Bill Bixby’s Quotes


On his role in the 1973 Hollywood Television Theatre production of "Steambath":

During a pledge break on PBS in 1974, "Steambath" playwright Bruce Jay Friedman shared the following story with viewers:

When Hollywood Television Theatre was preparing to stage "Steambath" in 1973, they sent Bruce Jay Friedman a list of about 15 TV actors who might be considered for the part of Tandy and asked the author to select his choice for the role. But since Mr. Friedman did not watch much TV, he was unfamiliar with most of the names. So he showed the list to his 12 year old son and asked him, which of these actors should play Tandy? Mr. Friedman said his son looked at the list and immediately replied, "-Bill Bixby!"


 NY DAILY NEWS Sept 30, 1973 interview with Kay Gardella:

"…It was a literate piece of material that went against the traditional mores of society and had nudity in it. but I considered it important to do it, so I went ahead….I did the drama on the basis it was an adult piece to be seen by adults under the right auspices and I’m glad I did it." As for the nudity, Bixby says he’s so nearsighted, he walks into orchestra pits, so that didn’t really bother him.

"I did have hang-ups, though, I had to overcome, but the play was worth it. It came along at just the right time for me. For more than anything else in life I want to be an actor. Not a star, an actor. In TV you usually have one image and when that wears out you’ve had it. But if you can perform, you have longevity. I wanted to move around and say, ‘Look at me, folks, I’m an actor. I can do comedy and drama. And that’s exactly what "Steambath" did for me. It showed people, the right people, that I have more than one trick up my sleeve."

 TV GUIDE Dec 1, 1973 (Bill Bixby Beats Boredom to Death by Arthur Hano)

"Bixby sought out Friedman and asked the writer to explain the play. ‘I am not a creative artist. I am an interpretive artist. So I asked him what he meant and then I interpreted it my way. I thought the critics would destroy me. But they didn’t! Literate people came out and said yes!’"


New Orleans Times-Picayune April 29, 1973

"I’ve never had stage fright. Not even on Broadway. Not until I did Steambath."

Boston Herald April 15, 1973

"(Steambath) questions every belief you ever held. Even after the censors got done with the script, "Steambath" still is a big step for TV to take."

"I’m doing "Steambath" to exercise myself. I have to continue to grow as an actor to grow as a person."

Screen Stories July, 1974…..(added 5/12/07)

"The play gave me an opportunity to really act. Before that, everyone just took me for a performer who could do comedy. I’ve never wanted to be a star. My entire ambition in life has always been to be a good actor. ‘Steambath’ offered me the opportunity to get away from my usual television image, and I think people did find a different impression of Bill Bixby, in that show. More importantly, it proved to producers that I could handle other material besides comedy."

New Orleans Times-Picayune June 25, 1975

"…only 19 cities carried it…They said it was the hottest single black market tape. It became the underground tape of the year…(‘Steambath’) probably did more for me as a serious actor than anything I’ve ever done. From ‘Steambath’ to ‘The Apple Dumpling Gang’ (a 1975 Disney comedy-western) is a difficult extension but equally important from an audience point of view. ‘Steambath was a specialty for adults. ‘Apple Dumpling Gang’ a specialty for family audiences."


 photos: NBC-TV


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