Guy Williams - Rotten Tomatoes

Guy Williams



Guy Williams never became a movie star despite his good looks and a charismatic screen presence, but on television he was a star twice over, in the 1960s as Professor John Robinson on the Irwin Allen-produced series Lost in Space and, for those with longer memories, in the title role of the Walt Disney-produced series Zorro; he also cut a memorable presence in a series of episodes of Bonanza during the early '60s, as a cousin of the Cartwrights from south of the border. Born Armando Catalano in New York City, he was the son of one of Italy's champion swordsmen, and he was an expert fencer himself by the time he was in his teens. His good looks made him a natural as a model, and he appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines during the early to mid-'40s. In 1946, at the age of 23, he was signed to MGM, but the studio's declining postwar period proved a dead end of tiny bit roles that went nowhere. He studied acting with Sanford Meisner and was serious about being more than a model who could read lines, but it wasn't until the 1950s that he got his chance. In 1952, Williams was signed to Universal-International, where he finally began getting some respectable screen time, once he got past his initial Universal appearance, in Bonzo Goes to College and a thankless role in Nathan Juran's swashbuckler The Golden Blade. In The Mississippi Gambler (1953), The Man From the Alamo (1953), and The Last Frontier (1956), Williams played small to medium-sized supporting roles that showed him off to good advantage as an actor. His career seems to have stalled at the point where he appeared in American International Pictures' release of I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957). In 1957, however, Williams became a star on television when he was chosen to play the title role in the Disney television series Zorro. It was only in production for two seasons, but Disney's perpetual presence on television brought Williams' dashing heroic figure into households for years after the initial run had ended. Williams was subsequently pegged by the producers of Bonanza as a potential replacement for Pernell Roberts in the series, and he was tried out in the role as the Mexican-born cousin of the Cartwrights across numerous episodes. In 1963, he also starred in the German-made international film Captain Sinbad, directed by American adventure film specialist Byron Haskin. In 1964, Williams was cast in the most familiar role of his career, as Professor John Robinson on the series Lost in Space (1965-1968); although he was a co-star with June Lockhart, he came to be partly overshadowed by Billy Mumy and Jonathan Harris in the story lines. Nevertheless, he provided a firm dramatic anchor for the series. As with most of the cast of Lost in Space, work was relatively hard to come by once it was canceled, but Williams evidently had no worries about money, having done well in his own investments and various business ventures. He also discovered on a visit to South America that he was very much a pop culture hero in most of Latin America, where Zorro had been an enormous success on television and was seemingly being rerun in perpetuity. He moved to Buenos Aires, enjoying a very comfortable retirement from the mid-'70s, and died of a heart attack there in 1989.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Captain Sinbad
  • Capt. Sinbad
1963
No Score Yet The Prince and the Pauper
  • Miles Hendon
1962
No Score Yet The Sign of Zorro
  • Don Diego de la Vega/Zorro
1960
No Score Yet Zorro, the Avenger
  • Actor
1959
40% I Was a Teenage Werewolf
  • Chris Stanley
1957
No Score Yet The Last Frontier
  • Lt. Benton
1955
No Score Yet Sincerely Yours
  • Dick Cosgrove
1955
No Score Yet The Mississippi Gambler
  • Andre
1953
100% Man from the Alamo
  • Sergeant
1953
100% All I Desire
  • Ticket Taker
1953
No Score Yet Take Me to Town
  • Hero
1953
No Score Yet The Golden Blade
  • Town Crier
1953

Quotes from Guy Williams' Characters

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