When i was a kid i was introduced to my first Marvel experience, A well known TV Show called The Incredible Hulk which ran from 1978 to 1982. It wasnt until the mid to late 80's i started watching the show because i wasnt even born when the show first aired on Television so i was stuck with re-runs of the show. I remember watching this man in the telly being beaten by some thugs and then i saw those eyes The white eyes which indicated he was going to turn into the HULK. now being only a kid at the time i was unaware of this and continued to watch. The i saw it.....the monster that he would change into, I would hide behind my Mum or Dad or the couch or just run outside. I was petrified of The Creature. But Bill i could watch all day. If he apeared on another show my parents would call me to let me know, Whether it was a guest spot on Columbo, Diagnosis Murder or even his short lived TV Show The Magician (1973). This kind and gentle man gave a presence on screen that you just couldnt turn away. He was a Great Actor and father and Friend. Here is my own memories of of the man who would go on to live in the minds of all his fans around the world.
Born Wilfred Bailey Everett "Bill" Bixby in January 22 1934 was an only child. He was a forth generation Californian of English decent in San Francisco, California. His father was a store clerkand his mother was a senior manager at I. Magin & Co. By the time Bixby was 8 years old, His father enlisted in the navy during World War ll and traveled to the South Pacific. By the time he was in 7th Grade was sang in the Choir for Grace Cathedral. There a funny story that involved Bixby firing a sling shot at the bishop during a service and then got kicked out of the choir.
By 1952 after he Graduated from High School and against his parents wishes he Majoured in Drama at San Fransisco City College, where he was a classmate to Lee Meriwether, another young actress who would later go on to win Miss America as Miss California in 1954. Both Bixby and Meriwether would go on to work together on an episode of Barnaby Jones. Bixby would later attend University of California, Berkley but only to drop out after earning just 4 points short of a degree. He would go on to be drafted into the Marines.
Bixby moved to Hollywood, California where he would do a string of odd jobs including Bellhop and a Lifeguard. By 1959 he was hired as a Model and to do commercial work for General Motors and Chrysler.
Throughout the 60's he would land tv roles such as The Twilight Zone, The Andy Griffith Show, Ben Casey, Dr Kildare, Straightaway and Hennesey. But it was his role in My Favourite Marian along side Ray Walston. The Show ran from 1963 to 1966, High production costs forced the show to be canceled after only 107 episodes. After the cancellation Bixby went on to star in four movies 2 of which starred Elvis Presley.
Add mediadd mediay 1969 Bill landed another role called The Courtship of Eddie's Father which ran for 3 season (1969-1972) its about a widowed father raising a young son as well as managing a syndicated Magazine at the same time as getting back on the dating scene. Eddie was played by Brandon Cruze While Academy Award Winning Actress Miyoshi Umeki played the Housekeeper Mrs Livingston. Bixby and Cruze developed an offscreen friendship as well that would last a long time in Bill'S Life.
After the show ended Bixby woulf Land another role which he is known for called The Magician. The series was well liked, But it only lasted one season. But the magic didnt stop there, Being an accomplished amateur magician himself he would host several TV specials in the mid 70's which would feature other amateur magicians, And was a respected member of the Hollywood Magic Community, belonging to to The Magic Castle a cluc for Magicians.
in 1978 he would land the role that he is still well known for today The Incredible Hulk it ran fo 5 seasons from 1978 to 1982. Initially he declined the title role of Dr David Banner because of the comic book origins, on reading Kenneth Johnson's script for the pilot episode, he was persuaded to change his mind and would agree to stay on for as long as Johnson was to be involved. It became an internatianl hit in over 70 countries. This launched Bixby into a Pop Icon in the late 70's and 80's. The pilot also starred Susan Sullivan as Dr Elaina Marks, who tries to help a widowed and conflicted Dr Banner overcome his "problem" and also falls in love with him in the process, And also Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk who in his own right became an icon and is still remembered for his role as the not so jolly green giant. Bill was praised for his performance for Masterfully conveyed the perfound loneliness and tragety of Dr Banner while also bringing to the role an abundance of warmth, intelligence, humor, nobillity, likability and most of all humanity. He would also bring in Brandon cruze and Ray Walston for guest roles in the Hulk. The show ended half way through season 5 in 1982.
After the show was cancelled in 1982 Bixby carried on working. He would be Producer and co-star in the short lived sit-com Goodnight Beatdown (1982-1984). He also Directed three episodes of another short lived show called Wizards and Warriors which aired in 1983. throughout the rest of the 80's he would go on to to host a documentary series for Nickelodeon called Against the OddsIt was canceled after just 2 seasons. He later directed Eight episodes of Sledge Hammer. By 1988 he returned to the role that made him a star in the late 70's early 80's Called The Incredible Hulk Returns this time being a tv movie and its two sequels Trial of The Incredible Hulk and Death of The Incredible Hulk he would direct the latter two and also be reunited with his long time friend of the show Lou Ferrigno. In august of 1991 to 1992 Bixby hosted two Is Elvis Alive specials both from Las vagas.
Bixby made his last actin appearance in 1992, guest starring on an episode of Diagnosis: Murder. He finished his career directing 30 episodes of the NBC sitcom Blossom during seasons 1 and 2. Bill was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in 1991 and underwent treatment he was also divorced in that same year. In late 1992 Bil;l's friends introduced him to Judith Kilban. They would eventually marry in late 1993 6 weeks before Bill collapsed on the set of Blossom. Bixbt's cancer had recurred and was dianosed as terminal. On November 1993, six days after his final assignment on Blossom, He died of complications in Century City, California . Bill was 59 years old, His ashes are at Kilban's Maui estate.
In his fianl interview Bill's last words were 'Be good to your self, Because if your good to yourself you'll be kind to everyone els. i would like to see that before i die'
Thank You all for reading this. You can catch The incredible hulk on the american Netflix