An all-round track and field athlete, he played rugby for the Navy and, while stationed in the Mediterranean, became undefeated heavyweight boxing champion of both the Army and Navy.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was a serving officer in Hong Kong and China. In 1946 he was invalided out of the service with arthritis while a commander, the youngest of that rank at the time of his promotion.
Attended Central School in London England.
Father, with Olivia Selby, of Jaxon Duff Gwillim.
He was nominated for a 1975 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for his performance in "The Farm" at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in "Too Good To Be True" at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
His last stage performance came in 1995 in the play "On Borrowed Time". In it he acted with two of his children, his son-in-law, two grandchildren and their dog.
Joined the Royal Navy at the age of 17.
Served as a Commander in the Royal Navy for twenty years before he became an actor.
Served in World War II.
When cast as dignified figures of authority, Gwillim seems to have merely played himself. Michael Powell described him as "six-feet-two, taciturn, polite, and every inch of him Royal Navy." Powell added that during the filming of Pursuit of the Graf Spee "the other actors had to mind their p's' and and q's'" whenever Gwillim was present. ..."a glance from those grey eyes stiffened their backbones.".
Won the Best actor award in 1976 from the New Jersey Drama Critics Association for his role in The Heiress at the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey.