Born in 1934 in San Francisco, California, Bill Bixby didn’t start out as an actor but rather a member of the Marine Corps, from which he was honorably discharged in 1957 (via Find a Grave). From there, he made his way into modeling in Detroit, which led him to work in theater, which then led to the film industry.
He portrayed Dr. David Bruce Banner, a grief-stricken scientist whose experiments lead to the creation of the Hulk, in the 1978 live-action televised series “The Incredible Hulk.” Unlike other superheroes, the Hulk is not a controllable force, but rather a dangerous, angry entity made of sheer, unstoppable strength. Bixby portrayed the character in three TV movies as well: “The Incredible Hulk Returns,” “The Trial of the Incredible Hulk,” and “The Death of the Incredible Hulk,” all of which he also directed.
Bixby passed away in 1993 at the age of 59 due to complications with prostate cancer. At his request, he was cremated and his ashes scattered at his estate in Hana, Hawai’i. He was married three times, most recently to Judith Kliban within two months of his passing (via The Famous People).