The Pasadena Playhouse in California to study playwriting and theatre. He had written two original plays for high school production and hosted his own local radio show prior to attending Duke, where he originated the university radio show, "Campusology". It was there at WDBS where he worked with his friend and college fraternity big brother, David Hartman, who went on to host "Good Morning America".
At the Playhouse and with the professional name of Adam Hill he tried a bit of acting¿on "NBC Matinee Theatre", The Lawrence Welk Show ", and "The Virginian" before interning at ZIV studios where he began his writing career on the adventure series, "Ripcord", penning 7 series for producer Jon Epstein. Following his service in the U.S. Navy at Bainbridge Naval Base in Maryland, William returned to Virginia and hosted a teen talk show and "Up'n Adam" at WROV in Roanoke for several years before moving to Charlotte, NC to host their early morning show.
Bouncing back to Hollywood, he joined Hollywood Video Center as Production Supervisor for "The Della Reese Show", "The Pat Boone Show", "Pet Set with Betty White", Governor Reagan's "State of the State" speeches and "The Virginia Graham Show". After a stint directing location shoots for "Candid Camera" and publishing his book, "I'm the Guy Who Gets", William joined Hatos-Hall Productions where he became head writer and on-air judge for the popular game show, "Split-Second".
In 1979 he joined the Bob Stivers Production Company and for four years was associate producer of "Circus of the Stars", "All Star Mothers' Day", and "Celebrity Daredevils". He was also associate producer and writer for George Vosburgh's "It All Adds Up", "Showdown of the Dream Teams" and "Fifty Grand Slam". This led to a stint with Merv Griffin Enterprises for the NBC pilot, "Buzzword". In 1986 William left Hollywood in part time retirement to become Creative Director for Coachella Valley Television and initiated the popular desert TV show, "Kitchens of the Desert". He also worked briefly for KDES radio before assuming the position of Director of Marketing for The McCallum Theatre at the Bob Hope Cultural Center in Palm Desert.
In 1994, William semi-retired the second time, and moved home to Virginia and settled in Williamsburg to be near his family. For the next few years he was a writer for two local stations, WXEZ radio (EZ 94) in York County and later for WXGM in Gloucester. A memorial service to celebrate William's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Williamsburg Baptist Church, 227 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg VA 23185.
GILBERT, Adam Hill (William Dudley Gilbert)
Born: 8/28/1935, Culpeper, Virginia, U.S.A.
Died: 6/29/2016, Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.A.
Adam Hill Gilbert’s western – actor:
The Virginian (TV) – 1963 (Luke)