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1958 Longview Daily News Article on Guy Williams
Originally donated by Joanne Slappo.

Longview Daily News -- Saturday 27 December 1958
Guy Williams Stars On TV As Zorro, Don Diego
By Erskine Johnson

Hollywood (NEA) -- The swashbuckling Zorro also known to TV fans as the mild-mannered Don Diego would be a lot happier if more people knew him as actor Guy Williams.

It was the reason the handsome Guy quietly hired a publicity agent the other day. It wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone in Hollywood, where a starring role in a movie series, or in a weekly TV show, can submerge and individual and even roadblock an actor’s career progress.

After two years as masked Zorro and unmasked Don Diego, Guy Williams felt he needed a little personal unmasking, and recognition, as Guy Williams. It has happened before to Johnny (Tarzan) Weissmuller; Jean (Dr. Christian) Hersholt; Mickey (Andy Hardy) Rooney; Fess (Davy Crockett) Parker, and many others.

There was no foreboding handwriting on the wall for Guy to see, but, well, an actor never knows what tomorrow will bring.

Besides, Walt Disney had passed the word down.

He’s planning to star Guy in a big outdoor movie, with a California gold rush background, late next spring. Guy wanted to be sure Disney wouldn’t have to bill him as "Zorro." After all, no one has been writing the name of Guy Williams with the fervor of those making the mark of Zorro -- a slashing Z -- which is found everywhere from school desk carvings to cement sidewalks.

Furthermore, Guy had good reason to come out from behind the mark of Zorro. He had made his mark in Hollywood as the dashing hero, proving he is just as adept at the acting game, as he is at the sword-flashing swashbuckling game. That Williams smile has won a big feminine audience as well as kiddie fans.

Seventy Zorro films will be completed in a few weeks with young Guy "a little breathless, but not beat," he says. In the 70 films, Williams, he says, has outlasted a total of eight different directors, 20 leading ladies, and 150 different cast members.

In a year and a half, Williams, a New Yorker who studied acting on money received as a model, only has five days off because, he shrugs: "When I’m not Zorro, I’m Diego."

But escaping the character, even if it is a dual one, is something that just can be done in a weekly filmed series. Says Guy:

"It’s like working in a movie you never finish. You can’t conclude anything as an actor."

It’s the reason he has his fingers crossed about a chance to appear as another character in a Disney movie.

There are stunt doubles, of course, for some of Guy’s high-flying leaps on and off horses and walls in the series. But it is Guy himself behind that rapier, as he proved to a wide-eyed crowd of thousands during a recent personal appearance at Disneyland.

But if kids envy Williams his "Z" carving as they struggle with pocket knives, here’s a little news for them. Guy steps aside when there is a "Z" to be carved on a tree trunk or a wall in the show.

A Disney studio prop man does it with a small hand axe.

The Disney production system of filming does four half-hour Zorro shows at a time — shooting all the action and dialogue needed on a set that appears in more than one show before moving on to another set — is, Williams admits, "a little confusing at times. Not remembering the dialogue, but remembering what led up to it. Sometimes I’m real blank and have to go back and read scenes we’ve already filmed."


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