The massive biography of Zorro and Lost in Space star, Guy Williams. Author Antoinette Girgenti Lane's honest, loving account of Disney's dashing TV star contains the first ever detailed information on the man behind the legend!
Guy Williams - TV's "Zorro" was apparently "a walking paradox, masculine yet sensitive, firm yet gentle, conservative yet non-conformist, macho yet intellectual, simple yet complicated" according to Antoinette Girgenti Lane who has written the definitive biography of GUY WILLIAMS, THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK. Lane finds a man who was lucky but had major disappointments in life, but those gave him character and made him the person he was. For true insights into Guy's life and career, Lane worked for over 5 years with Williams' widow, and dozens of co-workers such as Dennis Weaver, Wright King, Britt Lomond, Don Diamond, Buddy Van Horn, Suzanne Lloyd and dozens more. Extremely detailed and well written with a definitive listing of Guy's stage, film and TV work. Over 500 pages with many personal rare photos.
- Western Clippings
Back in 1989, when I heard that Guy Williams had died alone in Argentina, I was shocked. His dead body was found a few days after his death. I wondered what the story was. I didn’t find it in the newspapers, and I’ve been curious for years. Now, finally, through diligent research, the full story is told in Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask by Antoinette Girgenti Lane ($29.95, BearManor Media softcover). Despite the cliched title, this really is a superlative biography on the popular star of Zorro and Lost in Space.
Author Lane traces his life from his childhood to his modeling days in New York to his early start at MGM, through his reign as Zorro, in foreign movies, Lost in Space, and his eventual retreat to Argentina.
Guy was a gorgeous man, with real presence as an actor, but movie stardom always eluded him. The reasons for this are made very clear by the author. Lane makes a real effort to show us the real Guy Williams, warts and all. Through some incredibly extensive interviews, including an especially perceptive one with his ex-wife, the author is able - in vivid detail - to show us an almost day-to-day insight into the man and artist. However, after reading this, I can’t honestly say that I like Guy Williams the man, but I admire the author for rising above hero worship, which she could have easily slipped into, considering what a babe Guy was, and painting an, at times, unflattering picture of her subject.
“One of my objectives in writing this book,” the author writes, “was to make the reader feel he had met him too." Guy had some predictable traits, but he was also a walking paradox: masculine yet sensitive, firm yet gentle, conservative yet nonconforming, macho yet intellectual, simple yet complicated. There is a slight tendency to go overboard with minutia, however, and a little trimming should have been in order. But, as I always say, I would rather have too much than too little.
The interviews, as I say, are really detailed and wonderful. Especially with the family; an element of trust is evident. They tell the author everything, confident that she will use it responsibly. She even talks with childhood friends. Guy’s sister sounds a little bitter, and her quotes are strangely nasty and conflict with some of what’s here. But I love them because they show another side, a different way of looking at Guy. A more smitten writer would have cut these tangents.
The Zorro section is especially well done. She really gets into the series, helped considerably by her interviews with the cast and the son of the show’s director, Norman Foster. There’s an excellent section on Walt Disney’s problems with ABC, and how it effected Guy’s life. And, never before published, Guy’s life in Argentina is exhaustively explained. And, thankfully, his death is no longer a mystery to me.
- Laura Wagner/Classic Images