|Height:||175 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||November 26, 1905|
|Death Date:||September 25, 1987|
|Height:||175 cm (5' 9'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Emlyn Williams died on September 25, 1987.
Williams was born into a Welsh-speaking, working class family at 1 Jones Terrace, Pen-y-ffordd, Ffynnongroyw, Flintshire. He was the eldest of the three surviving sons of Mary (née Williams) a former maid-servant and Richard Williams, a greengrocer. He spoke only Welsh until the age of eight. Later he said he would probably have begun working in the mines at age 12 if he had not caught the attention of Sarah Grace Cooke, the model for Miss Moffat in The Corn Is Green. She was a teacher of French at the grammar school in Holywell, Flintshire in 1915, where Williams had gone on a scholarship. Over the next seven years she encouraged him in his studies and helped pay for him to stay with a French friend of hers in Haute-Savoie in France, where he spent three months perfecting his French. When he was 17 she helped him win a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied French and Italian.
In 1926, during his studies at university, Williams had a nervous breakdown, which was blamed largely on a failed emotional friendship with another undergraduate. As a means of recovery Miss Cooke encouraged him to write. However, Williams intended to enter the theatrical world too and joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS).
He performed with the OUDS in his first full-length play, Full Moon, at the original Oxford Playhouse in 1927, and later that year he joined a London-based repertory company and began his stage career. By 1930, he had expanded his writing with works such as A Murder Has Been Arranged and The Late Christopher Bean. The same year he appeared in Edgar Wallace's hit thriller On the Spot in the West End.
Among Williams' other books was the best seller Beyond Belief: A Chronicle of Murder and its Detection (1968), a semi-fictionalised account of the Moors murderers, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. His 1980 novel Headlong, the fictional story of the unexpected death of the entire British royal family in a freak accident in 1930, and the ascension of a most unlikely heir to the British throne as a result, was the loose basis of the 1991 motion picture King Ralph.
Williams was married in 1935 to actress Mary Marjorie O'Shann (Molly Shan), who died in 1970. They had two sons, Alan, a writer, and Brook, an actor. Brook Williams became a close friend of Richard Burton's, working as Burton's personal assistant and appearing in many of Burton's films.
Over the next few years, Williams took on roles on stage and on film, including the first celluloid version of the Edgar Wallace mystery, The Frightened Lady. He became an overnight star, however, with his thriller Night Must Fall (1935), in which he also played the lead role of a psychopathic murderer. The play was noted for its exploration of the killer's complex psychological state, a step forward for its genre. It was made into a film in 1937 with Robert Montgomery, and again in 1964 with Albert Finney. It has been frequently revived, most recently in the West End with Jason Donovan, and on Broadway in 1999 with Matthew Broderick.
His other great play was very different: The Corn Is Green (1938), partly based on his own childhood in Wales. He starred as a Welsh schoolboy in the play's London premiere. The play came to Broadway in 1940 with Ethel Barrymore as the schoolteacher Miss Moffat. A 1950 Broadway revival starred Eva La Gallienne. The play was turned into a film starring Bette Davis, and again into a made-for-television film starring Katharine Hepburn, under the direction of Williams's close friend George Cukor. An attempt to turn the play into a musical in the 1970s, with Davis again in the role of the schoolteacher with lyrics by Williams, failed. So did a Broadway revival in 1983 starring Cicely Tyson and Peter Gallagher. But a 1985 London revival at the Old Vic with Deborah Kerr was successful, as was a 2007 production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. That production starred Kate Burton. Williams was a close friend of Kate's parents, Richard Burton and Burton's first wife, Sybil. In the Williamstown production, the schoolboy – the role created by and modeled on Williams himself – was played by Kate Burton's son, Morgan Ritchie.
Other screen credits include Hitchcock's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn (with Charles Laughton), Gabriel Pascal's film version of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara (with Wendy Hiller and Rex Harrison), José Ferrer's I Accuse! (playing Émile Zola), The Wreck of the Mary Deare (with Gary Cooper), The L-Shaped Room (with Leslie Caron), and a made-for-TV adaptation of Charles Dickens's David Copperfield (with an all-star cast including Laurence Olivier, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson and Edith Evans). In 1941 Williams starred in the film You Will Remember, directed by Jack Raymond and written by Sewell Stokes and Lydia Hayward. The film is based on the life of the popular late Victorian songwriter Leslie Stuart, played here by Robert Morley, with Williams as Stuart's best friend. Also in 1941, he had a principal supporting part (as Snobby Price) in Gabriel Pascal's filming of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara.
His autobiographical light comedy, The Druid's Rest was first performed at the St Martin's Theatre, London, in 1944. It saw the stage debut of Richard Burton whom Williams had spotted at an audition in Cardiff. The play has been revived at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in both 1976 and 2005, and received its first London revival in sixty years at London's Finborough Theatre in 2009.
In addition to stage plays, Williams wrote a number of film screenplays, working with Alfred Hitchcock (on The Man Who Knew Too Much), Carol Reed and other directors. He acted in and contributed dialogue to various films based on the novels of A. J. Cronin, including The Citadel (1938), The Stars Look Down (1939), Hatter's Castle (1942) and Web of Evidence (1959). He played the mad Roman emperor Caligula in an uncompleted 1937 film version of Robert Graves's novel I, Claudius (with Charles Laughton); a kindly veterinarian who accidentally causes the death of a murderess (played by Bette Davis) in the 1952 suspense drama Another Man's Poison; and the fool Wamba in the 1952 Ivanhoe (with Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor).
Williams appeared as an eccentric artist in the 1983 Thames Television production, Rumpole and the Genuine Article. When the regular actors in this series turned up for the first read-through of this episode, they were astonished when guest star Williams handed each of them a new version of the script written by himself, keeping to the broad outlines of the story, but rewriting the dialogue and giving himself rather more lines. No-one had asked him to do this, and he was carefully informed in no uncertain terms that the John Mortimer original script would be used with no alteration. He complied.
Emlyn Williams died on 25 September 1987 at his flat in Dovehouse Street, Chelsea, London, from complications from bowel cancer. He was 81 years old. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London.
Currently, Emlyn Williams is 116 years, 0 months and 2 days old. Emlyn Williams will celebrate 117th birthday on a Saturday 26th of November 2022. Below we countdown to Emlyn Williams upcoming birthday.