Bill Bixby (January 22, 1934 – November 21, 1993) was an American film and television actor, director, and frequent game show panelist. His career spanned over three decades; he appeared on stage, in motion pictures and TV series. He is best known for his roles as Tim O'Hara on the CBS sitcom My Favorite Martian, Tom Corbett on the ABC comedy-drama series The Courtship of Eddie's Father, and Dr. David Banner on the CBS drama series The Incredible Hulk.
Bixby, a fourth-generation Californian of English descent, was born Wilfred Bailey Everett Bixby III in San Francisco, California. His father, Wilfred Bailey Everett Jr., was a store clerk and his mother, Jane (née McFarland) Bixby, was a senior manager at I. Magnin & Company. When Bixby was eight, his father enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and traveled to the South Pacific. He attended Lowell High School where he perfected his oratory and dramatic skills as a member of the Lowell Forensic Society. Though he received only average grades, he also competed in high school speech tournaments regionally. After graduation from high school in 1952, against his parents' wishes, he majored in drama at San Francisco City College, where he was a classmate of future actress Lee Meriwether. Later, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, his parents' alma mater, and joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity there. Just four credits short of earning a degree, Bixby dropped out of college and joined the United States Marine Corps after being drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War. Bixby served stateside duty in the Marines and was honorably discharged.
He then moved to Hollywood, where he had a string of odd jobs that included bellhop and lifeguard. He organized shows at a resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In 1959, he was hired to work as a model and to do commercial work for General Motors and Chrysler.