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|Born||15 April 1903|
Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
|Died||5 May 1983 80) (aged|
La Jolla, California, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Williams (?-1983) (his death)|
John Williams (15 April 1903 – 5 May 1983)was an English stage, film and television actor. He is remembered for his role as Chief Inspector Hubbard in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder , as the chauffeur in Sabrina , and as portraying the second "Mr. French" on TV's Family Affair .
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965).
Sabrina is a 1954 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor's play Sabrina Fair. The picture stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. This was Wilder's last film released by Paramount Pictures, ending a 12-year business relationship with Wilder and the company. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2002.
Family Affair is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from September 12, 1966, to March 4, 1971. The series explored the trials of well-to-do engineer and bachelor Bill Davis as he attempted to raise his brother's orphaned children in his luxury New York City apartment. Davis's traditional English gentleman's gentleman, Mr. Giles French, also had adjustments to make as he became saddled with the responsibility of caring for 15-year-old Cissy and the five-year-old twins, Jody and Buffy.
Born in Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1903, Williams was educated at Lancing College. He began his acting career on the English stage in 1916, appearing in Peter Pan,The Ruined Lady, and The Fake.In 1924 he moved to New York, where he was cast in a series of successful Broadway productions. He would appear in over 30 Broadway plays over the next four decades, performing on stage with many notable performers, such as Claudette Colbert in A Kiss in the Taxi 1925, with Helen Hayes in Alice Sit by the Fire in 1946, and with Gertrude Lawrence in Pygmalion in 1946. In 1953, Williams won a Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for his role as Chief Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder on Broadway. Later, when Alfred Hitchcock adapted the play to film in 1954, he cast Williams in the same role.
Chalfont St Giles is a village and civil parish within the Chiltern district in south east Buckinghamshire, England, on the edge of the Chilterns, 20.9 miles (33.6 km) west-north-west of Charing Cross, central London, and near Seer Green, Jordans, Chalfont St Peter, Little Chalfont and Amersham.
Lancing College is an independent boarding and day school in southern England, UK. The school is located in West Sussex, east of Worthing near the village of Lancing, on the south coast of England. Lancing was founded in 1848 by Nathaniel Woodard and educates c. 550 pupils between the ages of 13 and 18; the co-educational ratio is c. 60:40 boys to girls. Girls were admitted in 1971.
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Williams first appearance in a Hollywood film was in director Mack Sennett's The Chumps in 1930, ultimately appearing in more than 40 films. Two other examples are Hitchcock's The Paradine Case starring Gregory Peck, in which Williams portrays a barrister, and To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, in which his character is an insurance company representative.
Mack Sennett was a Canadian-American film actor, director, and producer, and studio head, known as the King of Comedy.
The Paradine Case is a 1947 American film noir courtroom drama film, set in England, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by Selznick and an uncredited Ben Hecht, from an adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie of the novel by Robert Smythe Hichens. The film stars Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Alida Valli, Charles Laughton, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore and Louis Jourdan. It tells of an English barrister who falls in love with a woman who is accused of murder, and how it affects his relationship with his wife.
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor. He was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s. Peck received five Academy Award for Best Actor nominations and won once for his performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 drama film To Kill a Mockingbird.
Williams made more than 40 guest appearances on television shows as well. He played in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents including "The Long Shot" (1955), "Back for Christmas" (1956),"Whodunit" (1956), "Wet Saturday" (1956), "The Rose Garden" (1956), the three-part episode "I Killed the Count" (1957), "The Three Dreams of Mr.Findlater" (1957), and "Banquo’s Chair" (1959). Three of these episodes, "Back for Christmas", "Wet Saturday", and "Banquo’s Chair", were directed by Hitchcock himself.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series that was hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; the program aired on CBS and NBC between 1955 and 1965. It featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. Between 1962 and 1965 it was renamed The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
In 1963, Williams played William Shakespeare in The Twilight Zone episode "The Bard". That same year he also guest-starred on the sitcom My Three Sons , portraying a stuffy, very precise English butler; and in that role he was clean shaven, not sporting his customary mustache.Later he was part of the regular cast for the 1967 season of the family comedy Family Affair . He appeared as well on Night Gallery in the series' 1971 episode "The Doll". One of Williams' last performances was in 1979, playing alongside fellow actor Lorne Greene in a two-part episode of Battlestar Galactica titled "War of the Gods".
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
"The Bard" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It was the final episode of The Twilight Zone to be one hour long. A direct satire of the American television industry, the episode concerns an inept screenwriter who, through the use of black magic, employs William Shakespeare as his ghostwriter.
My Three Sons is an American sitcom. The series ran from 1960 to 1965 on ABC, and moved to CBS until the end of its run on April 13, 1972. My Three Sons chronicles the life of widower and aeronautical engineer Steven Douglas as he raises his three sons.
Williams gained notice too as the star of a frequently telecast commercial for 120 Music Masterpieces, a four-LP set of classical music excerpts from Columbia House.This became the longest-running nationally seen commercial in U.S. television history, for 13 years from 1971 to 1984. The commercial began with a brief selection of orchestral music being played. Williams then began the sales promotion with the following:
The Columbia House brand was introduced in the early 1970s by the Columbia Records division of CBS, Inc. as an umbrella for its mail-order music clubs, the primary incarnation of which was the Columbia Record Club, established in 1955. It had a significant market presence in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2005, longtime competitor BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. purchased Columbia House and consolidated operations. In 2008, the company was acquired by private investment group Najafi Companies, and its name was changed to Direct Brands, Inc.
I'm sure you recognise this lovely melody as 'Stranger in Paradise'. But did you know that the original theme is from the Polovetsian Dance No. 2 by Borodin? So many of the tunes of our well-known popular songs were actually written by the great masters—like these familiar themes...
Williams died at the age of 80 on 5 May 1983, in La Jolla, California. It was reported at the time of his death that he had been suffering from a heart condition.He was cremated and there was no funeral.
Dial M for Murder is a 1954 American crime mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings and John Williams. Both the screenplay and the successful stage play on which it was based were written by English playwright Frederick Knott. The play premiered in 1952 on BBC Television, before being performed on stage in the same year in London's West End in June, and then New York's Broadway in October. Originally intended to be shown in dual-strip polarized 3-D, the film played in most theatres in ordinary 2-D due to the loss of interest in the 3-D process by the time of its release. The film earned an estimated $2.7 million at the North American box office in 1954.
Leo Gratten Carroll was an English actor. He was best known for his roles in six Hitchcock films including Spellbound, Strangers on a Train and North by Northwest, and in three television series, Topper, Going My Way, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
Cyril James Cusack was an Irish actor, who appeared in numerous films and television productions in a career lasting more than 70 years.
William Reginald Gardiner was an English actor on the stage, in films and television.
Richard Deacon was an American television and motion picture actor, best known for playing supporting roles in television shows such as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Leave It To Beaver, and The Jack Benny Program along with minor roles in films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
James Gregory was an American character actor known for his deep, gravelly voice and playing brash roles such as the McCarthy-like Sen. John Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the audacious General Ursus in Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), and crusty Inspector Frank Luger in the television sitcom Barney Miller (1975–1982).
John Barry Foster was an English actor who had an extensive career on stage, television, radio and cinema over almost 50 years.
Robert Douglas Finlayson, known professionally as Robert Douglas, was an English stage and film actor, a television director and producer.
Geoffrey Keen was an English actor who appeared in supporting roles in many films.
John Qualen was a Canadian-American character actor of Norwegian heritage who specialized in Scandinavian roles.
Malcolm Keen was an English actor of stage, film and television. He was sometimes credited as Malcolm Keane.
Michael Fox was an American character actor who was in numerous movies and television roles. Some of his most famous recurring roles were as various autopsy physicians in Perry Mason, as Coroner George McLeod in Burke's Law, as Amos Fedders in Falcon Crest, and as Saul Feinberg in The Bold and the Beautiful.
Joan Margaret Tetzel was an American actress.
Malcolm MacLeod Atterbury was an American stage, film, and television actor, and vaudevillian.
Ralph Truman was an English actor, usually cast as either a villain or an authority figure. He possessed a distinguished speaking voice. He was born in London, England.
Ralph Clanton was an American character actor. Although his name is not familiar to audiences, he did play a significant supporting role in a classic film which is revived regularly. His most often seen performance is as the Comte De Guiche in the 1950 film Cyrano de Bergerac, the first sound version in English of Edmond Rostand's classic play, and the film for which José Ferrer won his only Academy Award for Best Actor. Besides Ferrer as Cyrano, Clanton was the only holdover from the cast of the 1946 Broadway revival of the play, and would play the role of De Guiche opposite him once more, in a New York City Center production in 1953.
Francis A. De Sales was an American actor. He was known for his roles on two early television series: as police Lieutenant Bill Weigand on the CBS and then NBC drama Mr. and Mrs. North (1952–1954) and as Sheriff Maddox in the syndicated western Two Faces West (1960–1961). In the meantime, he guest-starred on scores of other television programs, often in law-enforcement roles. He appeared four times as Ralph Dobson on the ABC sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and in five episodes in different roles on CBS's Perry Mason.
Frederick Piper was an English actor who appeared in over 80 films and many television productions in a career spanning over 40 years. Piper studied drama under Elsie Fogerty at the Central School of Speech and Drama, then based at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Jonathan Hole was an American actor whose entertainment career covered five different genres. From his early days on the vaudeville stage and in legitimate theater, through radio, television and feature-length films that took his career up to the 1990s, Hole created a variety of characters in hundreds of roles.
Noel Drayton was an actor who remains perhaps best known for playing supporting roles in Hollywood films like Elephant Walk, The Court Jester, Plymouth Adventure and Botany Bay during the 1950s. He also appeared as a guest actor on television shows like You Are There, Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He is also known for the role of Mr. Hardcastle in nine episodes of the popular television show Family Affair.