The Triumph and Tragedy of Bill Bixby and The Incredible Hulk

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, the Incredible Hulk was a mixture of monster, humanity, emotions, and fury. The angry green creature and his alter ego, Dr. Bruce Banner were the modern-day counterparts of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One, a brilliant scientist out to help humanity, and the other, a creature with infinite power unleashed.

Bill Bixby was first cast to play the Hulk’s human alter ego, Dr. David Banner. Bixby was best remembered for his roles in My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and The Magician. Kenneth Johnson, the creator of the tv series, had seen Bixby in a TV play called Steambath in 1973 where Bixby had displayed every human emotion that could possibly be shown. Johnson knew that Bill was the actor he wanted to portray Dr. Banner. In fact, according to Johnson himself, Bixby was the only actor to be sent a script for the part.

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