Van Williams The Green Hornet

Green Hornet's Van Williams Dead at 82

Van Williams, who played the titular crime-fighter on ABC’s The Green Hornet, has died; he was 82 years old.

Williams died Nov. 29 of kidney failure at his Scottsdale home, his wife Vicki told The Hollywood Reporter. He starred as newspaper publisher Britt Reid in the 1966-67 action series, which was an offshoot of the Adam West Batman series. Reid donned a fedora and a mask to fight crime at night as the Green Hornet, alongside his trusty sidekick Kato, played by martial-arts legend Bruce Lee.

The Green Hornet only ran for a total of 26 episodes — not counting a two-part Batman crossover — but it made a lasting impression on pop culture. It launched Bruce Lee’s Hollywood career, and was recently made into a big-screen action movie starring Seth Rogen.

Williams went on to star as an underwater photographer in the 1976-77 Saturday morning kids’ show Westwind and did guest appearances on The Rockford Files and The Streets of San Francisco. But he mostly retired from acting in his later years, becoming a reserve deputy for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and working for their search-and-rescue team.