Thanks to the diligent support of many of his most devoted fans, Guy Williams now has a memorial bench in Central Park, New York City! It is located in the Olmsted Plaza, just off 65th Street, and just off the Mall and across from the Dairy and the Chess House.
out of the night came magic
GUY WILLIAMS (1924-1989)
The Friends of Zorro & John Robinson
Salute the Park Guy & Janice Loved
Guy Williams was born in the Bronx, and he was the first posthumous inductee to the Bronx Walk of Fame (2000). He flourished in Hollywood most memorably as Zorro and Don Diego in Walt Disney's "Zorro" (1957-1959) and as John Robinson in "Lost in Space" (1965-1968). Many of us also remember his swashbuckling performance as Miles in Walt Disney's "The Prince and the Pauper," his sensitive interpretation of Will Cartwright on "Bonanza", and his zesty freeforall as "Captain Sindbad." But his interpretation of Zorro has been the model ever since he left his mark on that role. Every single Zorro since has looked back on Guy Williams' Zorro, and although other fine interpretations have been made of that dashing California hero, no one approached it with the energy, zest, and continental flavor of Guy Williams, whose mark of the "Z" is a lasting and permanent one. Ask any "baby boomer" about Guy Williams and Zorro, and you will get a happy smile. Since August 4, 2001, a Star on Hollywood Boulevard bears his name, mostly thanks to those of us who cannot and will not forget his contribution to our popular culture - and our dreams. Between his growing up in New York and going to Hollywood, Guy Williams pounded the pavements in Manhattan and lived there for several years, working as a model, studying at the Actors' Studio, and appearing on television. It was also in these New York years that he met Janice, proposed to her, and where they were married. Manhattan figures largely in the early life and career of Guy Williams.(Zorro on a Central Park Bench is brought to you by Vivi.)
Indeed, Central Park featured large in Guy and Janice Williams' courtship, and in their early life together. During their courtship, one lived on the east side, one lived on the west, and they'd meet in the Park, and have breakfast at Rumpelmeyer's. After they were married, they continued to frequent the Park. Toni Williams has shared her mother's memories with us:
"They spent most of their time in Central Park. They'd go in at 66th street and walk to Central Park East. Just past Tavern on the Green, there's a large flat area on the way to the chess tables. This is where one night, during a heavy snow storm, my Father stomped his footprints in the snow spelling out, "I love you" for my Mother (she still tears up). About halfway across were the chess tables. If they had time, they'd stand and watch the players, or my Father would play as well. Then, they'd either go to Rumpelmeyers at Central Park South or on across the park to their agencies to check in. Sometimes they enjoyed the Central Park zoo. Often they'd walk to 86th and 5th on the way to the museum and pass Cleopatra's Needle." -- Toni Williams
A bench in Central Park with Guy's name is indeed a lovely, quiet, and far reaching gesture. The donation of $5000 made by Guy's fans goes toward the maintenance of a beautiful place that provides pleasure to countless people from all over the world and serene refuge from the city. The plaques are small but well maintained and easy (and fun) to read whether standing near them or sitting on the benches.Guy's name would be there for Park visitors to see - to remember - or to wonder about. And the bench would be memorialized in a place Guy loved and where he enjoyed spending a lot of time.(That's the chess house, barely, through those trees.)
The Central Park Conservancy will put our donation to work for the Park, one of the most beautiful Parks in the world and a restful and magical refuge that invites play, reflection, and nature watching in the midst of a magnificent city.
For directions to the bench, a walking tour of the areas Guy and Janice frequented, and information about the Central Park Conservancy, including a virtual tour of Central Park during each of the four seasons, refer to the other pages on this site.(For information about my other projects - follow the links for my novel "Who Have the Power" and my singing "Through the Years") Keep walking!
Unmasking the Bench Makers!
Sheep Meadow and the Mall
Chess and Checkers House
The Lake and the Ramble
WHERE IS GUY'S BENCH?
The Bench Dedication Ceremony, October 2002
The Central Park Conservancy
My Zorro Stories
Some Thoughts About Guy's Bench
For Zorro costumes