Bixby was a bit of a trouble maker in school and once got kicked out of a Catholic school for shooting the Bishop with a slingshot. In one of the schools he attended he met Lee Meriwether who also became an actor and of course became Miss America. He attended the prestigious University of California Berkley but dropped out with four credits left, making his parents livid. He ended being drafted into the Marine Corp (I’m sure he wished he hadn’t quit school).
After the military he moved to Hollywood to pursue acting, where he had a string of odd jobs that included being a bellhop and lifeguard. He was then hired to work as a model and star in commercials for General Motors and Chrysler.
While doing a local play he was spotted by an agent who got him on television shows like Fantasy Island, Ironside, The Love Boat, The Andy Griffith Show, The Twilight Zone, and Rich Man Poor Mann. Bill did a couple of Elvis Pressley movies and was cast opposite Marlo Thomas in That Girl but ended up turning down the role. He also co-starred in the comedy: The Apple Dumpling Gang with Don Knotts and Tim Conway. His claim to fame came, as far as the roles most people remembered him for, were on My Favorite Martian (1960’s) and The Incredible Hulk (1970’s).
Besides his own troubles in dealing with cancer he dealt with a lot of tragedy like the loss of his six year-old son Christopher (his only child), from a rare throat infection and then his ex-wife (Christopher’s mother), committed suicide one year after their son died.
I mentioned at the beginning that he was a busy actor as he ended up in 64 different television shows and seven movies. Like Michael Landon, Mr. Bixby had a great reputation. He wasn’t the partying Hollywood type and was instead down to earth and a popular participant on a variety of game shows like “Password” and “The Hollywood Squares.” He was a good man and like a lot of good men, we lost him way too early.