Who's Bill Bixby?
Wilfred Bailey Bixby (1934 - 1993) was an American actor/director/producer, most known for his kind and compassionate portrayal of the character David Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk.
Other well-known performances of his consist of The Magician, My Favorite Martian, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
What Bill Bixby meant to me.
He's more than just one of my favorite actors. And while I didn't personally know him nor did I even meet him, he had quite an impact on me. I'm apart of a generation of kids who grew up on television, a generation in which neglectful and divorced parents was the norm. And not as common, but not completely rare either, even though my early childhood was mostly idyllic, my parents were abusive throughout different points in my life, both mentally and physically at times. Sometimes they were drunk or high. Sometimes they were just wallowing in their own misery.
Without needing to go into detail, it's safe to say that my parents were not role models, people to learn life lessons or morals from, except in the sense of knowing what not to do. Regardless, I respected my parents for putting a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. But there are certain aspects of parenting and nurturing that they simply did not possess. Whatever the case, the reality was that I was mostly a lonely child that spent a lot of time alone, which I actually appreciate because it made me very strong and independant. With the aid of the escapism that is television and my own imagination, I essentially raised myself.
Specifically, I have very strong nostalgia and fondness of my childhood memories of watching The Incredible Hulk. Strangely enough, I was more interested in the show when it was just David (played by Bixby), "The Lonely Man", traveling from one place to another trying to make his way than the "hulk out" moments. A person's character is comprised of many things and life events, but Bill Bixby had a strong influence on that. As a child, even the kindness and compassion of a fictional character can make its impression. But, it's clear that there was a lot of Bill in the character.
Some of Bill Bixby's last words as seen in the video below were:
"I would hope that I have left behind something that would leave good will... and then my life will have been worth something."
Without a doubt, Bill Bixby has left his impression on me, made my character stronger and shown me virtues of selflessness, loyalty, and integrity to name a few, that I might not have learned elsewhere soon enough for a young developing mind. And I'm sure he has touched the lives of countless others.
Bill Bixby suffered many tragedies in his own personal life, and from this can come weakness or strength. And we know what characteristic Mr. Bixby had.