Bill Bixby’s Quotes

 On Directing:


"I would work ‘The Danny Thomas Show’--then I would go over and do ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘The Joey Bishop Show’…and I would sit up in the balcony, watching the rehearsals of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and that’s one of the inspirations for my having become a director, was watching that show and how it was put together."


ABC-TV Press Release Dec 7, 1970

Why does a series star with a 12 to 15 hour work day want to take on the job of directing?

Bill Bixby, who directed the "Gifts Are For Giving" episode of the ABC Television network’s The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (to air Wed. Dec 23, 1970) has some personal answers.

"I think every actor wonders if he can pull it off," he said. "It’s there, like Everest to a mountain climber. The big job. It’s the director who tells the story. He makes the thousand decisions regarding acting, camera angles, lighting, tempo, emphasis—all the elements that make the final impact.

"I’m grateful to our producer Jimmie Komack, for giving me the chance.

"For five days, while acting in another episode, I stole every minute I could, plus evenings, preparing. Fascinating. I was too busy to be nervous about it. Then, just before filming the first scene, the sky fell down. I thought, ‘I’ve got a monster on my hands. Here are 65 people, waiting for me to open my mouth.’

Bixby found that the panic didn’t last long. "The cast and crew showed they were solidly behind me and did their jobs superbly."

He laughed. "But I had to bawl out one actor—me. I was all set to direct Miyoshi (Umeko) and Brandon (Cruz) and myself in a scene, and suddenly realized I’d been so intent on directing that I had forgotten to learn my lines."

Bixby has seen the finished episode twice. "The first time I was numb; I couldn’t evaluate. The second time I could see it more objectively. A couple of minor regrets, but in all, I felt, I had brought out the story. We have a high standard on "Courtship" and I don’t think I diminished it."

Bixby is eager to direct more episodes and Komack, pleased by the result of his first stint, has promised him more assignments.

"Directing has become important to me," Bixby said. "I don’t want to feel I’m totally dependent on acting. If an actor listens to his ego, which tells him he’ll always be in demand, he’s asking for trouble."


MOVIELAND & TV Time May 1972 (added 11/17/00)

"…I directed seven segments of "Courtship of Eddie’s Father" in 1971. I’d never thought that could be as satisfying as acting but it was surprisingly fulfilling. For a karate sequence that lasted only six seconds when shown, I used seventeen camera angles."


TALKING WITH A GIANT (telecast Nov 4, 1972)

"I am now directing and that is the greatest team effort that I’ve ever been involved with. And I love it…but when I go to work, I go to work in a team. But I go with great enthusiasm. I like what can be accomplished and what can be accomplished can be shown to the public. And either they like it or they don’t like it. In any case, there is a result."

"…I get the cooperation of the group. That means I get the knowledge of the group. It isn’t just my knowledge as a director. It’s all those other people who come together—he knows this—he knows that—he knows this—he knows that—and all together we make one picture. But you take one part out and we suffer drastically. And so I get that ..the knowledge...other people’s knowledge on me all the time: ‘Oh! I didn’t know that--I didn’t know that! That’s why he’s an expert…’

"…Well, the director has to coordinate all these individual efforts and make selections from them but again, if I make the wrong selections-- the whole project-phhhyyt! So everybody’s effort goes down with it. But without them, I can’t function and without me, they can’t function…so it’s an interesting exchange, and it’s a necessity. And it’s a very positive experience for me. I like that very much." 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE Feb 18, 1973 (added 4/20/01)………….…….……...(photo added 7/26/03)

"…one of the most important things about directing is that I am improving as an actor. I can now understand the problems of the director and I think this helps me to do a better job when I am in front of the camera." 



"Directing is my Social Security when there is no more market for me as an actor."


"I’ve been directing for five years, starting with ‘Eddie’s Father’. I like to take charge. I like to be the story teller. The director is THE man in charge. The catalyst to all ingredients is the director. You’re asked a question every 20 seconds. I like that."


"I love directing. I like the pressures and the total concentration. An actor’s life can become boring when he is not actually performing. It takes an extraordinary amount of involvement not to let down while you are on a production with a lengthy shooting schedule. A lot depends on the material, of course."

BIRMINGHAM NEWS (Alabama) …….March 12, 1978……….

"You got to understand that directing is really what takes the energy. That’s probably the reason I like it."

"I’m a hyper person. I need something going on all the time and that’s the way it is with a director. He’s answering a question about something at least every 20 seconds. And every one of his answers translates directly to the screen. You just keep on making decisions and that’s where the action is in motion pictures for me."

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS….. June 24, 1979

"My first love is directing, and for the last eight years I’ve been trying my hand at all phases. It seems to me that this series (The Incredible Hulk) should run three more years. At that point I’d like to turn my full attention to directing."

"The Incredible Success of Bill Bixby"interview with Yvonne-Wyatt Rees circa 1980

"…I just love to direct because it means you’re in charge of everything; you’re responsible for everything; and the thing that I like about it so much is that if I make a mistake, it’s my mistake!

"It’s not in the hands of anyone else. When I’m directing I’m the only one who knows what the end result will be and I enjoy taking responsibility."


PM MAGAZINE (telecast Dec 27, 1983)

"There are so many things you can do in this business. I had the privilege of acting. And I do love acting. (But) I really love directing—a tremendous amount… I’m not forsaking one for the other, but both are available to me."

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT ……(telecast Dec 23, 1983)

"I love to direct. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Given a choice between directing and acting it would be very difficult for me. I guess the privilege of the time that I’ve spent in the business now, is, when the role comes along that I really would like to do, then I act. Other than that, I direct and really enjoy directing. I like to communicate with actors."

CNN …….(1989)?

"There’s something very pleasurable about just directing and being forgotten. I don’t mind that at all."

photo added 4/3/09


LOS ANGELES TIMES …….March 25, 1984

"I’ve been nominated for Emmy awards, but one of my proudest moments was when I was nominated by the Director’s Guild for ‘Rich Man, Poor Man {Book II}’ and was one of three finalists."


ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT (May 1989)……(added 5/3/03)……
On directing the TV movie "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk"

"The opportunity of producing, directing and acting…that’s just too exciting to me! That isn’t work—it’s play! (laughing) And I get paid for it! And I love it!!"

"It is quite tiring. It makes me work a seven day week…about a fourteen hour day with no days off, but I knew that going in and I rested up for it. And…you know… I have enough energy to finish the picture -- I think-!"


 /My Favorite Martian/ /The Courtship of Eddie’s Father//PBS’s "Steambath"//The Magician/

/The Incredible Hulk//Goodnight Beantown//On Acting// /On Television//On Public Recognition/

/Some Personal Thoughts/  




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