Michael Williams Biography & Facts
Michael Leonard Williams, KSG (9 July 1935 – 11 January 2001) was a British actor who played both classical and comedy roles. He was the husband of actress Dame Judi Dench.
Early life and career
Born in Liverpool, Lancashire, he attended St Edward's College and worked as an insurance assessor before going into the theatre.
His first film appearance was in 1962, and he subsequently appeared frequently on television (notably in Elizabeth R), and in British films such as Educating Rita (1983) and (along with Dench) Henry V (1989). In the latter, in perhaps an irresistible casting decision, he played his namesake, the Shakespearean character named Michael Williams. In 1967, he appeared in Benefit of the Doubt, Peter Whitehead's documentary on Peter Brook's anti-Vietnam War play US, along with Brook and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
His many radio roles included crime reporter George Cragge in In the Red and its sequels, and Dr. Watson in the BBC's complete run of Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
Williams provided voices for the Woodland Animations BBC Television series Charlie Chalk, created by Ivor Wood.
Williams married Judi Dench on 5 February 1971, the same year that they co-starred in a stage production of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. They had one daughter, Tara Cressida Williams (b. 1972), known as Finty Williams, who is also an actress.Williams chaired the British Catholic Stage Guild for a number of years before he was incapacitated by illness.
He was the President of the Roman Catholic Actors' Guild.Williams was a supporter of the project to build the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, USA. A plaque commemorating Williams' contributions hangs in the completed playhouse.
Shortly before his death from lung cancer at the age of 65, Williams was appointed a Knight of St Gregory (KSG) by Pope John Paul II for his contribution to Catholic life in Britain. The honour was officially bestowed upon him at home on 10 January 2001. He died the next day, and was buried in the churchyard of St Leonard's, the Anglican parish church of Charlecote, Warwickshire.
Principal stage appearances; mostly with the Royal Shakespeare Company:
Also appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Theatre-Go-Round Festival, Round House Theatre, London, 1970.
Michael Williams at IMDb
Performances listed in Theatre Archive, University of Bristol
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