Van Williams, who portrayed the masked crime-fighter The Green Hornet in a memorable but short-lived companion TV series to the Adam West Batman series, has died. He was 82.
Also known for his roles in Bourbon Street Beat and Surfside 6, Williams passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 29th.
In The Green Hornet, a television show based off the 1930's radio serial, Williams played playboy editor and publisher Britt Reid, who inherited The Daily Sentinel newspaper from his father, who died in jail after being framed for a crime he did not commit.
Williams starred alongside famed martial-arts expert Bruce Lee, who played Reid's manservant Kato. The character was known for driving Reid around in a gadget-packed Chrysler Imperial known as the Black Beauty.
The Green Hornet first hit the small screen in September 1966. It lasted a mere 26 episodes before leaving the air in March 1967. Before its cancellation, both Williams and Lee made a cameo appearance in a two-part crossover episode with Batman.
"When I was a kid I had actually been a fan of The Green Hornet when it was on the radio and in those serials at the theater, but I didn’t know if I wanted to star in a TV series like that," Williams told interviewer Michael Barnum. "It was very similar to Adam West’s show … and seemed like something that would probably be the kiss of death to my career. You do that type of show and become so identified with it, like Superman’s George Reeves was, and you can never get away from it. But, my agency, William Morris, really wanted me to do The Green Hornet, so that is what I did."
Williams retired from acting in 1982, and it is said he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the 2011 big screen reboot of The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogan.
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Mr. Williams, including his dear wife of 57 years, Vicki, during this difficult time.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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