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Kenneth Williams
Born Kenneth Charles Williams
22 February 1926(1926-02-22)
Islington, London, England
Died 15 April 1988 (aged 62)
Camden, London, England
Occupation actor, comedian, presenter, raconteur
Years active 1948–1988

Kenneth Charles Williams (22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988) was a British comic actor, star of 26 Carry On films, numerous television shows, and radio comedies with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne.

Contents

Life and career

Kenneth Charles Williams was born on 22 February 1926 in Bingfield Street, King's Cross, London.[1] The son of Louisa ("Lou" or "Louie") and Charles Williams (a barber), and with a half-sister called Alice Patricia, he was educated at Lyulph Stanley School. Although his education was ordinary, he was a voracious reader throughout his life and in his interviews he could often quote entire poems or literary extracts purely from memory. Extracts from the diaries he kept as an adult show that he adored his supportive, theatrical mother but despised his homophobic, morose and selfish father.

Williams became an apprentice draughtsman to a mapmaker and joined the army in 1944 at the age of 18. He was part of the Royal Engineers survey section in Bombay when he first performed on stage, with Combined Services Entertainment along with Stanley Baxter and Peter Nichols.[2]

Comic performer

His professional career began in 1948 with roles in repertory theatre, but few serious parts suited his vocal and physical characteristics. His failure to become a serious dramatic actor disappointed him, but potential as a comic performer gave him his break. He was spotted playing the Dauphin in George Bernard Shaw's St Joan in 1954 by the radio producer Dennis Main Wilson, who was casting Hancock's Half Hour, a radio series starring Tony Hancock. Williams went on to lend his distinctive vocal and comedic talents to the series until almost the end of its run, five years later.[3] His nasal, whiny, camp-cockney inflections (epitomised in his "Stop messing about...!" catchphrase) became hugely popular with the listening public and would endure in popular lore for many years.[4] Despite the success and recognition the radio show brought him, Williams' own view was that theatre, film and television were 'superior' forms of entertainment to radio shows.

When Hancock decided to move the show away from what he considered to be 'gimmicks' and silly voices, Williams found himself having less to do on the programme. Tiring of his reduced status on the show, Williams joined Kenneth Horne in Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964), and its sequel, Round the Horne (1965–1968). In the latter, his roles included Rambling Syd Rumpo, the eccentric folk singer; Dr Chou En Ginsberg, MA (failed), Oriental criminal mastermind; J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, professional telephone heavy breather and dirty old man; and Sandy of the camp couple, Julian and Sandy (Julian was played by Hugh Paddick), whose double-act was notable for its use of double entendres and homosexual slang known as Polari.

Williams also appeared in several West End revues including with Maggie Smith in Share My Lettuce, written by Bamber Gascoigne, and Pieces of Eight with Fenella Fielding, which included material written by Peter Cook, then still a student at Cambridge University, including One Leg Too Few and Interesting Facts, that would both become well known routines in Cook's own stage performances. Williams' last revue was One over the Eight, with Sheila Hancock. Williams later starred opposite Jennie Linden in My Fat Friend in 1972. He also appeared with Ingrid Bergman in a stage production of George Bernard Shaw's Captain Brassbound's Conversion in 1971. Particularly in the theatre, Williams was famous for breaking character, ad-libbing and talking to the audience.

Carry On

In the 1960s and 70s Williams worked regularly in British films, notably the Carry On series[5] (1958–1978) with its British double entendre-laced humour, which were highly successful but for which he, along with the rest of the cast, was poorly paid. In his diaries Williams claims he earned more in a British Gas commercial than for any single Carry On film. In his diaries he was often highly critical of the Carry On films, both of his own performances and those of his fellow actors, and gave the impression that he considered them to be beneath his talents. This was the case with many of the films, television programmes, stage plays and radio shows in which he appeared, and he was quick to find fault with his own work. Despite this private criticism, he still appeared in more of the Carry On films than any of his fellow actors, and spoke fondly of them in his interviews. Peter Rogers, producer of the series, maintained a good relationship with Williams. He recollected, "Kenneth was worth taking care of, because while he cost very little — £5,000 a film — he made a very great deal of money for the franchise."[6]

Radio and television shows

Williams was a regular on the BBC radio panel game Just a Minute from its second season in 1968 until his death. On television during the 1970s he was a frequent contributor to BBC2's What's My Line?, hosted the weekly entertainment show International Cabaret and presented several editions of the children's story-reading series Jackanory. He also appeared on Michael Parkinson's interview programme on eight occasions, during which he told many anecdotes from his career. Williams served as one of the stand-in hosts on the Wogan talk show in 1986.

Personal life and death

On October 14, 1962, Williams' father, Charles, was taken to hospital after drinking carbon tetrachloride that had been stored in a cough mixture bottle. Williams refused to visit him, and the following day went out for lunch and then to the cinema. Charles died that afternoon and, an hour after being informed, Williams went on stage in the West End. The coroner's court recorded a verdict of accidental death due to corrosive poisoning by carbon tetrachloride, with no explanation of how the poison came to be in the bottle.[7]

Several years later Williams turned down an offer of work with Orson Welles in America which he stated he had declined as he did not like America and had no desire ever to work there. Many years after his death, The Mail on Sunday claimed that Williams had in fact been denied a visa because Scotland Yard considered him a suspect in his father's death.[8]

Williams always insisted he was celibate, and his diaries substantiate his claims — at least from his early 40s onwards. He lived alone all his adult life and appears to have had few close companions apart from his mother, and no romantic relationships of any great significance. It has been suggested that Williams was a repressed homosexual. His diaries contain many references to unconsummated or barely consummated dalliances, which he describes as "traditional matters" or "tradiola" (since male homosexual activity was a criminal offence in the UK before 1967, any outright admittance of it would be held against him). He did befriend gay playwright Joe Orton, who wrote the role of Inspector Truscott in Loot (1966) for him, and enjoyed holidays with Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell in Morocco. Other close friends included Stanley Baxter, Gordon Jackson and his wife Rona Anderson, Sheila Hancock, Maggie Smith and her playwright husband, Beverley Cross. A psychoanalytical examination of Williams' diaries suggests that, in contrast to his depiction as a frustrated homosexual, the underlying cause of his repressed sexuality can be attributed to his life-long struggle with depression and feelings of self-worthlessness.[9]

Although making a good living, Williams lived in a succession of small rented flats in north London from the mid-1950s until his death. After his father died, his mother, Louisa, always lived close by him (and, finally, in the next-door flat to his). The best-known flat that Williams lived in was in the block on Osnaburgh Street, which is now demolished. By turns gregarious and reclusive, Williams was fond of the company of his fellow Carry On regulars Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw.

Williams rarely revealed details of his private life, though he spoke openly to Owen Spencer-Thomas about his loneliness, despondency and sense of underachievement in two half-hour documentary programmes entitled Carry On Kenneth on BBC Radio London.[10] In later years his health declined, along with that of his elderly mother, and his depression deepened. He died on 15 April 1988 in his Camden flat;[11] the cause of death was an overdose of barbiturates.[12] An inquest recorded an open verdict, as it was not possible to establish whether his death was suicide or accident.[13] However, his diaries reveal that he had often had suicidal thoughts throughout his life and that as far back as his earliest diaries he noted that there were times when he could not see any point in existence at all.

His mother died in July 1991 and his half-sister, Pat, died in 1994.

Legacy

Diaries and biographies

The posthumous publication of his diaries and letters, edited by Russell Davies, caused controversy — particularly Williams' caustic remarks about fellow professionals — and revealed the bouts of despair, often primed by feelings of personal isolation and professional failure, that marked his life. Williams wrote in his diaries from the age of 14 in 1940 until his death some 48 years later, although his earliest diary to survive to publication was that for 1942 when he reached 16. Williams kept pocket-sized diaries for 1942 and 1947 (he kept no diaries for 1943 to 1946 as he was touring the Far East in the army); a desk diary for 1948; pocket-sized diaries for 1949 and 1950; desk diaries for 1951 to 1965; standard edition desk diaries for 1966 to 1971, and finally A4-sized executive desk diaries for 1972 to 1988. He claimed that writing in his diaries eased the loneliness he often felt.

In April 2008, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the two-part documentary The Pain of Laughter: The Last Days of Kenneth Williams.[14] The programmes were researched and written by Wes Butters and narrated by Rob Brydon. Butters purchased a collection of Williams' personal belongings from the actor's godson, Robert Chidell, to whom they had been bequeathed.[15]

The first of the programmes claimed that, towards the end of his life and struggling with depression and ill health, Williams abandoned his Christian faith following discussions with the poet Philip Larkin. Williams had been a Methodist and took a keen interest in religion, though he spent much of his life struggling with Christianity's teachings on homosexuality.[14]

Kenneth Williams Unseen by Wes Butters and Russell Davies, the first Williams biography in 15 years, was published in October 2008.[16]

Portrayals

Williams has been portrayed in two separate made-for-television films. In 2000, Adam Godley played him in the story of Sid James and Barbara Windsor's love affair, Cor, Blimey! (Godley had originated the role in the 1998 National Theatre play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick on which Cor Blimey! was based). Subsequently in 2006, Michael Sheen played him in the BBC Four drama Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!.

David Benson's 1996 Edinburgh Fringe show, Think No Evil of Us: My Life with Kenneth Williams, saw Benson playing the character of Williams; after touring, the show ran in London's West End. Benson reprised his performance in a number of shows at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe and continues to tour with this portrayal.[17]

From 2003 to 2005, Robin Sebastian took on the Williams role in the hit West End stage show Round the Horne... Revisited, recreating his performance in 2008 for a new production called Round the Horne: Unseen and Uncut.

Recognition

The flat Williams had lived in on Osnaburgh Street, from 1972 until his death, was bought by Rob Brydon and Julia Davis for the writing of their dark comedy series Human Remains. The building was demolished in May 2007.[18]

Williams is commemorated by a blue plaque situated at the address of his father's barber shop in Marchmont Street, London. The plaque was unveiled on 11 October 2009 by Bill Pertwee and Nicholas Parsons, with whom Williams had performed during his career.[19]

In April 2007, Williams' line "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!" (from Carry On Cleo) was voted the greatest one-liner in movie history by a thousand comedy writers, actors, impresarios and members of the public for the launch of Sky Movies Comedy Channel.[20] The line was borrowed by scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell from Frank Muir and Dennis Norden, who had used it on their radio show Take It From Here.[21]

Performances

Films

Television

Radio

Books

  • Acid Drops
  • Back Drops
  • Just Williams
  • I Only Have To Close My Eyes
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries
  • The Kenneth Williams Letters

Albums

  • Kenneth Williams on Pleasure Bent 1967, Decca LK 4856. Arrangements and musical direction by Barry Booth, sound supervision by Roger Cameron.
  • The World of Kenneth Williams 1970, Decca SPA 64. Stereo edition of recordings from the 1950s and 1960s.

Footnotes

  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: MAR 1926 1b 408 ISLINGTON - Kenneth C. Williams
  2. ^ Army http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  3. ^ Hancock's Half Hour http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  4. ^ Stop messing about.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thekennethwilliamsshow/ Retrieved 8 October 2007
  5. ^ Carry On Films roles. He appeared more frequently in the series than any other actor. http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  6. ^ Kenneth Williams Unseen by Wes Butters and Russell Davies, HarperCollins 2008, p224
  7. ^ "Did Kenneth Kill Himself?". Daily Mail (London). 30 November 2005. p. 32. "...in October 1962, Charlie Williams died after drinking a bottle of carbon tetrachloride in mysterious circumstances — a death that has eerie echoes of Kenneth Williams' own. He drank from a bottle labelled Gees Linctus but which actually contained poison, and the coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, due to bronchial pneumonia and carbon tetrachloride poisoning, self-administered, by accident. Many, perhaps Kenneth included, believed it was suicide." 
  8. ^ "Did Kenneth Williams poison his father?" Daily Mail, 31 October 2008
  9. ^ Davies, Russell (1993). The Kenneth Williams diaries. HarperCollins. ISBN 0002550237. 
  10. ^ Radio Times (London edition) July 23 - 29, 1977
  11. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: JUN 1988 14 1873 CAMDEN - Kenneth Charles Williams, DoB = 22 Feb 1926 aged 62
  12. ^ Overdose http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  13. ^ "Open verdict recorded on Williams". The Guardian (London). 17 June 1988. "Dr John Elliott, deputy coroner for inner north London said: The cause of death was a barbiturate overdose. Where Mr Williams would have got these from we would not be able to establish. There is no indication given as to why he should have taken this overdose and therefore I record an open verdict." 
  14. ^ a b "The Pain of Laughter; The Last Days of Kenneth Williams". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/painoflaughter/pip/om8uw/. Retrieved 2 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "The truth behind that famous smile", Radio Times 5–11 April 2008
  16. ^ HarperCollins http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Content/Title/Default.aspx?id=40926
  17. ^ David Benson - JAMES SEABRIGHT
  18. ^ "Kenneth Williams lived here". Shady Old Lady's Guide to London. 3 March 2010. http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location.php?loc=831. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Plaque for Carry On star Williams". BBC News Online. 11 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8301366.stm. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  20. ^ "Carry On quip tops one-liner poll". BBC News. 04 April 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6524729.stm. 
  21. ^ "A Kentish Lad", by Frank Muir, Bantam Press, ISBN 0-593-03452-x, 1997, p 141.

References

  • Williams, Kenneth (1993), Russell Davies, ed. The Kenneth Williams Diaries. London: HarperCollins.

External links


Kenneth Williams
Born Kenneth Charles Williams
22 February 1926(1926-02-22)
Islington, London, England
Died 15 April 1988 (aged 62)
Camden, London, England
Occupation actor, comedian, presenter, raconteur
Years active 1952–88

Kenneth Charles Williams (22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988) was a British comic actor, star of 25 Carry On films, numerous television shows, and radio comedies with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne.

Contents

Life and career

Kenneth Charles Williams was born on 22 February 1926 in Bingfield Street, King's Cross, London,.[1], the son of Louisa ("Lou" or "Louie") and Charles Williams (a barber), and with a half-sister called Alice Patricia. He was educated at Lyulph Stanley School. He became an apprentice draughtsman to a mapmaker and joined the army in 1944 at 18. He was part of the Royal Engineers survey section in Bombay when he first performed on stage, with Combined Services Entertainment along with Stanley Baxter and Peter Nichols.[2] He was a voracious reader and could quote poems or literary extracts from memory. Extracts from diaries kept as an adult show he adored his supportive, theatrical mother but despised his homophobic, morose and selfish father.

Comic performer

His professional career began in 1948 in repertory theatre. His failure to become a serious dramatic actor disappointed him, but potential as a comic performer gave him his break. He was spotted playing the Dauphin in George Bernard Shaw's St Joan in 1954 by the radio producer Dennis Main Wilson, who was casting Hancock's Half Hour, a radio series starring Tony Hancock. Williams stayed in the series almost until it ended five years later.[3] His nasal, whiny, camp-cockney inflections (epitomised in his "Stop messing about...!" catchphrase) became popular with listeners public.[4] Despite the success and recognition the show brought him, Williams thought theatre, film and television were superior forms of entertainment.

When Hancock moved the show from what he considered gimmicks and silly voices, Williams had less to do on the programme. Tiring of his reduced status, he joined Kenneth Horne in Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964), and its sequel, Round the Horne (1965–1968). His roles in Round the Horne included Rambling Syd Rumpo, the eccentric folk singer; Dr Chou En Ginsberg, MA (failed), Oriental criminal mastermind; J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock, telephone heavy breather and dirty old man; and Sandy of the camp couple Julian and Sandy (Julian was played by Hugh Paddick), whose double-act was notable double entendres and homosexual slang, Polari.

Williams appeared in West End revues including with Maggie Smith in Share My Lettuce, written by Bamber Gascoigne, and Pieces of Eight with Fenella Fielding, which included material by Peter Cook, then a student at Cambridge University, including One Leg Too Few and Interesting Facts, that became routines in Cook's own performances. Williams' last revue was One over the Eight, with Sheila Hancock. Williams later starred opposite Jennie Linden in My Fat Friend in 1972. He also appeared with Ingrid Bergman in a stage production of George Bernard Shaw's Captain Brassbound's Conversion in 1971. Williams was famous for breaking character, ad-libbing and talking to the audience.

Carry On

Williams worked regularly in British films in the 1960s and 70s, notably the Carry On series[5] (1958–1978) with its British double entendre-laced humour, which were successful but for which he, with the rest of the cast, was poorly paid. In his diaries Williams said he earned more in a British Gas commercial than for any Carry On film. He often criticised Carry On films, his own performances and those of others, and considered them beneath him. This was the case with many of the films, television programmes, stage plays and radio shows in which he appeared, and he was quick to find fault with his own work. Despite this, spoke fondly of Carry On films in interviews. Peter Rogers, producer of the series, recollected, "Kenneth was worth taking care of, because while he cost very little — £5,000 a film — he made a very great deal of money for the franchise."[6]

Radio and television shows

Williams was a regular on the BBC radio panel game Just a Minute from its second season in 1968 until his death. On television in the 1970s he was a frequent contributor to BBC2's What's My Line?, hosted the weekly entertainment show International Cabaret and presented editions of the children's story-reading series Jackanory. He appeared on Michael Parkinson's interview programme on eight occasions, during which he told anecdotes from his career. Williams was a stand-in host on the Wogan talk show in 1986.

Personal life and death

On October 14, 1962, Williams' father, Charles, was taken to hospital after drinking carbon tetrachloride that had been stored in a cough mixture bottle. Williams refused to visit him, and the following day went out for lunch and then to the cinema. Charles died that afternoon and, an hour after being informed, Williams went on stage in the West End. The coroner's court recorded a verdict of accidental death due to corrosive poisoning by carbon tetrachloride, with no explanation of how the poison came to be in the bottle.[7]

Several years later Williams turned down work with Orson Welles in America because he did not like America and had no desire to work there. Many years after his death, The Mail on Sunday claimed Williams had been denied a visa because Scotland Yard considered him a suspect in his father's death.[8]

Williams insisted he was celibate, and his diaries substantiate his claims — at least from his early 40s onwards. He lived alone all his adult life and had few close companions apart from his mother, and no romantic relationships of significance. It has been suggested that Williams was a repressed homosexual. His diaries contain references to unconsummated or barely consummated dalliances, which he describes as "traditional matters" or "tradiola" (since male homosexual activity was a criminal offence in the UK before 1967, outright admission would be held against him). He befriended gay playwright Joe Orton, who wrote the role of Inspector Truscott in Loot (1966) for him, and had holidays with Orton and his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, in Morocco. Other friends included Stanley Baxter, Gordon Jackson and his wife Rona Anderson, Sheila Hancock, Maggie Smith and her playwright husband, Beverley Cross. A psychoanalytical examination of Williams' diaries suggests that the underlying cause of his repressed sexuality could be his life-long struggle with depression and feelings of self-worthlessness.[9]

Williams lived in a succession of small rented flats in north London from the mid-1950s. After his father died, his mother, Louisa, lived close by him and, finally, in the next flat to his. The best-known flat that Williams lived in was in the block on Osnaburgh Street, now demolished. Williams was fond of fellow Carry On regulars Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw.

Williams rarely revealed details of his private life, though he spoke openly to Owen Spencer-Thomas about his loneliness, despondency and underachievement in two half-hour documentary programmes entitled Carry On Kenneth on BBC Radio London.[10] In later years his health declined, along with that of his elderly mother, and his depression deepened. He died on 15 April 1988 in his Camden flat;[11] the cause of death was an overdose of barbiturates.[12] An inquest recorded an open verdict, as it was not possible to establish whether his death was suicide or accident.[13] His diaries reveal he had often had suicidal thoughts and as far back as his earliest diaries he noted there were times when he could not see any point in existence.

His mother died in July 1991 and his half-sister, Pat, died in 1994.

Legacy

Diaries and biographies

Posthumous publication of his diaries and letters, edited by Russell Davies, caused controversy — particularly Williams' caustic remarks about fellow professionals — and revealed bouts of despair, often primed by feelings of personal isolation and professional failure. Williams wrote his diaries from 14 in 1940 until his death 48 years later, although his earliest to survive to publication was for 1942 when he reached 16. Williams kept pocket-sized diaries for 1942 and 1947 (he kept no diaries for 1943 to 1946 as he was touring the Far East in the army); a desk diary for 1948; pocket-sized diaries for 1949 and 1950; desk diaries for 1951 to 1965; standard edition desk diaries for 1966 to 1971, and finally A4-sized executive desk diaries for 1972 to 1988. He claimed that writing in his diaries eased the loneliness he often felt.

In April 2008, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the two-part The Pain of Laughter: The Last Days of Kenneth Williams.[14] The programmes were researched and written by Wes Butters and narrated by Rob Brydon. Butters purchased a collection of Williams' personal belongings from the actor's godson, Robert Chidell, to whom they had been bequeathed.[15]

The first of the programmes said that, towards the end of his life and struggling with depression and ill health, Williams abandoned Christian faith following discussions with the poet Philip Larkin. Williams had been a Methodist, though he spent much of his life struggling with Christianity's teachings on homosexuality.[14]

Kenneth Williams Unseen by Wes Butters and Russell Davies, the first Williams biography in 15 years, was published in October 2008.[16]

An authorised biography, Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams, by Christopher Stevens,[17] was published in October 2010. This drew for the first time on the full Williams archive of diaries and letters, which had been stored in a London bank for 15 years following publication of edited extracts.[18] Stevens argued that Williams did not take his own life but died of an accidental overdose, due to a combination of painkillers and stomach ulcer medicine: the actor had doubled his dosage of antacid without discussing this with his doctor. The biography said Williams used a variety of handwriting styles and colours in his journals, switching between different hands on the page.[19]

Portrayals

Williams has been portrayed in two made-for-television films. In 2000, Adam Godley played him in the story of Sid James and Barbara Windsor's love affair, Cor, Blimey! (Godley had originated the role in the 1998 National Theatre play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick on which Cor Blimey! was based). Subsequently in 2006, Michael Sheen played him in the BBC Four drama Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!.

David Benson's 1996 Edinburgh Fringe show, Think No Evil of Us: My Life with Kenneth Williams, saw Benson playing Williams; after touring, the show ran in London's West End. Benson reprised his performance at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe and continues to tour.[20]

From 2003 to 2005, Robin Sebastian took on Williams in the West End stage show Round the Horne... Revisited, recreating his performance in 2008 for a production called Round the Horne: Unseen and Uncut.

at 57 Marchmont Street]]

Recognition

The flat Williams had lived in on Osnaburgh Street from 1972 until his death was bought by Rob Brydon and Julia Davis for the writing of their comedy series Human Remains. The building was demolished in May 2007.[21]

Williams is commemorated by a blue plaque at the address of his father's barber shop in Marchmont Street, London, where he lived from 1935 to 1956. The plaque was unveiled on 11 October 2009 by Bill Pertwee and Nicholas Parsons, with whom Williams performed.[22]

In April 2007, Williams' "Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!" (from Carry On Cleo) was voted the greatest one-liner in movie history by a thousand comedy writers, actors, impresarios and members of the public for the launch of Sky Movies Comedy Channel.[23] The line was borrowed by scriptwriter Talbot Rothwell from Frank Muir and Dennis Norden, who had used it on their radio show Take It From Here.[24]

In September 2010, a plaque commissioned by the British Comedy Society was unveiled in the foyer of the New Diorama Theatre by Mayor of Camden, Jonathan Simpson, accompanied by David Benson, the actor known for his performances of his own work dedicated to Williams, 'Think No Evil of Us - My Life With Kenneth Williams'. The theatre stands in the Regents Place development, site of the demolished Osnaburgh Street.

Performances

Films

Television

Radio

Books

  • Acid Drops
  • Back Drops
  • Just Williams
  • I Only Have To Close My Eyes
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries
  • The Kenneth Williams Letters

Albums

  • Kenneth Williams on Pleasure Bent 1967, Decca LK 4856. Arrangements and musical direction by Barry Booth, sound supervision by Roger Cameron.
  • The World of Kenneth Williams 1970, Decca SPA 64. Stereo edition of recordings from the 1950s and 1960s.

Footnotes

  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: MAR 1926 1b 408 ISLINGTON - Kenneth C. Williams
  2. ^ Army http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  3. ^ Hancock's Half Hour http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  4. ^ Stop messing about.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thekennethwilliamsshow/ Retrieved 8 October 2007
  5. ^ Carry On Films roles. He appeared more in the series than any other actor. http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  6. ^ Kenneth Williams Unseen by Wes Butters and Russell Davies, HarperCollins 2008, p224
  7. ^ "Did Kenneth Kill Himself?". Daily Mail (London). 30 November 2005. p. 32. "...in October 1962, Charlie Williams died after drinking a bottle of carbon tetrachloride in mysterious circumstances — a death that has eerie echoes of Kenneth Williams' own. He drank from a bottle labelled Gees Linctus but which actually contained poison, and the coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, due to bronchial pneumonia and carbon tetrachloride poisoning, self-administered, by accident. Many, perhaps Kenneth included, believed it was suicide." 
  8. ^ "Did Kenneth Williams poison his father?" Daily Mail, 31 October 2008
  9. ^ Davies, Russell (1993). The Kenneth Williams diaries. HarperCollins. ISBN 0002550237. 
  10. ^ Radio Times (London edition) July 23–29, 1977
  11. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: JUN 1988 14 1873 CAMDEN - Kenneth Charles Williams, DoB = 22 Feb 1926 aged 62
  12. ^ Overdose http://www.britmovie.co.uk/actors/w/004.html Retrieved 08/10/07
  13. ^ "Open verdict recorded on Williams". The Guardian (London). 17 June 1988. "Dr John Elliott, deputy coroner for inner north London said: The cause of death was a barbiturate overdose. Where Mr Williams would have got these from we would not be able to establish. There is no indication given as to why he should have taken this overdose and therefore I record an open verdict." 
  14. ^ a b "The Pain of Laughter; The Last Days of Kenneth Williams". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/painoflaughter/pip/om8uw/. Retrieved 2 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "The truth behind that famous smile", Radio Times 5–11 April 2008
  16. ^ HarperCollins http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Content/Title/Default.aspx?id=40926
  17. ^ Author's information page
  18. ^ Publisher's information page
  19. ^ Kenneth Williams: The Secret Loves, The Observer, Sunday 10 October 2010
  20. ^ David Benson - JAMES SEABRIGHT
  21. ^ "Kenneth Williams lived here". Shady Old Lady's Guide to London. 3 March 2010. http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location.php?loc=831. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Plaque for Carry On star Williams". BBC News Online. 11 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8301366.stm. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  23. ^ "Carry On quip tops one-liner poll". BBC News. 4 April 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6524729.stm. 
  24. ^ "A Kentish Lad", by Frank Muir, Bantam Press, ISBN 0-593-03452-x, 1997, p 141.

References

  • Williams, Kenneth (1993), Russell Davies, ed. The Kenneth Williams Diaries. London: HarperCollins.

External links








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