A 1964 Interview with Ray Walston and Bill Bixby
The following exert comes from a 1964 interview published by the popular fan magazine TV PICTURE LIFE in its November 1964 issue. Reporter Jane Ardmore sat down with Mr. Walston and Mr. Bixby over lunch, probably in the spring or summer of 1964 and the two actors discussed their respective careers. The conversation soon turned to their work together on the series.
BILL: …I’ve learned more in one season about acting, from watching Ray, than from everything else I’ve ever done. I work with him every day-- I watch--gradually, I come to know what he’s going to do, why he picks out certain things to work on. He works and studies with much depth. He does a lot of probing and searching during rehearsal. When he gets up before the cameras, all the burden is gone…
BILL: …I still remember our meeting. I was pretty much in awe of this guy who’d been so great on Broadway and I’d seen some of his films, "Damn Yankees", "The Apartment", "Wives and Lovers". I’m running down the stairs from Mr. Chertok’s office where I’d picked up the script and here is this man with his little hat and dark glasses coming up. "Hi, Boy, I’m Ray Walston, I’m glad we’re going to work together!" Then he was gone. Like My Favorite Martian."
RAY: A TV series is like repertory theatre, like a family, a great deal depends on the relationship, the chemical reaction between the actors. I’d never laid eyes on Bill before, but the minute we started working, everything just seemed to fall into place. We never had a problem of adjusting. We had different ways of working, but we never even spoke of them. It’s a marvelous thing to work instinctively together this way, without having to say a word about it.
BILL: As soon as one of us gets going, whichever one has a big thing to do at that moment, the other stands there reacting and seems to be enjoying himself immensely. That’s a rare thing with actors. Most actors, while you’re doing your scene, try to attract some attention to themselves.
RAY: Looking back on the first year of the series, I don’t remember a single moment when we were competing. There’s a big difference between getting the character across and competing. We just fell into place. Bill exudes great warmth and he’s very, very funny.
TV PICTURE LIFE Text © 1964 by Publication House, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright reserved under the Universal Copyright Convention and International Convention. Copyright reserved under the Pan AmericanCopyright Convention.
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