biography

Born Armand Catalano in New York on January 14, 1924, Guy Williams 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 product ads 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 in 1948. 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.

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Universal shots of Williams, circa 1952

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 while building his TV resume on such series as The Lone Ranger and Highway Patrol. 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).

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LEFT and CENTER: Guy Williams in the late 1950s. RIGHT: With June Lockhart in a 1966 photo

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. With the exception of The Prince and the Pauper (1962), Williams had worked very little for two years, and he asked to be let out of the contract. He then headed for Europe and made a couple of films.

the films of guy williams

Zorro (1957-1959 ABC TV Series)

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LEFT and CENTER: Guy Williams as Zorro. RIGHT: With Henry Calvin and Lisa Gaye in a January 2, 1958 episode of ABC's Zorro titled The Fall of Monastario

Damon and Pythias (1962)

Guy Williams and Liana OrfeiGuy Williams and Don Burnett

Williams stars in the MGM adventure Damon and Pythias, shot in Rome. LEFT: With Liana Orfei. RIGHT: With Don Burnett as Pythias

Captain Sindbad (1963)

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Williams as the title character in Captain Sindbad. Shot in Germany in early 1963, this film borrows heavily from Williams' Zorro persona. To avoid rights issues, producers added a "D" to the title, but the film follows the conventions of a Sinbad tale

Lost in Space (1965-1968 CBS TV Series)

Guy WilliamsGuy Williams and June Lockhart

Lost in Space cast photo. From left to right: Jonathan Harris, Angela Cartwright, Mark Goddard, June Lockhart, Billy Mumy, Williams, and Marta Kristen

later years

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.

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Please note: As of this writing, this title is not available on DVD.

filmography

FILM
Captain Sindbad (1963) with Pedro Armendariz
The Prince and the Pauper (1962) with Jane Asher
Damon and Pythias (1962) with Liana Orfei
Zorro, the Avenger (1960)
The Sign of Zorro (1958)
I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) with Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, and Whit Bissell
The Last Frontier (1955) with Guy Madison, Victor Mature, and Anne Bancroft
Sincerely Yours (1955) with Liberace, Joanne Dru, Dorothy Malone, Lori Nelson, and Alex Nicol
Seven Angry Men (1955) with Jeffrey Hunter, Debra Paget, John Lupton, and Raymond Massey
Take Me to Town (1953) with Sterling Hayden and Ann Sheridan
The Man from the Alamo (1953) with Julie Adams and Glenn Ford
The Golden Blade (1953) with Rock Hudson and Piper Laurie
The Mississippi Gambler (1953) with Julie Adams, Tyrone Power, and Piper Laurie
Bonzo Goes to College (1952) with Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Drake, Edmund Gwenn, and Irene Ryan

TELEVISION SERIES
Lost in Space, 1965-1968 CBS TV Series. Williams portrayed Professor John Robinson
Bonanza, 1959-1973 NBC TV series. Williams portrayed Will Cartwright during the 1964 season
Zorro, 1957-1959 ABC TV Series. Williams portrayed Don Diego de la Vega, aka Zorro

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, episode The Generous Hobo, originally aired January 2, 1958
Men of Annapolis, episode Crucial Moment, originally aired November 21, 1957
Code 3, episode Bail Out, originally aired November 5, 1957
Men of Annapolis, episode Seawall, originally aired October 24, 1957
Highway Patrol, episode Officer's Wife, originally aired April 5, 1957
State Trooper, episode No Fancy Cowboys, originally aired March 13, 1957
Cavalcade of America, episode Decision for a Hero, originally aired February 12, 1957
Crossroads, episode The Comeback, originally aired October 5, 1956
Highway Patrol, episode Runaway Boy, originally aired May 28, 1956
Highway Patrol, episode Plane Crash, originally aired March 1, 1956
Cameo Theatre, episode Bending of the Bough, originally aired July 17, 1955
The Lone Ranger, episode Six-Gun Artist, originally aired June 30, 1955
Damon Runyon Theater, episode Big Shoulders, originally aired June 25, 1955
Four Star Playhouse, episode Trudy, originally aired May 26, 1955
The Mickey Rooney Show, episode The Average Man, originally aired February 26, 1955
The Mickey Rooney Show, episode Seven Days to Doom, originally aired February 5, 1955
Studio One, episode The Paris Feeling, originally aired December 31, 1951

guy williams links

The Offical Guy Williams Family Page
Run by Guy Williams Jr., this website honors his famous father.

The Guy Williams WebShrine
A nice fansite devoted to Guy Williams, mostly devoted to his role as Zorro.

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Watch the trailer for Guy Williams' 1962 adventure Damon and Pythias
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This page premiered February 20, 2002.
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