Out of the night... comes a beloved actor and family man known as Guy Williams. Star of Walt Disney's most engaging action series, Zorro, Guy was and is adored by millions of fans to this day. His heroic image of charm and romantic flair has never tarnished.
In the 1960s, he traded in his mask and sword to explore the cosmos in Lost in Space, the ultimate cult sci-fi show of its generation.
Now, for the first time in print, comes the true story of The Man Behind the Mask. Go behind the scenes at Disney Studios, and meet Guy Williams: icon, father, and TV's swashbuckling patriarch.
This long-awaited biography on handsome tv star Guy Williams, contains interviews with Guy's family, friends, co-workers and many who knew him personally, even if only briefly. This biography, one that's never been done on this particular actor, lets you in on who this man was, not just as a much-adored public icon, but as a loving husband, father and friend. You'll walk away from reading this book with a smile on your face and wishing you had known him personally too.
Author Antoinette Lane is a long-time Guy Williams fan herself and this biography has been ten years in the making. Being a fan, she was disappointed that so little information was written on Guy, and was amazed that his biography had never been written. That was what prompted her to tackle the project herself. So if you've always wondered just who Guy Williams was, the man behind the Zorro mask, this is the book to read. If you'd like to send an email to Antoinette be sure to let her know if you'd like your message posted publicly here on this website.
The 2nd Edition of this book can be purchased at BearManor Media.
Dear Antoinette, I love your book. I love Guy's career too, but in my opinion, it was far too short. After the reading of your book, I felt as though you had actually met Guy. For me, he was the last romantic and historic hero in Hollywood with his Zorro role. In France, Zorro carved a Z in our hearts. I regret that Guy didn't have a great career such as Errol Flynn's, as his charisma and talent deserved that. Michael Pate, who played Quintana in Zorro, told me how Guy was nice on the set and very handsome in his Diego's outfit.
Antoinette, your book is engraved in my memory. Proof that your work is wonderful, precise, informative and very pleasing to read.
Hoping to meet you and your husband in France one day or when I would come to L.A.
Back in 1989, when I heard that Guy Williams had died alone in Argentina, I was shocked. His dead body was found a few days after his death. I wondered what the story was. I didn't find it in the newspapers, and I've been curious for years. Now, finally, through diligent research, the full story is told in Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask by Antoinette Girgenti Lane ($29.95, BearManor Media softcover). Despite the clichéd title, this really is a superlative biography on the popular star of Zorro and Lost in Space.
Author Lane traces his life from his childhood to his modeling days in New York to his early start at MGM, through his reign as Zorro, in foreign movies, Lost in Space, and his eventual retreat to Argentina.
Guy was a gorgeous man, with real presence as an actor, but movie stardom always eluded him. The reasons for this are made very clear by the author. Lane makes a real effort to show us the real Guy Williams, warts and all. Through some incredibly extensive interviews, including an especially perceptive one with his ex-wife, the author is able - in vivid detail - to show us an almost day-to-day insight into the man and artist. However, after reading this, I can't honestly say that I like Guy Williams the man, but I admire the author for rising above hero worship, which she could have easily slipped into, considering what a babe Guy was, and painting an, at times, unflattering picture of her subject. "One of my objectives in writing this book," the author writes, "was to make the reader feel he had met him too. Guy had some predictable traits, but he was also a walking paradox: masculine yet sensitive, firm yet gentle, conservative yet nonconforming, macho yet intellectual, simple yet complicated. There is a slight tendency to go overboard with minutia, however, and a little trimming should have been in order. But, as I always say, I would rather have too much than too little.
The interviews, as I say, are really detailed and wonderful. Especially with the family; an element of trust is evident. They tell the author everything, confident that she will use it responsibly. She even talks with childhood friends. Guy's sister sounds a little bitter, and her quotes are strangely nasty and conflict with some of what's here. But I love them because they show another side, a different way of looking at Guy. A more smitten writer would have cut these tangents.
The Zorro section is especially well done. She really gets into the series, helped considerably by her interviews with the cast and the son of the show's director, Norman Foster. There's an excellent section on Walt Disney's problems with ABC, and how it effected Guy's life. And, never before published, Guy's life in Argentina is exhaustively explained. And, thankfully, his death is no longer a mystery to me. Filmography, notes. Order from BearManor Media, PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708 or www.bearmanormedia.com or 800-566-1251. Remember, this is a new address for BearManor Media, they moved from Boalsburg, PA to Albany, Georgia.
Guy Williams - TV's "Zorro" was apparently "a walking paradox, masculine yet sensitive, firm yet gentle, conservative yet non-conformist, macho yet intellectual, simple yet complicated" according to Antoinette Girgenti Lane who has written the definitive biography of Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask. Lane finds a man who was lucky but had major disappointments in life, but those gave him character and made him the person he was. For true insights into Guy's life and career, Lane worked for over 5 years with Williams' widow, and dozens of co-workers such as Dennis Weaver, Wright King, Britt Lomond, Don Diamond, Buddy Van Horn, Suzanne Lloyd and dozens more. Extremely detailed and well written with a definitive listing of Guy's stage, film and TV work. Over 500 pages with many personal rare photos.
This book is detailed, complete and very gripping, to be sure, but to me it was also a way to clear some questions about Guy’s life, especially about some decisions he took. After reading it, everything became more understandable. I particularly liked the chapters on his first experiences as a movie actor and of course the section concerning his most successful period as Zorro. I also found his love story with Janice a moving one and I am happy he had such a great woman beside him. It’s really amazing how you could gather so much information about his private life. I tip my hat to you! Again, thanks for writing this biography and for giving Guy the recognition he deserves.
Dear Antoinette, I bought your book (it just took ten days to arrive, which is a real record time since I live in Italy) and I just wanted to tell you this: thank you for writing it!
Amazon.com review: Fans of Guy Williams will be thrilled by the prodigious research and this carefully crafted biography penned by author Antoinette Girgenti Lane. Lane conducted scores upon scores of personal interviews with the actor's wife, fellow actors, directors, producers, stuntmen, children, sibling, friends and virtually everyone who had significant contact with Williams. Lane's efforts in this regard are remarkable but this personal history is further augmented by the written record. Ms. Lane quotes from a wealth of domestic and foreign newspaper articles and magazines. She has produced, in 500 well written pages, the essence of Guy Williams. This is an important work and a must have for any Guy Williams fan.
I have been looking and looking for information on Guy Williams/Zorro for years. I am a huge fan of Mr. Williams. I rarely ever missed an episode. I was so taken by the portrayal of Zorro (only Guy Williams could do that. No one else has ever come close). My family and I lived out in the country. We had horses and as a former equestrian, in my early teens, I used to dress up as Zorro and ride my horse out under the moonlit skies. I always wanted to acquire an exact and/or as close to outfit as to what Zorro wore. Do you know who I should contact?
Antoinette, a message from out of the night...er ah... past. I want to send you my warmest congratulations on writing and publishing a book on Guy Williams. I was in Barnes and Noble last Saturday night and your book was almost calling to me from Biography. Picked it up and spent half an hour looking at it. Even though I had no money, I bought it anyway!! I have not had a chance to read very much of it but what I have read is very interesting! What a wonderful, loving tribute to a man you love very much. So glad it was you who wrote it. I know Guy must be with you, for you are what you write and read! I understand fully what this is like!
Hi Anty, Dignity! Your writing about Guy's life was superb! You treated every matter with kid gloves. I tip my Zorro hat to you and John who supported you in this venture. Your book, like the Zorro show, will be timeless. I sincerely thank you!
I remember as a young girl watching Zorro, then about two years ago, my husband introduced Zorro into the life of our granddaughter. I started watching the episodes along with her and again fell in love with Guy Williams. For many years I had wondered why no one had written a biography on the wonderful man's life, and was thrilled to learn about this amazing book. I learned so many interesting things about him as an individual and also about his loving family. He was a wonderful actor and should have attained leading man roles, but fate and luck were not in the stars for him. I cried after reading the book because being a leading man should have been his destiny. He continued to hope for Zorro to return right up until the end. We love you Guy! We love you Jan, Toni and Steve! Thank you Antoinette for this wonderfully researched book about our hero!!!!!
Amazon.com review: This huge book is the answer to Guy Williams/Zorro fans' prayers. It begins with a beautiful prologue that immediately engages the reader, and keeps him glued to it till the end. The author interviewed many of the people who were closest to Williams, getting an inside look at the man many of us had known only as Zorro or John Robinson. The memories of his wife and children are such a treasure! Now we know the real man, the man behind the mask. What a pleasant surprise this knowledge turned out to be, too! Everything you ever wanted to know about Guy Williams is probably in this book. Even though it's a thick volume, the chapters are of a very manageable length. The writing is quite good, and the photos are plentiful and revealing.
Hi Antoinette, I just completed reading every word of your excellent biography of Guy Williams. I still have the newspaper clipping mentioning he died in Argentina. My parents are from Sicily and I was born in Argentina. I recalled being surprised back in 1989 to learn that Guy passed away in the country where I was born. I was fascinated to read the chapters in your book about his final years in my birthplace. My mom still thinks Guy was the handsomest man who ever lived.
When I ordered the book "Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask", I didn't know what to expect. However, I was not disappointed. I laughed, I cried, but I could not stop reading it. I was so impressed with all the research that had gone into making a biograghy of someone so interesting. I am not surprised that it took the author so long to complete it. In my opinon, Guy Williams: The Man Behind The Mask" is highly recommended as a must read item for anyone who loved Zorro. I was very disappointed when Zorro was no longer being shown in our television veiwing area. I often wondered what happened to the great Guy Williams. Antoinette Lane satisfied my curiosity and more, with details of his personal life and all he endured to make his climb to stardom. She did an excellent job of holding your interest throughout the entire book.
Add my praise to Antoinette's book on Guy Williams! For forty plus years I've wanted to know about the man behind the mask and now I have a book I'll treasure forever. Thank you for your dedication of love and untold hours of research in putting this book together. I'm happy!
Amazon.com review: This MUST B FATE!! My DEAR 82 yr old mother LIVES/LOVES Guy Williams in Zorro. I could never imagine in my WILDEST dreams that there could be a book on Mr. Williams. I HOPE & PRAY that this book will be one of the real treasures in her life before she "moves on" to other locations. She has a COLOR wood framed 8 by 10 portrait of Mr.Williams on her dresser. My sister & I will have it buried with her when she "moves on".
Amazon.com review: I love Zorro and Guy Williams so any biography about him would be welcomed. Ms. Lane's 500 plus pages is truly a dream come true. It was a pleasure to read and it answered questions I have always had about his mysterious life in Argentina. He was a good actor and a wonderful man who enjoyed life. I am inspired by his life and those who were important to him such as his wife, children, Pat and his many friends.
I was pleasantly surprised to read that we share a love of reading, the stock market, wines, the Egyptian wing of New York's Metropolitan Museum (I've been to Egypt twice!) and even have similar foot problems!
Thank you Antoinette for writing such a complete biography. It was wonderful to read. I'd even buy a copy of what you left out!
As a Guy Williams fan of 47 years I thought I knew all there was to know about Guy Williams. I could not have been more wrong. This book is so thoroughly researched and well written that my jaw dropped. I didn't want it to end. It was like having the opportunity to enter Guy Williams' world and spend time with Guy and his family. Antoinette has done an incredible job. I have read it twice and it is a miracle because Williams has been brought back to life. I would urge anyone who has the slightest interest in Guy Williams to buy this book and share the joy of a life well lived by a good man and his wonderful family and friends.
Dear Annette, I enjoyed very much your biography about Guy. It was so interesting I read for three days and nights without stopping. I learnt many things about Guy's life I did not know. He had such a rich life full of events and many friends. I only was terribly saddened by his dreadful end. He was too young to die. I admire your hard work, for all the information you got between USA and Argentina.
Deseo saber si está disponible en castellano la biografía de Guy Williams, y si podemos adquirirla en nuestro país Argentina. Saludos.
Translation: I want to know if the biography of Guy Williams is available in Spanish and if I can buy it in my country, Argentina. Thanks.
Your biography of Guy Williams is magnificent! I really don't have the words to express my appreciation of your undertaking such a daunting task and my admiration for the high quality of the finished product. What an achievement!
My experience was similar to what you described in your introduction, although 12 years later: I stumbled across Zorro on the Disney Channel and expected it to be a pleasant exercise in nostalgia, like the Mickey Mouse Club. Instead, I was riveted! Without Internet access at the time, I searched libraries, newspaper archives, & video stores for information on the show and the principals and simply could not believe no one had written a biography of Guy Williams. Eventually I got on the Internet and started finding some of the wonderful websites you mention.
You deserve the deepest thanks of Zorro fans all over the world for your labor of love. I could go on and on. Thank you for taking the time to get it right, to be as factual and thorough as possible but still respectful.
With highest kudos,
Amazon.com review: If you are interested in Guy Williams and his life, this is the definitive book. Very detailed, extremely well researched, the author presents her subject objectively and fairly. I expected something glossy, a fan treatment, but discovered a really well written and researched biography. Highly recommend.
Amazon.com review: I'm going to review this book basically before reading it, although I have looked through it to get the feel of it and have read the introduction. And the reason is because I wanted to give the sense you would have seeing it in a bookstore or ordering it through the mail and deciding if it's worth the money. And the answer here is yes because this is a amazingly well done book about Guy Williams by Antoinette Girgenti Lane. Who would have thought something this thorough and well done would be done after all these years? Your first response is "wow". The book is over five hundred pages (you do know that before ordering) but it still hits you when you actually see it. And the book is in no way padded with large print or empty space. It's filled with rare ads, personal photos, press releases and quotes from articles from seemingly everything ever written about Guy Williams. She lists over 300 sources of books, newspapers, and magazines at the end of the book. And the book is filled with quotes from Guy, his family, and the people who worked with him. It seems this lady talked to everyone and she did an amazing job of pulling it all together. I think Zorro was my first hero when I was a kid and I've bought two other book hoping to read more about Guy Williams and the show. And it was slim reading in each book (one about Disney and one about Zorro when the movie was released). So if you like the show and Guy Williams and always wanted to read more about him and it, this is a great book. You feel excitement at something this well done about it all. And after all this time. The book is well worth it whether you get it at a nice discount here at Amazon or pay the full price. It's money well spent. Just a great job. Enjoy.
Antoinette: I just started reading your book and can't put it down. What an interesting bio of Guy. When you're ready for another book, let me know. I can tell you lots about Tony's life. I hope you have lots of success with it.
Thanks for writing the book about Guy Williams. Can't express how much I enjoyed the short anecdotes and his long journey with all the good things and also the adversities. I'm a little prejudiced because it's during "my time" in the business, show business, that is.
I met Guy outside a sound stage on the Disney lot. We were both testing for Zorro. Although disappointed, it turned out to be right, for Walt Disney and especially for Guy Williams.
Dear Anty, I finally finished "Guy Williams: The Man Behind The Mask". It kept me up several nights because I could not put the book down.
Friends of Guy
It is so difficult for me to believe Antoinette Girgenti Lane never knew Guy Williams. He was my mentor; we were both models (although Guy was a bit older than I was at the time I was modeling in New York, London, Milan and Paris and Hollywood, he gave me invaluable tips of the trade.) He was my "big brother" and advisor although he was busy with his own career as an actor. A STAR! A SUPERSTAR! He always had time for me, saw that I had the best. Antoinette saw this in him. How? Intuition? Perceptiveness? She even knew things only Guy knew. (I always called him "Armando"- he always called me "William. We were "Guy" and "Bill" only in the company of others.) This, believe me, Antoinette sensed. I love the book. I love Antoinette. I've read the book three times now, and still I find anecdotes I'd never heard. She did a masterful, incredible job! How she did it without knowing Armando amazes me.