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.

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8 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    The Green Hornet was an instant classic and the series made Bruce Lee into a huge star before his untimely death but I’m really sad about the passing of Van Williams. Britt Reid and Kato were one of the best dynamic duos on TV.

  2. Butch says:

    Sorry to hear this. I remember reruns of Surfside 6, one of Warner Bros detective series he was on. Always wanted them to release that on DVD but it and the more well known 77 Sunset Strip have not made it yet.

  3. Whatevah says:

    I had the biggest crush on Van Williams when I was little. Just look at that face! *sigh* RIP

  4. lrdslvrhnd says:

    Man, even superheroes aren’t safe from 2016… RIP Van Williams.
    .
    (Although I’m not entirely sure anybody involved with either show would consider Green Hornet to be an “offshoot” of Batman. I mean, sure, GH & Kato appeared in a couple of eps… but both shows also existed on the other *as* a TV show.)

  5. QYW says:

    Man, 2016 has seen it’s share of tremendous losses. I remember this as a kid, while Batman was considered “campy”, the Green Hornet had a different tone to it. Mr. Williams and Bruce Lee made an awesome team. R.I.P.

  6. ragnar51 says:

    Such as shame, 2016 has been one terrible year for the arts :(

  7. Jake says:

    I remember it too, not a great series, but, damn – it had Bruce Freakin’ Lee!!!
    I had no idea who he was at the time, other than Kato was the coolest, and made me wonder why he needed the Green Hornet wen he did all the work! :)

  8. Tony Burr says:

    I was sorry to hear about Van Williams’ passing. I still remember watching him and Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet when I was a kid;in fact,I have all 26 episodes on DVD and VHS. They were the best crimefighting team on TV. IMO The Green Hornet and Kato were The Dynamic Duo. RIP Van Williams