BILL BIXBY BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Bill Bixby was born on January 22nd, 1934 in San Francisco, California with the birth name Wilfred Bailey Everett Bixby III. His father was a department store owner and he was an only child. As a youngster he took up ballroom dancing and when he attended Lowell High School he developed an interest in drama. Upon completing High School he signed on to the Marine Corps and served until he was discharged on April 8th, 1957.
He then attended college at San Francisco College where he majored in drama. He then transferred to the University of California Berkeley and majored in pre law. Before he graduated from college he decided he really wanted to follow his dreams and pursue a career in the arts and therefore relocated to Los Angeles.
He found work as a lifeguard and bellhop while trying to get in to the entertainment industry. After two long years, he was noticed by two executives who were able to find him modeling and commercial work in Detroit, Michigan. While living in Detroit he also found stage work, being cast with the Detroit Civic Theatre Company making his stage debut in a musical, "The Boy Friend". Along with his commercial, stage and modeling work he also managed to finally get a number of television roles.
His first television debut was on the show, "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (1959) starring Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver and Tuesday Weld, followed by another notable role in, "The Joey Bishop Show" (1961). Bill soon became a well known actor when he got a recurring role in the television show, "My Favorite Martian" (1963) co-starring Ray Walston, which lasted three seasons.
This television show opened some doors for him and finally he was able to get into the film industry. His first roles major were on, "Ride Beyond Vengeance" (1966), "You've Got to Be Kidding" (1967), then "Clambake" (1967) and "Speedway" (1968) starring Elvis Presley.
Bixby then returned back to working as a television actor appearing on, "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1969) which was based on a movie. This show was even more popular then his first major television show and he also was given the opportunity to direct an episode. He even earned an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor, however by season three ABC cancelled the show due to poor scripts.
This did not hurt his career in the least as another television role was soon offered to him on the NBC series, "The Magician" (1973), however after one season due to the high expensive of this show, the series was cancelled.
It was proven though that as one door closed for him, another opened and he returned back to working on the big screen again appearing in, "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975). He then did a pilot for a show called, "The Incredible Hulk" (1977) which a couple months later was picked up and made into a dramatic series called, "The Incredible Hulk" (1978) which became the number one series on television at that time. The show was cancelled in 1981, but nothing was stopping him as he returned back to his interest in directing and producing. He directed his final sitcom called, "Goodnight, Beantown" in 1983.
Bixby then focused on film directing. He worked on such films as, "Wizards and Warriors" (1983) and "Sledge Hammer" (1986). He also brought back his role of David Banner from, "The Incredible Hulk" by acting, producing and directing three made for television movies, "The Incredible Hulk Returns" (1988), "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" (1989) and "The Death of the Incredible Hulk" (1990). He also directed two other television movies, "Baby of the Bride" (1991) and "Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind" (1991)
In 1991, Bixby was diagnosed with prostate cancer but decided that he was not going to stop working in the industry. He continued to act and even took on another directing project for the NBC sitcom, "Blossom" (1990). He thought his cancer had gone into remission and therefore hid his disease from the cast and crew of the show who hired him on as the fulltime director. When it was known that he was suffering from prostate cancer he made a public announcement that he would continue to work until he was no longer physically able to do so.
His final directing project was a television movie called, "The Woman Who Loved Elvis" (1993). Sadly, on November 21st, 1993 he passed away in Century City, California after his long fight with the cancer.
Bill Bixby had married a total of three times throughout his lifetime. His first marriage was to Brenda Benet on July 4th, 1971 and they had one child before ending the marriage in 1979. Sadly his six year old son passed away from a rare infection and a year later his first wife took her own life. His second marriage was to Laura Jane Michael on December 18th, 1991 but this only lasted one year. His third and final time to marry was to Judith Kliban on October 3rd, 1993 and one month later he lost his life.
Bixby was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii and California.
1992 Diagnosis Murder
1990 An American Story
1990 The Death of the Incredible Hulk
1989 The Trial of the Incredible Hulk
1988 The Incredible Hulk Returns
1987 Sledge Hammer!
1987 J.J. Starbuck
1986 True Confessions
1986 Sin of Innocence
1985 International Airport
1983-1984 Goodnight, Beantown
1983 Against the Odds
1982 I've Had It Up to Here
1977-1982 The Incredible Hulk
1982 The Book of Lists
1982 Murder Is Easy
1981 The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People
1979 The Hanna-Barbera Hall of Fame: Yabba Dabba Doo II
1978 Once Upon a Classic
1977 The Oregon Trail
1977 The Incredible Hulk: Death in the Family
1977 The Incredible Hulk
1977 The Love Boat
1977 Black Market Baby
1977 Tales of the Unexpected
1977 Fantasy Island
1976 The Great Houdini
1976 The Invasion of Johnson County
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man
1974-1976 The Streets of San Francisco
1975 The Apple Dumpling Gang
1975 Barbary Coast
1974 Rex Harrison Presents Stories of Love
1973-1974 The Magician
1974 Family Theatre: Married Is Better
1973 Barnaby Jones
1972 Medical Center
1972 The Couple Takes a Wife
1969-1972 Love, American Style
1972 Rod Serling's Night Gallery
1969-1972 The Courtship of Eddie's Father
1971 Congratulations, It's a Boy!
1971 Big Fish, Little Fish
1968 The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
1968 It Takes a Thief
1968 The Danny Thomas Hour
1967 That Girl
1967 Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding!
1967 The Iron Horse
1963-1966 My Favorite Martian
1966 Ride Beyond Vengeance
1963 Under the Yum Yum Tree
1963 The Lieutenant
1963 Irma la Douce
1962-1963 Dr. Kildare
1963 The Eleventh Hour
1963 Twilight Zone
1962 The Joey Bishop Show
1962 Alcoa Premiere
1962 Lonely Are the Brave
1962 The Andy Griffith Show
1961 Bachelor Father
1961 Ben Casey
1961 The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis