Actor Van Williams died as a result of kidney failure in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 29 at the age of 82.
Williams is best known for his role as “The Green Hornet”; a show that also helped to launch the career of Bruce Lee. Williams admitted to being a fan of “The Green Hornet” as a child but never envisioned himself in the role. He was also concerned about being typecast with the role. Williams was the last surviving member of the short lived crime fighting superhero show.
Williams made his acting debut in 1954 in the film “King Richard II” as Exton’s servant. From there he went on to appear in over 40 productions including “Colt .45”, Kenny Madison in 37 episodes of “Bourbon Street Beat” and 69 episodes of “Surfside 6”, “Cheyenne”, “77Sunset Strip”, 32 episodes of “The Tycoon”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Batman” as the Green Hornet, “The Big Valley”, “Mannix”, “Love, American Style”, “Ironside”, “Mission: Impossible”, “Gunsmoke”, 13 episodes of “Westwind”, “The Streets of San Francisco”, “Barnaby Jones”, Captain MacAllister in “How the West was Won”, “Centennial”, “The Rockford Files” and his final role as “The Green Hornet” director in the film “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”.
He was born Vanzandt Jarvis Williams on February 27, 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas the son of a cattle rancher where Van grew up a real life cowboy and rodeo performer. Prior to becoming an actor Williams graduated from Texas Christian University and was a diving instructor in Hawaii.
After retiring from acting, Williams went on to run a communications company and a reserve deputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
He is survived by his second wife of over 50 years Vicki; children Nina, Tia, Britt, Lisa, and Lynn; and several grandchildren.
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