5 great Bill Bixby roles that weren't The Incredible Hulk

My Favorite Martian? More like Our Favorite Guest Star!

To some of us, he's Dr. David Banner — physician, scientist — searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now, when David Banner grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs. He becomes — The Incredible Hulk!

To others, he'll forever be Tim O'Hara on My Favorite Martian, the eternally put-upon everyman with an Uncle Martin who's less of an uncle and more of a Martian. 

But Bill Bixby had one monster of a career outside of The Incredible Hulk. He was in loads of TV shows! 

Here's a glimpse at some of our favorite roles from the My Favorite Martian actor. He had an incredible career! 

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1. The Andy Griffith Show - "Bailey's Bad Boy"

In the 15th episode of The Andy Griffith Show's second season, Bill Bixby plays Ronald Bailey, the spoiled son of a wealthy businessman. After he sideswipes Farmer Fletch's truck, Ron is arrested and learns a thing or two from Sheriff Taylor. Bixby was 28 at the time, even though the character is 19!

2. The Twilight Zone - "The Thirty-Fathom Grave"

In this Rod Serling-penned episode of The Twilight Zone, Bill Bixby plays a sailor aboard a U.S. Destroyer. Things may not be all that they seem when the crew gets a signal from a long-abandoned submarine. That thing hasn't moved since World War II!

3. Barnaby Jones - "To Denise, With Love and Murder"

MURDER! This episode sees Barnaby Jones investigating the case of a missing woman. Her husband, Bill Bixby, just murdered his mistress. So, this one proves Bixby can play the bad guy, too!

4. Mannix - The Empty Tower

Bixby must've impressed producer Quinn Martin. Just two years after appearing on QM Productions' Barnaby Jones, here's Bill Bixby in an episode of Mannix. This time, Bixby's a good guy again, playing Mannix's buddy Tony Elliott, whose office is being burgled!

5. The Love Boat - "Message for Maureen"

Who wasn't in The Love Boat?! That vessel set everybody on a course for adventure! Bill Bixby is sportswriter John Ballard, who just tarnished the career of tennis pro Maureen Mitchell. And here they both are, on this boat!

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frances3agape 6 days ago
REELZ channel has a series AUTOPSY: THE LAST HOURS OF...” Bixby’s was in 2020. He WAS a great guy/actor/director/producer.
I got teary-eyed when I saw it - sad experiences in his life and early cancer death.
NOTE: the series does NOT have gross stuff. It is really about their life history, lifestyles and what may have contributed to their illnesses/demise.
It's been on about a dozen years and is highly recommended for fans of the deceased subjects.
Mike 10 days ago
For the record:
Mannix WASN'T a Quinn Martin Production; Bruce Geller produced it, alongside Mission: Impossible.
On the other hand, Bill Bixby did appear on QM's Streets Of San Francisco at least twice, playing very bad guys indeed ...
Pacificsun 11 days ago
Well he's not exactly a good guy in Mannix.
Rick Pacificsun 10 days ago
Yeah, somebody didn't watch the whole episode.
Mannixishot Pacificsun 9 days ago
That's what I was thinking. It was quite a twist. Don't want to give it away. It's such an excellent episode and deserves a watch.
JERRY6 11 days ago
left out the Magician
daDoctah JERRY6 11 days ago
Also The Joey Bishop Show. Joey was always re-tooling his sitcom, even to the extent of changing his own character's name, and Bixby was briefly his boss's nephew throwing his weight around, before replacing his uncle and becoming the actual boss himself (and softening somewhat in the process).

And then there was Goodnight Beantown.
JERRY6 11 days ago
he was not a good guy on Mannix he was in on the robbery
raddad 11 days ago
I think my favorite of his roles was as an airman in Lonely Are The Brave. There were several of great performances in that movie by an equally great cast.
Pctaves 11 days ago
No Courtship of Eddie's Father???!!!! That was THE best by far. Can't believe you didn't mention it.
justjeff Pctaves 11 days ago
He also co-starred with Mariette Hartley in "Good Night Beantown"...
KJExpress Pctaves 11 days ago
I was thinking the same thing.
McGillahooala Pctaves 11 days ago
Why doesn’t MeTV ever show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father?
Not sure who currently owns the broadcast rights, (possibly Warner Bros.?) for the series, but that's probably one of the reasons it's not shown on MeTV.
Mannixishot Pctaves 9 days ago
Probably because it's such a "lost" show. I live in Georgia and a Georgia station used to play Courtship as filler...believe the channel was called Turner South. It'd play the late night hours. I'm not sure if it's ever been rerun on a regular channel.
BrittReid 11 days ago
He was also on COMBAT and was very good there.
CoreyC 11 days ago
Bill Bixby was so underrated.
Mannixishot CoreyC 9 days ago
He was. And usually I don't blow smoke up the butt's of celebrities but I think Bill Bixby was a genuinely nice celebrity. I know there's probably a lot of celebs that have that "veneer" of being nice while being a nightmare behind the scenes. Bill's been dead for a long time and people could've easily came forward by now to talk about him being a jerk. I just wish the guy had a happier life. He got dealt a lot of cruel blows. :(
WordsmithWorks 11 days ago
Courtship and especially Andy Griffith. Bixby at his best. The Magician, too.
Cougar90 WordsmithWorks 11 days ago
He was nominated for Best Actor Emmy for "Courtship".
DocForbin 11 days ago
Let's not forget he also played the title character in "The Magician" and directed a lot of episodes of "Blossom" as well (along with the final episode of "Bridget Loves Bernie" and a few episodes of "Sledge Hammer!").
MrsPhilHarris DocForbin 11 days ago
Magician is a show METV should air. Maybe on Sunday nights at 8 pm rotating with a few other shows such as Columbo and Perry Mason or a few of those shows that are airing after midnight.
Pacificsun DocForbin 11 days ago
He's been directing Mannix lately too, up to the finale (Season 8).
LoveMETV22 11 days ago
Enjoyed him as Tom Corbett on " The Courtship of Eddie's Father.":

Did enjoy his other roles as well though.
Bapa1 11 days ago
The Magician, One or Two Elvis movies, Courtship of Eddie's Father, plus all his directorial work.
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