John Williams (1903 - 1983)



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John Williams
Born April 15, 1903 in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Died May 5, 1983 in La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA (aneurysm)
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)
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 (until his death)
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 these familiar themes".
He served with the British Royal Air Force during World War II.

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Cause of death: Heart

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1903 - In the year that John Williams was born, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company was begun by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson - with help from Arthur's brother, Walter. Their first prototype - a "motor-bicycle" - couldn't climb hills without also pedaling, so they went back to the drawing board, and in 1904 their new version came in 4th in a race. Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company were the only two major motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression.

1916 - When he was merely 13 years old, suffragette Jeannette Pickering Rankin became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives as a Representative at large from Montana. She was the first woman to hold an elected Federal office. Holding the office for two years, she ran again in 1940 and served another two year term. Montana had granted women unrestricted voting rights in 1914, 6 years before women got the vote nationally.

1925 - He was 22 years old when in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

1928 - John was 25 years old when aviatrix Amelia Earhart, age 31, became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back in August. In June, she had been part of a 3 man crew that flew the Atlantic Ocean but since she had no instrument training, she couldn't fly the plane - she kept the flight log. The North American flight became one of her many "firsts" as a female pilot.

1983 - In the year of John Williams's passing, physicist Sally K. Ride, 32, became the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger on June 18th. She was also the youngest (32) astronaut to go into space. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space in 1963.

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John Williams Is Dead at 80; Stage, Screen and TV Actor
AP MAY 8, 1983
John Williams, a British-born actor who played the consummate gentleman in a half-century of roles on stage, screen and television, is dead at the age of 80.
Mr. Williams died on Thursday, but details of his death were not released.
His best-known role was as Inspector Hubbard in ''Dial M for Murder.'' He won a Tony award in 1952 for the stage role, and repeated the part in the 1954 film and in a television adaptation.
Mr. Williams began his career on the English stage in 1916 and appeared in ''Peter Pan,'' ''The Ruined Lady'' and ''The Fake.'' Moving to New York in 1924, he began a string of stage successes that included ''A Kiss in the Taxi'' with Claudette Colbert in 1925, ''Pygmalion'' with Gertrude Lawrence in 1946 and ''Alice Sit by the Fire'' with Helen Hayes in 1946.
His first film, ''A Woman's Vengeance,'' was released in 1948. Other films included ''The Student Prince'' and ''Sabrina,'' both in 1954.
He is survived by his wife, Helen, and a sister, Joyce Hornsted of Devon, England. No funeral was


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