Are you surprised that you are being interviewed because of a character you played in Beauty and the Beast, a television series which was cancelled nearly 20 years ago?
Why do you think the show is still
remembered and celebrated by its fans after all these years?
the show has a cult following.
Have you ever been a part of another
project that had this kind of devotion?
Do you ever hear from anyone else
associated with BATB?
not recently. I do keep up with some from time to time.
Going back to the beginning, how did you
get the part of William?
auditioned - an agent sending me in.
Was there anything about the Character
that you particularly liked or disliked?
character seemed to fit me.
How much of "you" went into
think the writers saw that I brought a particular type to the character and
incorporated familiar traits.
Do you share William's love of cooking?
character most often insisted on the security below rather than cooking. I do
like to cook.
What was the atmosphere like on the
When BATB became a favorite show in the
USA, what was it like for you when the fan interest began? Did being recognized
as William affect you in any way?
only happened for that show at fan conventions. When I was recognized elsewhere,
it was for Murphy Brown. I was surprised at the intensity of the fandom when I
first went to a convention.
What is your fondest memory of BATB?
joke sessions amidst members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Do you have any souvenirs from the show
and if so, what are they?
they were burned in a house fire.
Have you ever watched any of the
episodes of BATB?
Do you have a favorite episode among
those you starred in, and why?
probably liked the one in which Roy and I fought, but I can't remember the
title. Roy said we should be going at it "hammer and tongs", but the
director was trying to restrain us.
Did being a part of BATB affect your
What has been your career high point?
don't know. Will have to think about that one. The best acting I've ever done
was the last acting I've ever done, which was as Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot
As an actor, have you accomplished what
you set out to do?
Are you involved in anything currently?
with flat water kayaking. My first year out of Hollywood I taught acting at the
University of Wisconsin at Stephens Point. Then for nearly four years I was a
film critic in Florida. The reason I'm inactive now is that nothing is more true
than when one is out of sight, one is definitely out of mind in Hollywood. It is
ironic that after I finished what I thought was the best acting I have ever
done- playing Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot
Tin Roof (who was dying of cancer) - I had a major heart attack one month
later. Playing Big Daddy was the culmination of everything I had ever done.
Is there anything you would like to tell
our readers about you, BATB or fandom?
guess it's nice that a TV show seems to have engendered such good will among
people who would not otherwise have met or been aware of each other.
thought it was curious that I was known as William, the cook, but there was
never any moment in any episode that I was seen doing anything related to
cooking. I used to say that my actual job there was essentially similar to that
of the Jewish Defence League - to help defend the tunnels. In that respect I was
there to provide dramatic tension.
was different from the other actors in the cast, because fans viewed me as
perhaps more accessible. And I spent more time preparing for interaction with
the fans (examples writing poems, wearing costumes). I think they viewed me as
possibly more like the guy next door, as opposed to some aloof Hollywood actor.
Dotrice and Armin Shimmerman encouraged me to attend conventions.
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