After WWII he made his first trip to Hollywood. In 1946 he signed with MGM and changed his name to "Guy Williams." He worked mostly in commercials. When he signed another contract a few years later with Universal-International, he began appearing in supporting roles in several films, most famously as a police officer in I Was A Teen-Aged Werewolf (1957) with Michael Landon.
1957 was also the year Guy answered an open audition for Walt Disney Productions. They were producing a new television series, ZORRO, based on the swashbuckler who had appeared in two motion pictures starring Douglas Fairbanks and Tyrone Power. Guy got the part, not only because of his tall, dark, and handsome looks but also because he had fencing experience. Do you know or remember ZORRO? He's the guy dressed all in black who roams the border between California and Mexico fighting injustice, cutting his initial "Z" into various places around the villages he protects. You may have seen the more recent Antonio Banderas films.
After the series ended in 1961 Guy made a few films in Europe. Then in 1964 he thought he had gotten another big break, as he signed to co-star on one of the most popular television series of the time, BONANZA. Co-star Pernell Roberts had made his intention to leave clear, so the producers signed Guy to be the new "fourth lead." (The other leads were main star Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, and Guy's former co-star, Michael Landon.) After Guy had appeared a few times, however, Roberts decided to stay on, forcing the producers to let Guy go.
At the time that probably bothered him greatly. However, because he was not tied to BONANZA Guy was able to film a pilot for producer/director Irwin Allen. This series became LOST IN SPACE, which ran from 1965-1968. Guy played the patriarch, Professor John Robinson, co-starring with June Lockhart as his wife, Dr. Maureen Robinson.
After LOST IN SPACE ended Guy Williams retired from show business. During a visit to Argentina in 1973, Guy felt a strong attraction to the people and the culture. He moved there soon after, although he did make two final LOST IN SPACE inspired appearances in the US in 1983. One was on a celebrity episode of FAMILY FEUD and one was on an episode of GOOD MORNING AMERICA.
Happy Birthday, Guy Williams!
|from the opening credits of BONANZA|
|in the first season costume for LOST IN SPACE|
(with June Lockhart)
|in the second season costume|
|in a third season PR shot, with June Lockhart and Jonathan Harris|
|from their FAMILY FEUD appearance in 1983: |
Bob May (the Robot), Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, Guy, and June
Here's a preview to one of the best John Robinson-centric episodes of LOST IN SPACE,
"Hunter's Moon" from 1968.