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Bill Bixby

Bill Bixby left his home town for Hollywood to pursue an acting career — but in order to make his film debut, he ended up in Detroit, more than half a continent away from where he believed all actors get their start. Bill believes he learned more about his craft in Motor City, starring in industrial films, than he could have on the West Coast playing bit parts.

Bixby, a sixth generation San Franciscan, became interested in the theater while in high school, where he won numerous trophies for debating. As a student at San Francisco City College and later in pre-law at Berkeley, he continued to perform in student productions. Between terms, on vacations, he worked at and organized shows for a resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Bixby quit college four credits shy of a degree and entered the Army. While in service he decided on a professional acting career, allowing himself five years for the attempt and vowing to return to UCB and his law studies if he failed.

His first job in Hollywood was as a hotel desk clerk, later moving over to the pool as lifeguard and manager. One day at poolside Bixby was approached by a Detroit advertising executive and offered a commercial acting opportunity. He took it. In addition to the film work he posed for automobile advertisements and later made his stage debut in the Detroit Civic Theater's production of The Boy Friend. After four months he returned to Hollywood to study with a drama coach, and was seen in a workshop presentation by agent Paul Brandon who set him for his first television assignment, a Dobie Gillis segment.

Bixby followed his first job with assignments in the motion pictures Lonely Are The Brave and Irma La Douce and in television on The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show and the early comedy series, The Joey Bishop Show. He became a semi-regular with Bishop, and in 1963 began his co-starring role with Ray Walston in My Favorite Martian, which ran for three years. This was followed by his starring stint in the warm and humorous Courtship Of Eddie's Father, and one season in the title role of The Magician.

Bill believes strongly in stage appearances. He's been on Broadway in The Paisley Convertible, starred in a roadshow production of Sunday In New York, and toured with Come Blow Your Horn. When not occupied acting, Bixby directs television shows — everything from half-hour situation comedies to hour-long adventure programs. No stranger to feature films, he starred in Walt Disney's feature The Apple Dumpling Gang in the summer of 1975.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Bill Bixby Facts

Birth NameWilfred Bailey Bixby
BirthdayJanuary 22, 1934
BirthplaceSan Francisco, California, USA
Date of deathNovember 21, 1993 (age 59)
Height5' 9" (1m75)  How tall is Bill Bixby compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Incredible Hulk Returns
The Trial of the Incredible Hulk
Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series
Mannix: Season 1
The Incredible Hulk Returns / The Trial Of The Incredible Hulk
Bring Me the Head of the Hulk
Superheroes Collection
Sledge Hammer!
Baby of the Bride
Four-Film Collection
Continue » Find more details on the Bill Bixby Movies page