Revered British actor and two-time Tony nominee Nicol Williamson passed away from esophageal cancer on December 16 in Amsterdam. He was 75 years old.
Born in 1936 in Hamilton, Scotland, Williamson was considered by some critics to be among the finest actors of his generation in the late 1960s and '70s, along with contemporaries like Albert Finney and Richard Burton. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1966 for his Broadway debut in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence, a role he had first played on the West End. He was nominated again in 1974 for his role in Uncle Vanya. He also starred in West End and Broadway productions of Hamlet and Macbeth, and on Broadway in Plaza Suite, Rex, Macbeth, The Real Thing, I Hate Hamlet and most recently his solo show, Jack: A Night on the Town with John Barrymore, in 1996.
Williamson appeared in dozens of films throughout his career, and was nominated three times for acting honors at the BAFTAs, Britain's answer to the Oscars. He was perhaps best known for playing the wizard Merlin in John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur, and for playing Little John in the 1976 movie Robin and Marian, opposite Sean Connery as Robin Hood and Audrey Hepburn as Lady Marian.
He is survived by his son Luke Williamson and wife Jill Townsend.