Updated: June 12, 2022
GUY WILLIAMS PHOTO GALLERY #08
An exceptionally handsome and charismatic performer with a sexy baritone voice, Guy Williams
was born Armand Joseph Catalano (nicknamed "Armando" by his family) of Italian parentage in
New York City on January 14, 1924. The elder child of an insurance broker (he had a younger
sister, Valerie), he was raised in the Washington Heights area. Attending Peekskill Military
Academy during his formative years, he originally broke into the entertainment field as a
male fashion model. Guy subsequently joined New York's Neighborhood Playhouse, which led to
such TV assignments as Studio One in Hollywood (1948), and he debuted in films with a
featured role as a pilot in the The Beginning or the End (1947), the story about the first
US-deployed atom bomb.
In 1952 he was given a screen test and signed by Universal Pictures. As tall, dark and athletic
(6'3", 190 lb.) in Hollywood nearly always fits the bill, the highly photogenic Williams began
paying his dues in unbilled bits in such standard movies as Back at the Front (1952), All I Desire
(1953), The Golden Blade (1953) and Take Me to Town (1953). When he did manage to receive billing,
he was rather benignly used: Bonzo Goes to College (1952) (sequel to Ronald Reagan's cult classic
Bedtime for Bonzo (1951)), The Mississippi Gambler (1953) with Tyrone Power and The Man from the
Alamo (1953) with Glenn Ford.
Guy eventually left Universal and freelanced in films, which would include a minor role as a cop in
the cult horror classic I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) starring Michael Landon, and also added
scattered TV appearances (Highway Patrol (1955), The Lone Ranger (1949)) to his resumé. Nothing,
however, of major significance happened until Walt Disney came into the picture. His signing at age
33 to play Don Diego de la Vega, aka Zorro (1957), thrust Guy immediately into the celebrity limelight.
His dashing good looks, eloquence and charm had female hearts fluttering, while the male audiences
admired his fencing dexterity and effortless ladies'-man appeal. The Disney series was so popular that
certain episodes were culled together and released into two feature films: The Sign of Zorro (1958)
and Zorro, the Avenger (1959).
Further propelled by Disney with his captivating role in Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: The
Prince and the Pauper: The Pauper King (1962), Guy was handed fully-bearded heroes to play in a
couple of fantasy film adventuresj, portraying Damon in the costumer Damon and Pythias (1962) a/k/a
"Damon and Pythias", and the title role in Captain Sindbad (1963), an MGM attraction. In 1964 he
reunited with "Teen Werewolf" Michael Landon when he arrived on the Bonanza (1959) set to play cousin
Will Cartwright for a few episodes.
The cult sci-fi series Lost in Space (1965) would be Guy's last hurrah in show business. Although
overshadowed extensively by the nefariously campy antics of Jonathan Harris' Dr. Smith character, Guy
nevertheless provided a necessary strong anchor to the family show, which included June Lockhart as
the silver-suited wife and mother of his three intergalactic offspring. Battling aliens and the forces
of nature, the show's popularity went stratospheric at first. However, much like Batman (1966), it faded
very quickly and ended up having a short life three seasons.
When Guy first visited Argentina in 1973 he was quite taken by the signs of admiration and fascination the
Argentines expressed for him and his signature character of "El Zorro." In turn Guy fell in love with the
people and culture of Argentina. Eventually he retired, except for personal appearances, to Recoleta in the
1970s, an upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires. He died there of a brain aneurysm at the age of 65 on
May 7, 1989. Long married (since 1948) to Janice Cooper, he was survived by their two children.