Fans of Guy Williams will be thrilled by the prodigious research and this carefully crafted biography penned by author Antoinette Girgenti Lane. Lane conducted scores upon scores of personal interviews with the actor's wife, fellow actors, directors, producers, stuntmen, children, sibling, friends and virtually everyone who had significant contact with Williams. Lane's efforts in this regard are remarkable but this personal history is further augmented by the written record. Ms Lane quotes from a wealth of domestic and foreign newspaper articles and magazines. She has produced, in 500 well written pages, the essence of Guy Williams. This is an important work and a must have for any Guy Williams fan.
Williams had an up and down acting career. He appeared in several movies and starred as the father on the TV series "Lost in Space" but he achieved world wide fame for his earlier roll in "Zorro". With his European origin, athletic skills and dashing good looks he was a natural to play the swashbuckling Fox, the champion of the downtrodden, El Zorro.
The man had charm and joie de vie like many leading man of his day but we learn that Williams was not an empty suit. He preferred to read and had an undying love of knowledge for its own sake. He was a skilled sailor, a talented fencer, an amateur astronomer and lived with a quiet dignity. When his fortunes faded in Hollywood he complained to no one. When things were financially hard, he was still cheerful, generous and kind. In middle age his fame as Zorro soared anew as reruns of the series begain to air in South America and later in Japan.
I admit, prior to reading this book, I had no real interest in Williams. I picked it up because it had an interesting cover but after reading the author's introduction, I was hooked. I brought the book home that day and as I read those pages I came to like the man. Did he have faults? Of course; no one is without some blame. But in all the interviews not a single associate, including his ex-wife, had a harsh word for Williams. I liked his grace, his charm and his wit and so, apparently, did they.
No one spoke badly of Williams because he was a most considerate man and one of that all too rare breed, a complete gentleman. His attention to and kind treatment of a troubled young teenager gives the reader a glimpse at the nature of a man no one chooses to speak of badly. Guy Williams was Zorro and Lane lets us understand why.