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B Entries
Barbara Bain
Gene Barry
Wesley E. Barry
Paul Birch
Whit Bissell
Bill Bixby
Jerome Bixby
Chesley Bonestell
Peter Boyle
Ray Bradbury
Adrien Brody
Mel Brooks
Raymond Burr
Tim Burton
David Butler
 
BIXBY, BILL
(1934–1992). American actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" (1963), episode of The Twilight Zone; My Favorite Martian (tv series) (1963-65); "The Ghost Hunter" (1968), episode of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; "Last Rites for a Dead Druid," "The Return of the Sorcerer" (1972), episodes of Night Gallery; The Magician (tv movie) (1973); The Magician (tv series) (1973); Three Faces of Love (1973); The Incredible Hulk (tv movie) (Kenneth JOHNSON 1977); Fantasy Island (tv movie) (Richard Lang 1977); "No Way Out" (1977), episode of Tales of the Unexpected; Return of the Incredible Hulk (tv movie) (Alan J. Levi 1977); Bride of the Incredible Hulk (tv movie) (Johnson 1978); The Incredible Hulk (tv series) (1978-81); "Hammer Hits the Rock" (1987), episode of Sledge Hammer; The Incredible Hulk Returns (and co-produced) (tv movie) (1988).

Directed and acted in: "Bring Me the Head of the Hulk" (1981), episode of The Incredible Hulk; Trial of the Incredible Hulk (and co-produced) (tv movie) (1989); Death of the Incredible Hulk (tv movie) (1990).

 
Who would have imagined that the likeable young man who played straight man to Ray WALSTON's My Favorite Martian in that awful comedy series would later perform so persuasively as David Banner, the tormented scientist who is periodically transformed into The Incredible Hulk? Yet it may not have been as incongruous as it seems. There were always rumors in the Hollywood community that Bixby was actually a rather mean person, evidenced when, after publicly befriending his young co-star while The Courtship of Eddie's Father was in production and generating tons of schmatzy publicity for the series, he proceeded to drop the kid like a hot potato the day the series was cancelled. Perhaps Bixby happily seized upon the role of a seemingly pleasant man who conceals a raging, amoral demon within; and I am sure that, with the proper makeup, he could have also portrayed the Hulk just as well as muscleman Lou Ferrigno.

The Incredible Hulk was trapped in television's "Family Hour" during a period of great concern over excessive violence, so that the series could never achieve its potential impact; I recall one episode, for example, where the change into the Hulk was implausibly triggered by an obdurate telephone operator. But Bixby was painfully convincing as the lonely, distant drifter with a desperate secret in his eyes. Afterwards, he tried to return to niceness in the lame comedy Goodnight, Beantown, but perhaps, after his performance as Banner, he could never play such a role effectively again. He then starred in in three Hulk movies, directing the last two, and was working exclusively as a television director when he died in 1993.

Bixby's other ventures near the genre, aside from inane guest appearances on Fantasy Island, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Sledge Hammer, came in episodes of The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and Tales of the Unexpected. He also portrayed a crime-solving stage magician in the short-lived series The Magician, undoubtedly, Bill Bixby could relate to playing a master of illusion.

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