Billy Gibbons is a rock icon. He kicked off his career in the late 60s with the band Moving Sidewalks, before forming ZZ Top, which dropped their first album in 1971. For over 50 years, the band have remained one of the most beloved rock acts of all time, with 15 albums under their belt and countless tours. Billy and the rest of the band, including late bassist Dusty Hill, are considered rock royalty, including being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Throughout much of his career, Billy, 72, has had his wife Gilligan Stillwater, 57, by his side. Find out more about Gilligan here!
Gilligan and Billy have been married since 2005
Gilligan has been Billy’s first and only wife throughout his lengthy career. While she’s accompanied him to a number of different events, she’s mostly kept a low profile. Billy opened up about the decision to hold off on marriage until later in life in a November 2017 interview with Rolling Stone. “I could have gone down the aisle a number of times, but I came to the conclusion that this life is too short and you got to do everything you can while you can,” he said.
The “Sharp Dressed Man” rocker clearly has been enjoying the married life in the nearly two decades since the pair tied the knot. “I finally said, ‘OK, let’s try it out.’ It’s been a splendid thing,” he told Rolling Stone.
Gilligan was born Ellen Oetjen
Even though she’s known as Gilligan Stillwater, or even as Gilligan Gibbons, Billy’s wife was actually born under a very different name. Her birth name was Ellen Oetjen, but it’s not clear why she changed her name or when she began going by Gilligan Stillwater, per The Sun.
She’s dabbled in acting
While Billy is much more of a public figure than Gilligan, she’s accompanied the rocker to plenty of red carpet events over the years. Despite mostly keeping private, Gilligan has been a bit of an actress, taking on a few roles in small projects over the years. She’s played a bartender and saloon keep in the 2010 movie Pickin’ and Grinnin’ and 2011 short The Snake and Mongoose Chronicles, respectively. In 2013, she played Brenda Greer in Snake and Mongoose, according to IMDb. She was also credited under the name Ellen “Gilligan” Gibbons.
Besides the roles listed on her IMDb page, Gilligan also participated in the 2005 Hollywood 48 Hours Film Fest on a spy flick called Miscommunication. While not much is known about the film or her role, she did attend the festival alongside Billy, and he seemed happy to stand by his then-girlfriend’s side on the red carpet in an interview with Da’Red Carpet. “She gave me an excuse to have a holiday from having to do live music,” he said.
She co-wrote one of Billy’s songs
While plenty of rockstar wives have inspired songs for decades, Gilligan got a little more involved for her husband’s 2018 blues rock jam “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’.” The ZZ Top singer-guitarist revealed that she’d written the lyrics while he was writing new songs in an interview with Billboard. “We had gotten maybe five (songs) recorded, and my lovely sweetheart Gilligan was scribbling away on the couch,” he said. “Then she took a break and the engineers kinda glanced over the scribbling and said, ‘Hey man, this looks pretty good. This could be nice and bluesy if we put something to it,’ which we did.” He even joked that he hoped the lyrics were about him. “Of course, I was like, ‘Why does that say ‘Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’?’ I hope she’s writing it about ME!’” he said.