Variety and Gizmodo are reporting that actor Van Williams passed away last Monday of Renal failure in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 82.
Williams had a long career as a character actor in Hollywood dating back to the 1950’s but he will forever be known to most audiences as the actor who originated the role of Britt Reid, wealthy publisher of the Daily Sentinel newspaper, who spends his nights fighting crime as The Green Hornet. The series only lasted one season, but the character endured in both comic books, a 2011 movie starring Seth Rogan and a recently announced reboot of the character on film.
Van Williams reprised the role of The Green Hornet on a two-part episode of Batman, which was one of the first crossover episodes. The show also introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee and Williams’ last starring role was playing the Green Hornet series director in the 1993 movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee story.