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John Williams Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (8)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 April 1903Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Date of Death 5 May 1983La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA  (aneurysm)
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

John Williams was a tall, urbane Anglo-American actor best known for his role as Chief Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder (1954), a role he played on Broadway, in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 film, and on television in 1958. Playing Hubbard on the Great White Way brought him the 1953 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play. "Dial M for Murder" was the 27th Broadway play he had appeared in since making his New York debut in "The Fake" in 1924, which he had originally appeared in back in his native England.

Williams was born on April 15, 1903 in Buckinghamshire and attended Lancing College. He first trod the boards as a teenager in a 1916 production of Peter Pan (1924). He moved to America in the mid-1920s and was a busy and constantly employed stage actor for 30 years. After "Dial M for Murder" in the 1953-54 season, though, he appeared in only four more Broadway plays between 1955 and 1970 as he focused on movies and television.

In addition to "Dial M for Murder", he appeared in Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947) and in To Catch a Thief (1955) and in 10 episodes of the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955). For Billy Wilder, he appeared in Sabrina (1954) and Witness for the Prosecution (1957). Beginning in the 1960s, most of his work was in television, including a nine-episode stint on Family Affair (1966) taking over Sebastian Cabot's duties as Brian Keith's butler when Cabot was waylaid by health problems.

He retired in the late '70s, his last acting gig being an appearance on Battlestar Galactica (1978) in 1979. He was known by many in the last phase of his career for his work on one of the first TV infomercials, when he served as the pitchman for a classical music record collection called "120 Music Masterpieces."

John Williams died on May 5, 1983 in La Jolla, California from an aneurysm. He was 80 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Helen (? - 5 May 1983) (his death)

Trivia (8)

Outside of his movie career, he gained fame as the star of a television commercial for a set of records of classical music, "120 Music Masterpieces." This became the longest running nationally broadcast commercial in U.S. television history, running for almost 14 years, from 1971-1984. The commercial was ultimately phased out as compact discs replaced vinyl phonograph records, still airing more than one year after Williams death on May 5, 1983.
Won Broadway's 1953 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "Dial M for Murder," a role that he recreated in the film version of the same name, Dial M for Murder (1954).
In addition to the Tony Award, he also won the Donaldson and New York Drama Critics award for "Dial M for Murder," which he recreated on film and in a TV adaptation.
Made his debut on the London stage in 1916 as young John in a production of "Peter Pan," by J.M. Barrie, and made his debut on the Broadway stage eight years later, in 1924, as Clifford Hope, in "The Fake," by Frederick Lonsdale.
He substituted for Sebastian Cabot, as the gentleman's gentleman, or butler, for Brian Keith's Bill Davis character, in the sitcom Family Affair (1966). This was during Cabot's eight episode leave of absence (plus one overlapping episode, where they both appeared) from the program, after Cabot developed pneumonia in 1967. Williams portrayed the part of Mr. Giles French's brother, Nigel ("Niles") French.
Attended Lancing College, an independent day and boarding high school, educating students aged 13-18, and located at Lancing, West Sussex BN15 0RW, England, United Kingdom. At the time that Williams attended Lancing, it was a boys only school, it became co-ed in 1970.
Tall, urbane, mustachioed British character actor from the London stage who made his Broadway debut as Clifford Hope in "The Fake," by Frederick Lonsdale, in 1924, resettling in the U.S. soon after. Williams last Broadway role was as David Bliss in "Hay Fever," by Noël Coward in 1970.
Was spokesman for the record collection of "120 Music Masterpieces." Part of his narration was "I'm sure you recognize this lovely melody as 'Stranger in Paradise.' But did you know that the original theme was from the Polovetzian Dance Number Two by Borodin? So many of the tunes of our well-known popular songs were actually written by the great masters...like these familiar themes".

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