Bill Raisch

Bill Raisch


4/4/1905, North Bergen, New Jersey



Birth Name

Carl William Raisch


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Bill Raisch was born in New Jersey in 1905 to parents who immigrated from Germany. After completing high school, Raisch started working as a cement hauler at a construction site. Early in his career, he began lifting weights and became a dancing partner to a "society girl" he…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • (Regarding Raisch's physical appearance in The Fugitive, director Bob Rubin commented)

      Bob Rubin: Even though we… only caught a glimpse of him frantically escaping the Kimble home that night, Bill looked so menacing that he was unforgettable.

    • Bill Raisch was "discovered" by producers Quinn Martin and Alan Armer while watching a fight scene in Lonely are the Brave (1962). In the scene, Raisch nearly strangles Kirk Douglas with his empty shirtsleeve.

    • Because Bill Raisch had become stereotyped during the run of The Fugitive, it was difficult for him to find work as an actor after the series was completed. Consequently, producer Quinn Martin put Raisch on a retainer, which gave him a level of security.

    • Early in his career, Bill Raisch appeared in the stage musical "Whoopee" starring Eddie Cantor (the famous singer, songwriter, and actor).

    • Between 1944 and 1964 Bill Raisch played in 15 uncredited roles (both in movies and TV combined).

    • One of Bill Raisch's most notorious film roles was in Lonely are the Brave (1962) where he is involved in a famous fight scene with Kirk Douglas.

    • Actress Lorri Scott was not aware that Bill Raisch was really a one-armed man. During a make up session for The Fugitive, she commented to director Bob Rubin in a loud voice (while Raisch was in the room), "Isn't it wonderful how Bill fakes this whole thing, and does all those stunts, plays the scenes, and runs, drives and shoots a gun so well! It's wonderful how well he hides his real arm behind his back and the camera can't tell." At that point Bill looked up and waved his right arm (which is a stump) in the air, much to Lorri Scott's humiliation.

    • Barry Morse: (Reflecting on Bill Raisch's early speaking parts on The Fugitive)

      Bill had never spoken dialogue in his life. He was quite terrified, I remember, when they started to use him more in the series, and actually require him to speak dialogue once in a while. I can remember him saying to me, "What do I do with this, Barry? I've got lines here!" And I'd say, "it's all right, you know. You just talk like we're talking now." And he turned out to be very good, didn't he?

    • Bill Raisch's character Fred Johnson (in The Fugitive) is mistakenly billed as "Cramer."

    • Alan Armer: (Commenting on an incident when Bill Raisch was picked up by police for questioning during the popularity of The Fugitive)

      Bill was in a restaurant or a bar, and he was picked up by the police, who remembered that he was wanted for something! They weren't sure what it was that he was wanted for, but they'd seen his face, and they knew he was wanted, and they put him in the police car and took him down to headquarters. …It wasn't until he got downtown to police headquarters that he was able to straighten it out. The police just knew that this was a guy that had done "something bad!"

    • Bill Raisch felt that his character's physical disability in The Fugitive would distract the viewers (possibly garnering sympathy), so he suggested that the writers make the character brutal and vicious. Since Raisch possessed tremendous physical strength (he was a stuntman before his role in The Fugitive), the one-armed man was someone who could hold his own is a fight.

    • Though he was an essential character in The Fugitive, Bill Raisch only appeared in ten episodes on the hit series.

    • Bill Raisch is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Santa Monica (Los Angeles County).

    • He made his film debut in 1948 playing a German in Berlin Express.

    • For many years Bill Raisch worked as an acting teacher and had a long professional relationship with Burt Lancaster.

    • Raisch became a stand-in for Burt Lancaster in 1952 where he appeared as a double for the famous actor.

    • While coming home from work one night as a dancer in New York, Raisch was attacked by five muggers. Although he was worked over, Raisch didn't back down and beat them all single-handedly. The next day, a picture of Raisch was published in the newspaper with the caption, "Don't Say Dancers Are Sissies."

  • Quotes

    • Bill Raisch: (In a 1984 interview with "TV Collector" Raisch shares an incident while visiting the set of Dallas)

      Five people from Europe came over to me and said, "Will you sign this autograph?" I said, "You don't want me, I'm not in this show." They said, "We know you're not--you're the one-armed man on The Fugitive!"

    • Bill Raisch: (Discussing the reactions of viewers to his role on The Fugitive)

      I am amazed at the number of persons who now recognize me on the street. Some of my fan letters even declare [I should be] innocent. They want Kimble to give himself up and take the heat off me.

    • Bill Raisch: (Commenting on his role in the second season of The Fugitive)

      It becomes firmly established that I know that Kimble is after me, and I'd better not let our paths cross.