Actor Gil Bellows, aka Tommy, to join in Mansfield’s Shawshank celebration

By Destination Mansfield - Special to the Inquirer

MANSFIELD — Organizers of “The Shawshank Redemption” 25th Anniversary Celebration announced today that film and TV actor Gil Bellows will take part in the Aug. 16-18 events in Mansfield, OH. Acclaimed for his pivotal role as the misfortunate inmate Thomas Williams, Bellows will join panel discussions about the film and sign autographs for fans. Most of the 16 filming sites along The Shawshank Trail will offer events, tours and panel discussions throughout the weekend, though The Shawshank Trail welcomes visitors to Mansfield year round.

On Friday, Aug. 16, Bellows will join a panel discussion featuring the largest assembly of the movie’s cast and crew since its 1992 filming in Mansfield. Led by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz, the discussion takes place in the historic Renaissance Theatre, where the movie first premiered in 1994. It precedes an anniversary screening of the film. Then on Saturday, Aug. 17, Bellows will join other cast members and director Frank Darabont at the Shawshank Meet & Greet to sign autographs. Saturday evening, the famed director will again join Ben Mankiewicz at The Exclusive Shawshank Reception. Passes for all ticketed anniversary events are on sale now at

Bellows is best remembered in films for his breakthrough role as the ill-fated inmate Thomas Williams in “The Shawshank Redemption.” Tommy shared a pivotal role in one of the most dynamic scenes with the Warden. His first film role, Bellows got the part after Brad Pitt passed on it to do the lead in “Legends of the Fall.”

Organizers of the Aug. 16-18 anniversary celebration have developed a host of fan experiences surrounding the anniversary of the No. 1 movie of all time (IMDB), including several free events. Actors from the film slated to attend include: Bob Gunton (Warden Norton), William Sadler (Heywood), Mark Rolston (Bogs), Frank Medrano (Fat Ass), Alfonso Freeman (Red’s Mugshot and Fresh Fish Guy), Scott Mann (Glenn Quentin), Renee Blaine (Linda Dufresne) and Claire Slemmer (Bank Teller). A number of background actors will be staged at filming sites along the trail throughout the weekend to meet guests. Special souvenirs will be available for purchase to commemorate the anniversary. Additions and updates will be announced via social media at @ShawshankTrail.

First on everyone’s list will be the Ohio State Reformatory tour for $25. Guests can stand inside Warden Norton’s office, peer into Andy’s escape tunnel, walk the Road to Buxton and ride a wagon to Malabar Farm’s Pugh Cabin where the movie’s opening scenes were shot. A full list of other filming sites is found at

By Destination Mansfield

Special to the Inquirer