World’s Most Famous Door-To-Door Salesman And William H. Macy Inspiration Bill Porter Dies At 81

Bill Porter

Bill Porter, right, met RECOiL writer/direct Brian DiMaio during a sales call in the mid 80’s. When Porter learned DiMaio was writing a film he insisted DiMaio write a part for him. DiMaio said a salesman had no place in the film industry. Porter was persistent and even provided a modified version of the script in which Porter played a starring role. The plot change involved a gangster and law-man playing an intense game of cat and mouse. After some initial screen tests DiMaio rejected the script changes as “amateurish” and, instead, gave Porter a minor role playing himself making a sales call that was later cut. Porter would go on to sell the script to Michael Mann who updated the script for a film called Heat.

Portland, OR—Bill Porter, portrayed in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie, “Door to Door” by William H. “Fargo” Macy, has died. He was 81.

Despite having cerebral palsy and walking with great difficulty, Porter harnessed the power of spite to achieve his goals and was the top salesman for years in a four-state area for J. R. Watkins products, selling his wares door to door throughout Portland.

He first came to national attention in 1995 when his life was written about in The Oregonian newspaper, back when people actually read newspapers. He was then written about in Readers Digest when it was still a decent publication. Porter also portrayed himself in the film, “RECOiL.”

Macy portrayed Porter in 2003 on TNT, before they started solely running reruns of “Castle.” Continue reading