Van Williams has died at the age of 82. Appearing in countless television shows in the 1960s and 1970s, Williams was most well known for his starring role as Britt Reid alongside Bruce Lee as Kato in The Green Hornet.
Williams got his big break while working as a driving instructor in Hawaii. Elizabeth Taylor’s husband Mike Todd, a producer, discovered Van in 1956 and encouraged him to visit Hollywood and pursue an acting career. He was signed to Warner Bros. in 1959 and stared in the ABC series Bourbon Street Beat. His character Kenny Madison was so popular that he was featured in the spin-off series Surfside 6.
While fans of the iconic 1960’s action series The Green Hornet saw Williams play a hero on TV, few knew of his heroics in real life. After retiring from acting in 1982, Williams became a Reserve Deputy Sheriff and firefighter in Los Angeles California. Williams suffered a severe back injury and singed lungs while battling a fire.
On December 5th his Producer Kevin Burns announced that Williams had died of renal failure on November 28, 2016.