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 Bill Bixby

Bill Bixby

Original Name Wilfred Bailey
Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death 21 Nov 1993 (aged 59)
Century City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Ashes scattered at his Hana, Hawaii estate
Memorial ID 95 · View Source
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Actor. Director. Born Wilfred Everett Bixby III, in San Francisco, California, the only child of Jane McFarland and Wilfred Bixby. After high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve; he was honorably discharged in 1957. He attended San Francisco City College, before transferring to the University of California-Berkeley, but did not take a degree. In 1959, he moved instead to take commercial and modeling work in Detroit, Michigan. He joined the Detroit Civic Theatre Company, and made his stage debut in 'The Boy Friend.' The following year, he made his television debut in 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.' Other guest roles followed in such programs as 'Ben Casey,' 'Bachelor Father,' and 'The Twilight Zone.' He landed a recurring role in 'The Joey Bishop Show,' and in 'Dr. Kildare' in 1962. In 1963, he won the co-star role of Tim O'Hara in the series 'My Favorite Martian' with Ray Walston, whom he later called his mentor. When the series was canceled in 1966, he branched into feature films, appearing in 'Doctor, You've Got to be Kidding' (1967), 'Clambake' (1968), and 'Speedway' (1969) all while maintaining a presence on television, taking guest roles in such series as 'That Girl,' 'The Ghost and Mrs Muir,' and 'It Takes a Thief.' In 1969, he once again took the lead in a television series, as Tom Corbett in 'The Courtship of Eddie's Father,' which led to his first Emmy nomination for Lead Actor, and his first directing credit, for the episode 'Gifts Are For Giving.' In 1972, the role also won him the Parents Without Partners Exemplary Service Award. The series was canceled after their third year, shortly after his marriage to actress, Brenda Benet, with whom he would have one son, Christopher. He became a respected member of The Magic Castle, an exclusive club for magicians in Hollywood which was reflected in his series, 'The Magician,' which ran for the 1973 season. After several more years of guest appearances in programs such as 'Ironside,' 'Rich Man, Poor Man,' 'The Barbary Coast,' 'The Love Boat,' and 'Fantasy Island,' in 1977, he was offered the role of David Bruce Banner in the pilot for 'The Incredible Hulk.' It debuted as a mid-season replacement, and quickly became a top rated show, running for four years until cancellation in 1981. That year, his young son died following an acute throat infection, and he all but stopped working for almost two years. In 1983, he returned to television as actor, producer, director of the sitcom, 'Goodnight, Beantown,' which lasted one season. He then served as host for 'Against the Odds' a biographical anthology for Nickelodeon; and 'Once Upon a Classic' for PBS. He reprised his role as Dr Banner in three made for television films; 'The Incredible Hulk Returns' (1988), 'The Trial of the Incredible Hulk,' (1989) and 'Death of the Incredible Hulk' (1990). In 1991, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went into treatment. He insisted upon fighting the illness in any way he could and that included going public with his battle despite his reputation as a very private person. In 1992, he co-starred in a made for television film, 'Diagnosis of Murder,' and became the primary director for the sitcom 'Blossom' from 1992 to 1993, completing 30 episodes. He succumbed to cancer at the age of 59, his ashes were committed to the Pacific, as had been his father's and son's. His memorial service saw attendance from former co-stars across his entire career, all of whom had remained his friends.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Bill Bixby (22 Jan 1934–21 Nov 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Ashes scattered at his Hana, Hawaii estate.