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Bill Bixby : Biography, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Address, Filmography (The Incredible Hulk, The Magician)

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Bill Bixby

David Banner in The Incredible Hulk, Anthony Blake in The Magician

Photos Bill Bixby Birth name: Wilfred Bailey Bixby
Birth date: 1934/01/22
Date of death : 1993/11/21 (59 years old)
Birth place : San Francisco (USA)
Height: 1.75 m

French Traduire

Biography for Bill Bixby

The son of a sales clerk and a department store owner, Bill Bixby was the sixth-generation Californian born as Wilfred Bailey Bixby, on January 22, 1934, in San Francisco, California. An only child growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he attended schools in the same area, took ballroom dance lessons, before attending Lowell High School, where he excelled in drama. After his graduation from high school, he attended San Francisco City College where he majored in drama. He transferred to the University of California-Berkeley, where he majored in the pre-law program, but never stopped falling in love with his interest in acting. After almost graduating, he left his native San Francisco, to travel to Los Angeles, where he became a lifeguard and a bellhop. Two years later, in 1959, two executives noticed him and hired him immediately for commercial work and modeling, in Detroit, Michigan. At the same time, he auditioned for theatre roles. He joined the Detroit Civic Theatre Company and made his professional stage debut in the musical, The Boy Friend. Long after his trip to Michigan, he continued doing commercial work and made numerous guest appearances on popular TV sitcoms. He made his TV debut in an episode of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959). He also did many other roles, most notably as Charles Raymond in "The Joey Bishop Show" (1961). After many guest and recurring roles, he landed a co-starring role opposite Ray Walston in "My Favorite Martian" (1963), in which he portrayed a newspaper reporter playing host to a visitor from another planet. After the first season, it became a hit and Bixby became a household name to millions of fans who liked the show. The show was going well until its cancellation in 1966, which left Bixby in the dark, for the time being. However, he finally got the chance to go onto the big screen. The first of the four post-"Martian" 60s movies he played in was the Western, Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966). The following year, he played Dick Bender in Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding (1967), and soon after, he was approached by Elvis Presley to appear in both Clambake (1967), and Speedway (1968). Afterwards he once again returned to series television, this time playing widowed father, Tom Corbett, on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969), based on the popular 1963 movie. After its first season, it became a much bigger hit than his first show and Bixby, heretofore one of Hollywod's most confirmed bachelors, changed his views on marriage and family, subsequently taking actress Brenda Benet as his bride and fathering a son. He also tried his hand at directing an episode of the series, called "Gifts Are For Giving", about Norman's highly treasured gift. After completing its second season, Bixby received an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, but didn't win. By its third season in 1972, the show had bad scripts and ABC decided to pull the plug. Once again, he was not long out of work and was offered a chance to star in a lead role as Anthony Dorian/Anthony Blake, on his first and only NBC dramatic series called, "The Magician" (1973/II). The show focused on Anthony performing magic tricks which helped people who were in trouble, and in real-life, Bill became a fine magician, performing to both children and adults. But sadly, the show was cancelled after one season due to its expensive costs. After a seven year absence from the big screen, he co-starred in another western opposite Don Knotts and Tim Conway in The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975). Like most of the theatrical movies he did, it was not a blockbuster at the box office, but was still an average hit. In late 1977, he was offered the role of Dr. David Bruce Banner, in a 2-hour pilot called, The Incredible Hulk (1977) (TV). About a physician/scientist who turned into a green monster whenever he became angry, the idea appealed to CBS, and several months later, they premiered a new science fiction-dramatic series, called, "The Incredible Hulk" (1978). When it debuted as a mid-season replacement, it became the #1 show in the United States, and in many other countries. His character became famous for ripping up shirts each time he turned into the Hulk, played by bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. Bixby had wanted to direct some episodes, but the time he had to spend in the make-up chair for the transformation sequences made that problematical, and he managed to helm only one segment, "Bring Me the Head of the Hulk," in the fourth season. It was cancelled in 1981 (although the last few episodes didn't air until 1982). He once again, came back to series television, acting in, producing, and directing his last sitcom, "Goodnight, Beantown" (1983), on which he played Matt Cassidy. Chosen for the role of Jennifer Barnes, was one of Bixby's old friends, Mariette Hartley, who had won an Emmy for her guest appearance in "The Incredible Hulk" as Banner's second wife. The two played co-anchor newscasters of a Boston television station whose sparring on and off the air developed into friendship and respect. Discounting a brief, inconsequential return to the network's schedule in the summer of 1984, the series lasted for less than a year, from April 1983 to January 1984. Bixby now decided to concentrate on directing and worked on "Wizards and Warriors" (1983), "Goodnight, Beantown" (1983) and "Sledge Hammer!" (1986). He also directed the pilot for a New York spy series, Rockhopper. He also appeared in front of the camera as the host of the daytime anthology series, "True Confessions" (1985) , which dealt with real-life crises of everyday people. Bixby additionally served as host for two shows targeting younger viewers: "Against the Odds," a series of biographies of prominent people, frequently from history, for the Nickelodeon cable channel; and "Once Upon a Classic" a collection of British TV adaptations of literary classics on PBS. He came back to reprise his role of Dr. David Banner from "The Incredible Hulk" by acting in, producing, and directing the three spin-off movies: The Incredible Hulk Returns (1988) (TV), The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) (TV) and The Death of the Incredible Hulk (1990) (TV). He also directed TV movies such as Baby of the Bride (1991) (TV) and Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind (1991) (TV). In April 1991, while directing one of his last movies, he became very ill and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery and his cancer seemed to be in remission, so he came back to guest star as Nick Osborne in a 2 hour TV movie/pilot called, Diagnosis Murder (1992) (TV). When his cancer continued to be in remission, he returned to work to direct the popular NBC sitcom, "Blossom" (1991), where he became the main director of the show. At first, he hid his illness from the cast and crew, until one of the producers found out, and then he announced publicly that he wanted to continue working until he could no longer do so. Prior to going public with his illness, he directed a TV movie starring Roseanne and Tom Arnold, The Woman Who Loved Elvis (1993) (TV), which was his final directing project. The cancer returned and on November 21, 1993, six days after leaving the set of "Blossom" (1991), he died after a long battle. For over 30 years he was in great demand and his big roles and directing credits have been a personal testimony to his fans. His life is gone, but his legacy lives on for years to come.

Photos

Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17 Photos Bill Bixby n_17

Filmography

Title Role
Bill Bixby: The E! True Hollywood Story (1999 TV documentary) Lui-mĂȘme
The Woman Who Loved Elvis (1993 Téléfilm) Réalisateur
Diagnosis Murder (1992 Téléfilm) Nick Osborne
Baby of the Bride (1991 Téléfilm) Réalisateur
Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind (1991 Téléfilm) Réalisateur
Blossom (1991 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur (1992-1993)
Ferris Bueller (1990 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
The Death of L'incroyable Hulk (1990 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner, Réalisateur, Producteur
The Trial of L'incroyable Hulk (1989 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner, Réalisateur, Producteur
Murphy's Law (1988 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
L'incroyable Hulk Returns (1988 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner, Réalisateur, Producteur Executif, Producteur
Sledge Hammer! (1986 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Sin of Innocence (1986 Téléfilm) David McGary
True Confessions (1985 Serie TV) Invité
International Airport (1985/I Téléfilm) Harvey Jameson
W
A
L
T
E
R (1984 TV short) RĂ©alisateur
The Best of Times (1983 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Goodnight, Beantown (1983 Serie TV) Matt Cassidy, RĂ©alisateur, Producteur
Wizards and Warriors (1983 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
I've Had It Up to Here (1982 Téléfilm) Acteur
The Book of Lists (1982 Serie TV) Invité
Herbie, the Love Bug (1982 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Murder Is Easy (1982 Téléfilm) Luke Williams
Mr. Merlin (1981 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
The Hanna-Barbera Hall of Fame: Yabba Dabba Doo II (1979 Téléfilm) Invité
The Magic of David Copperfield II (1979 TV special) Lui-mĂȘme
The Television Annual: 1978/1979 (1979 Téléfilm) Acteur
How to Survive the 70s and Maybe Even Bump Into Happiness (1978 Téléfilm) Acteur
NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney (1978 TV documentary) Lui-mĂȘme
Bride of L'incroyable Hulk (1978 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner
L'incroyable Hulk (1978 Serie TV) Dr. David Bruce Banner, RĂ©alisateur
Three on a Date (1978 Téléfilm) Réalisateur
The Return of L'incroyable Hulk (1977 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner
The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) Lui-mĂȘme
L'incroyable Hulk (1977 Téléfilm) Dr. David Bruce Banner
Black Market Baby (1977 Téléfilm) Herbert Freemont
The Oregon Trail (1977 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Fantasy Island (1977 Téléfilm) Arnold Greenwood
Once Upon a Classic (1976 Serie TV) Invité
The Great Houdini (1976 Téléfilm) Rev. Arthur Ford
Charlie's Angels (1976 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
The Invasion of Johnson County (1976 Téléfilm) Sam Lowell
Bert D'Angelo/Superstar (1976 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Rich Man, Poor Man (1976 TV mini-series) Willie Abbott, RĂ©alisateur
Barbary Coast (1975 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) Mr. Russel Donovan
Barbary Coast (1975 Téléfilm) Philippe Despard, Réalisateur
Rex Harrison Presents Stories of Love (1974 Téléfilm) Acteur
Masquerade Party (1974 Serie TV) Lui-mĂȘme/panelist
Shirts/Skins (1973 Téléfilm) Teddy Bush
The Magician (1973 Serie TV) Anthony Blake/Anthony Dorian (pilot only), RĂ©alisateur
Steambath (1973 Téléfilm) Tandy
The Magician (1973/I Téléfilm) Anthony Dorian
The Couple Takes a Wife (1972 Téléfilm) Jeff Hamilton
Big Fish, Little Fish (1971 Téléfilm) Ronnie
Congratulations, It's a Boy! (1971 Téléfilm) Johnny Gaines
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1969 Serie TV) Tom Corbett, RĂ©alisateur
Speedway (1968) Kenny Donford
Mannix (1967 Serie TV) RĂ©alisateur
Clambake (1967) James J. Jamison III
Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding (1967) Dick Bender
Ride Beyond Vengeance (1966) Johnsy Boy Hood
Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) Track Team Coach
My Favorite Martian (1963 Serie TV) Tim O'Hara
Irma la Douce (1963) Tattooed sailor
The Joey Bishop Show (1961 Serie TV) Charles Raymond (1962)
Lonely Are the Brave (1962) Airman in helicopter

Trivia

Born at 11:20pm-PST.

Interred at Judith Kliban's estate in Hana, Hawaii, USA.

After he filed for a divorce from his first wife (Brenda Benet) his 6 year-old son died of a rare infection and, a year later, his ex-wife took her own life.

After graduating from Lowell High School, he attended San Francisco College to pursue a major in acting. He was asked to go to the University of California-Berkeley to major in pre-law, but dropped out.

Classmate of Lee Meriwether.

Actor Brandon Cruz's son Lincoln Bixby Cruz was named after him.

When "The Incredible Hulk" debuted, he was worried that his son Christopher would be scared to see his own father turning into a green creature. Therefore, he wouldn't let the boy watch the show.

Member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Was an accomplished artist.

Was a contestant on The Dating Game 3 times, and never won a date.

Was three credits shy of graduating from college at the University of California-Berkeley.

Was a lifeguard and a bellhop before becoming an actor.

Met his third and final wife, Judith Kliban, in Hawaii, just before his 59th birthday. [1993]

Was a professional magician.

Appeared frequently as a panelist on "The Hollywood Squares" (1966).

Tom Corbett, Bixby's character on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969), was ranked #15 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].

Loni Anderson, a close friend of his, wrote a tribute in her book about his final days, prior to working on the set of "Blossom" (1991). Before he died, she saw him regularly only when he was visiting "Nurses" (1991).

He had 12 hobbies: painting, magic, sailing, hiking, fishing, swimming, farming, jogging, golfing, photography, cooking and carpentry.

Five days after his 18th birthday, he signed up for the Marine Corps Reserve; while he was a senior in high school. He was honorably discharged on April 8, 1957.

As a teenager, he was a member of the quartet "Uncalled Four".

Shared the same birthday as actress Piper Laurie, and was two-years younger than her.

Appeared with fellow comedian, Richard Dawson, on two game shows. One was the pilot of a trashy 1970s game show, Cop-Out, and the other was on Password All-Stars, and _"Masquerade Party"_ (1974) , which his friend had hosted.

He was the second actor next to Michael Landon to appear in 3 popular television shows that ran for at least three years: "My Favorite Martian" (1963-1966), "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969-1972), and "The Incredible Hulk" (1978-1982).

Starred in a pilot with Barbara Feldon that has never been aired.

Before he became an actor, he organized shows at a resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Won the Parents Without Partners: Exemplary Service Award for his role on 'The Courtship of Eddie's Father' in 1972.

Met Brenda Benet at a beauty pageant. At the time he was 29 and she was only 18.

At least two actresses name him as their favorite actor: Mariette Hartley and Loni Anderson, both having worked with him on "The Incredible Hulk" (1978)

Quotes

J'ai appris que la seule façon de réussir, c'est d'essayer - Mais essayer signifie aussi risque d'échec

Tout le monde fantasme. On veut tous ĂȘtre quelqu'un que nous ne sommes pas

Family

Spouse : Judith Kliban (3 October 1993 - 21 November 1993) (his death), Laura Jane Michaels (18 December 1991 - 25 June 1992) (divorced), Brenda Benet (4 July 1971 - September 1979) (divorced) 1 child.

Son of Jane Bixby. His grandfather, Wilfred Everett, was a physician and surgeon, and was a University of California-Davis graduate in 1907.

Author of the card

  • Creation date: 01/07/2003 by stals

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