Sunday, January 16, 2011

Guy Williams Tribute : When LIFE Magazine meets ZORRO at Disneyland in 1958

Guy Williams was born January 14, 1924 and here is a tribute to the best "Zorro" of all time thanks to this 1958 LIFE Magazine special report by LIFE photographer Allan Grant at Disneyland, Anaheim. Let's have a look at these rare pictures and remember how great Guy Williams was!

Here he is arriving in Frontierland for the Zorro show.

Guy Williams as Zorro leaping from a roof during the show. This remembers me that we had a Zorro show at Disneyland Paris at the opening of the park, unfortunately canceled since then.

We must remember how good swashbuckler Guy Williams was. I think the other guy is the actor who played the Monasterio character in the first season, isn't it?

After the show, Guy Williams signed autographs for his (young) fans at Disneyland.

Now, LIFE photographers shoot Guy Williams also on the ZORRO TV series set! Here are some pictures, beginning by the one at the top of this article. Below, Guy Williams on the set of the TV series, on a white horse - not "Tornado" who had a black colour, if i remember well...

Actor Guy Williams practicing swordplay on the set for his role as Zorro.

Guy Williams acting in the TV show, against Sgt Garcia and another soldier.

Always on the set, with a lovely waitress.

This last picture doesn't show Williams and was not shoot at Disneyland, but it's a very rare picture of Zorro's creator, author Johston McCulley, helping neighborhood fans to imitate their hero!

All pictures: copyright LIFE Magazine


Marco Antonio Garcia said...

Thanks for the post Alain, very interesting to see!

The white horse is indeed not tornado, as he was black, but for some episodes of the TV show he used a white horse, if I'm not mistaken it was on the second season, when he travels to Monterey.

I'm surprised to see Guy fighting without the Zorro mask at Disneyland, because on the series Dom Diego was always afraid to have his secret identity revealed, so he pretended that he could not fight.

Elena said...

Yes, this white horse is Phantom, the season 2 Monterey opening stallion for a few episodes. Apparently, its real name was Sheik and he was used in many films & shows, including Bonanza where Guy later landed for a few episodes himself. Tornado is the one that did the cool tricks and yes, black.

So far as not wearing the mask for his duel with Monastario, I have a feeling he wanted to be seen. I mean Buddy Van Horn is the one on top of the Golden Horseshoe & Mark Twain. They switched inside the Horseshoe. It must have been frustrating for him to just have to hide and wait till his stuntman was finished. (I also doubt Britt Lomond was the one falling in the water!)

Since the public knew very well that Diego was Zorro, I would imagine he wanted to show the public it was him and appear as Guy playing Zorro, without the mask. Also it must be liberating not to have the mask pull around his eyes. Well, just my opinion. He did wear the mask riding in the parade already.

Thanks for the blog entries you have done on Guy Williams, even if I find them after I already found all these pix and rare videos elsewhere. Strange coincidence to land here too. :)