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- Who is your favorite Bonanza character?: Adam
- Location: Long Island, NY
Born - January 14th 1924
Date of Death - April 30th 1989
Spouse - Janice Cooper (divorced) 2 children
Guy Williams was born Armand Catalano in New York on January 14, 1924, He attended Peekskill Military High School but had little interest in his studies. Wanting to be an actor, his good looks and 6'3" frame helped him land work as a model in the 1940s. His photographs appeared in a number of ads for products in magazines such as Harper's Bazaar. When he wasn't on a modeling assignment, Williams studied drama. He met fellow model Janice Cooper while on a shoot, and the couple married a short time later. With the rise of television, Williams began doing television commercials in New York in the late 1940s, and in the early 1950s, he moved to Hollywood and was put under contract by Universal.
After a year at Universal, Williams had appeared in only a few films, including Bonzo Goes to College (1952; with Maureen O'Sullivan and Charles Drake) and The Man from the Alamo (1953; with Glenn Ford and Julie Adams). In 1953, he left Universal and freelanced, working in films for Allied Artists and Warner Brothers, and building his TV resume.
In 1957, Disney executives who were casting for the proposed Zorro TV series spotted Williams in a small role in the American International release I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957; with Whit Bissell and Michael Landon). Williams was put under contract by Disney and began shooting episodes of the series. The series lasted from 1957 through 1959, and two films---actually edited episodes of the series--were released: The Sign of Zorro (1958) and Zorro, the Avenger (1960). Although the series was very popular, a dispute between Disney and ABC forced the series off the air. Disney kept Williams under contract through 1961, in case the dispute was resolved.
Guy was handed fully-bearded heroes to play in a couple of fantasy film adventures. He portrayed Damon in the costumer Damon and Pythias (1962) With the exception of The Prince and the Pauper (1962), Williams had little work for two years, and therefore he asked to be let out of the contract. he then headed for Europe and made a couple of films.
Guy Williams appeared in several episodes of “Bonanza” playing Will Cartwright.
The cult sci-fi series "Lost in Space" (1965) would be Guy's last hurrah in show business. Although overshadowed extensively by the nefariously campy antics of Jonathan Harris' Dr. Smith character, Guy nevertheless provided a strong anchor to the family show, which included June Lockhart as the silver-suited wife and mother of his three intergalactic offspring. Battling aliens and the forces of nature, the show's popularity went stratospheric at first. However, much like "Batman" (1966), it faded very quickly and ended up having a short life--three seasons.
After Lost in Space left the air in 1968, Guy Williams decided to retire from acting and pursue other interests. After a 1973 trip to Argentina, Williams fell in love with the country and lived there from time to time. On April 30, 1989, Williams was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of natural causes. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.
An avid fencer (obviously) and chess player, he also played the guitar, was a wonderful cook and was an expert on tropical fish.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Guy Williams Bio by nyspats
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