Scottish actor Nicol Williamson

Publié le par The Courrier

Scottish actor Nicol Williamson

Dundee Rep has paid tribute to distinguished actor Nicol Williamson, whose death at the age of 75 was announced this week.

Scottish actor Nicol Williamson

Mr Williamson, who was born in Hamilton, made his professional stage debut at Dundee Rep and was a member of the company from 1960-61 when the theatre was in Nicoll Street.

A spokesman said: ''Like so many other great Scottish actors, Nicol worked at the theatre early in his career. Nicol was enormously talented with a varied and successful career.''

Hailed as one of the finest British actors of his generation but known as a performer with a reputation for being strong-willed, he died in Amsterdam on December 16 after a two-year battle with oesophageal cancer.

The family moved to Birmingham and the actor left school at 16 to work in his father's factory.

He studied at Birmingham School of Speech and Drama and did his national service as a gunner in the Airborne Division.

He began his professional career at Dundee Rep in 1960 and the following year he moved on to the Arts Theatre at Cambridge and also made his London debut.

His first major success was in 1964 with John Obsorne's Inadmissible Evidence, and he won a Tony award for his performance when the play transferred to Broadway in 1965.

Williamson's 1968 performance of Hamlet, which played in both London and New York, was controversial. During a soliloquy, Williamson suddenly apologised for his ''bad'' performance and stormed off the stage.

His film roles included a cocaine-addicted Sherlock Holmes in The 7 Percent Solution, an introspective Little John in Robin and Marian and an eccentric Merlin in Excalibur.

His TV credits on both sides of the Atlantic include such roles as Lennie in Of Mice and Men, Lord Mountbatten in The Last Viceroy, King Ferdinand in Christopher Columbus and Richard Nixon in a dramatization of the White House Tapes.

Married to the actress Jill Townsend, he moved the Amsterdam 20 years ago.

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